Kubrick’s virtuosity as a filmmaker, and the range of his subjects, have served to disguise his near-obsessive concern with these two matters—the brutal brevity of the individual’s span on earth and the indifference of the spheres to that span, whatever its length, whatever achievements are recorded over its course.
Frank Capra is a brave man. He might be called a premature auteurist, since long before that critical theory was enunciated he believed that the director was the logical person to be the author of a movie. “One man, one film” was his credo and he was not modest about taking credit for his work.
Examined by any standards, those of 1936 or today, Mr. Deeds had or has to be regarded as pure wishful fantasy. Longfellow Deeds, the lanky hero whom Mr. Cooper so aptly played, was an amiable small-town bumpkin who candidly combined all the platitudinous pieties and virtues of an idealized Boy Scout.