American Madness

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Huston, the joshing, principled New York bank manager, Tom Dickson, animates this sermon (scripted by Robert Riskin) by sheer force of personality: a Depression-era bank-run is halted by the little people who rally to Dickson's defence and shame the selfish plutocrats on the bank's board. Huston's rough-hewn character is matched by a wonderfully sophisticated and seductive performance by Johnson, as the manager's somewhat neglected wife. She unwittingly abets her husband's discomfort by allowing herself to be wooed by the chief cashier (Gordon), who's been forced into dishonesty by his gambling debts. Beautifully shot by Joseph Walker, with several striking expressionistic touches, this breathtaking film from Capra's golden period with Harry Cohn's Columbia is notable among much else for its vivid depiction of how a bank operates and for a tremendous climax in which a sea of desperate depositors clamour for their cash.

By: JPy

Release details

Duration: 76 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Frank Capra
Screenwriter: Robert Riskin
Cast: Walter Huston
Pat O'Brien
Kay Johnson
Constance Cummings
Gavin Gordon
Arthur Hoyt
Robert E O'Conner
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