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American Madness

7.41 h 16 min1932U
Walter Huston stars as an idealistic bank president who has been making loans to depositors without sufficient collateral. When there's a run on his bank, his loyal staff rallies local small businessmen to make more deposits which moves the directors to keep the bank afloat. Released shortly after FDR's New Deal, this film whole-heartedly espoused Roosevelt's ideals.
Frank Capra
Pat O'BrienWalter HustonKay Johnson
English [CC]
Audio Languages
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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Harry Cohn IHarry Cohn
Columbia Pictures
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.4 out of 5 stars

30 global ratings

  1. 61% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 26% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 3% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 9% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 0% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Spike OwenReviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 November 2011
3.0 out of 5 stars
Film review only.
So this Capra guy did corny movies then?

I am of course being a touch sarcastic there because it often gets forgotten that Frank Capra, as wonderful as his homely corn uplifters are, did in fact do straight, serious and technically excellent pictures as well. American Madness is a tale of hysteria during the Great Depression, it's poignant and a fine reference point as regards that particular bleak time in American history, it's a story well worth investing time in purely for that alone. That it boasts a fabulous performances from Walter Huston and a usual irrepressible one from Pat O'Brien merely cements this in the must see category. Yet the main selling point here is Capra himself, obviously still honing his skills, this piece stands as an interesting marker for anyone doubting Capra's worth as a director of note. Splendidly adopting a single sets mentality, Capra crafts his story within the confines of a bank, wonderfully gliding his camera around and quick cutting to emphasise the scattergun nature of the "madness" unfolding.

It's not a film to revisit once one has viewed, but you owe it to yourself as a film fan to see it just the once, for here we have W Huston and F Capra on particularly fine form. 6.5/10
4 people found this helpful
J. R. DersleyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 March 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
A run on the bank saved by "the little man" - sound familiar?
If you know Capra's films, the general thrust of this one will come as no surprise; in some ways it deals with the same concerns as It's A Wonderful Life - faith in the little man as opposed to the big corporations, that faith vindicated as the little man comes to the rescue of the bank when the big corporations back away, a dose of preachiness, even toying with suicide as a way out of troubles. There's a degree of over-acting but the performances of Walter Huston as the bank president and especially Kay Johnson as his wife make this a film worth viewing. She just lights up the screen with each appearance. Not one of Capra's greatest but an enjoyable watch, especially if one remembers the time in which it was set, the Great Depression.
One person found this helpful
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