- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 24, 2015

An Academy Award-winning screwball comedy from 1938 debuts in high-definition sporting a 4K restoration to highlight the legendary work of director Frank Capra in You Can’t Take It with You (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, not rated, $19.99).

Actor Jimmy Stewart’s first collaboration with the famed creator (the pair would later deliver “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and “It’s a Wonderful Life”) was gold and led to Oscars for best film as well as best director.

The optimistic story, based on a Broadway play, offers an office romance between stenographer Alice Sycamore (Jean Arthur) and company vice president Ted Kirby (Mr. Stewart), two folks from opposite sides of the track creating quite the culture clash for each family.

Specifically, it will take a Herculean effort to find a happy middle ground between the free-spirited and eccentric Vanderhofs (led by the great Lionel Barrymore) and the money-grubbing, corporate-minded Kirbys (led by Edward Arnold) to make love permanently bloom for the couple. The results of the meetings lead to hilarious and even explosive results.

The black-and-white masterpiece remains classic, but the film’s new restoration may not be as eye-popping as one might expect with plenty of digital noise in the final transfer.

Well, the craftsmen can only make magic out of the resources available, and the original source material was often either non-existent or in terrible shape. The result is still beautiful, devoid of scratches and blemishes, and looks pretty amazing.

Extras are culled from the previous DVD release and first include a 25-minute featurette looking at the themes of the film; and the director led by Frank Capra Jr. with help from from Richard Pena, associate professor of film at Columbia University, and Jeanine Basinger, curator of the Frank Capra Archives at Wesleyan University.

Also, an optional commentary track offers some great information from Mr. Capra Jr. and author Cathrine Kellison, adjunct professor at New York University in Media Studies. Miss Kellison offers loads of facts on the production, its staff and personalities while Mr. Capra Jr. handles the nostalgic memories about his dad and associates.

Additionally, the disc comes packaged in a compact Digibook format offering a 28-page tome spearheaded by an essay from film historian Jeremy Arnold, behind-the-scene photographs and an explanation of the restoration process.

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