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Saturday, August 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 77.0° F  Light Rain Fog/Mist
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A Hole In The Head
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After a 6-year "vacation" from movies - spurred by frustration over the failure of his independent "Liberty Films" - Frank Capra made a triumphant return with this sentimental comedy. The subject: A Miami con man-wastrel, running a seedy hotel, who finally has to face life and facts after the last of his dreams caves in. The dialogue is gritty and vernacular, though writer Arnold Schulman had to quickly convert all the characters from Jews to Italians; and the Sinatra character - desperate, charming, then-at-the-heels, and exasperating - is Capra's first stab at creating an "anti-hero". Otherwise, it's the old reliable Capra-corn...with one of the early sight gags a direct steal from the 1926 Capra-Harry Langdon silent. "The Strong Man." Incidentally, this movie's theme song, "High Hopes" - re-recorded by Sinatra with the words changed - later became Jack Kennedy's 1960 campaign theme song.
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