Picking up where we left off…
Here is a look at the drama genre.
Drama – Aristotle said that drama is “imitated human action.” It has been clarified that drama needs three elements: (1) a story that is (2) told in action (3) by actors who impersonate and give dialogue to the characters of the story. Usually drama involves conflict of a serious tone or subject. While drama does not have to contain tragedy (drama in which human suffering or the downfall of a great man typically has a disastrous conclusion), it may and it intends to portray life’s emotion and action in a way that brings interest to and intense feeling about the story. The desired result is that you care about the characters of the film—that you empathize or sympathize with them. You don’t always have to agree with their actions or decisions, but you want to see how their stories end. True drama grips the heart of the viewer as no other form of film can.
- Driving Miss Daisy (The Zanuck Company, 1989: Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, Dan Aykroyd, and Patti LuPone; Bruce Beresford-director) PG – The sweet story of the growing friendship between an old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the South. It is charming and heartwarming.
- To Kill a Mockingbird (Universal International Pictures, 1962: Gregory Peck, John Megna, and Frank Overton; Robert Mulligan-director) TV-PG – Atticus Finch is one of the best father figures and lawyers in the history of filmdom!
- 12 Angry Men (Orion-Nova Productions, 1957: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, and Martin Balsam; Sidney Lumet-director) TV-PG – By the time you’re done with this one, you’ll ask yourself, “Would I stand my ground in a jury if I was one person against eleven opposing jurists?”
- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Columbia Pictures Corporation, 1939: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, and Claude Rains; Frank Capra-director) TV-G – The filibuster scene of this film is an incredible study of how our congressional system works. (But honestly, the fact that Jimmy Stewart played the part of Jefferson Smith made the movie.)
- The Quiet Man (Republic Pictures, 1952: John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, and Victor McLaglen; John Ford-director) TV-G – John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara were a perfect match for this lovely tale of a retired American boxer trying to accept Irish customs that make marrying his new-found love rather difficult. Wayne and O’Hara invested their own money to make this production, and their love for the project is evident in every scene.
- Meet John Doe (Frank Capra Productions, 1941: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, and Walter Brennan; Frank Capra-director) UR – The power of the media and the effectiveness of political movements are explored in this classic Frank Capra “dramedy.”
- I Remember Mama (RKO Radio Pictures, 1948: Irene Dunne, Barbara Bel Geddes, Oskar Homolka, and Philip Dorn; George Stevens-director) UR – The delightful story of a Norwegian family that immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. The mother is the center point of the drama, but we follow the entire Hansen family’s sorrows, joys, dreams, and successes as we observe their life in San Francisco in 1910.
- Pride and Prejudice (Focus Features/Universal Pictures, 2005: Keira Knightley, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, and Matthew Macfadyen; Joe Wright-director) PG – We know, this is not as accurate to the original Jane Austen novel as the BBC production is, but the cinematography in this film is phenomenal. (And who has time to watch a full BBC production in one sitting?)
- Places in the Heart (Delphi II Productions and TriStar Pictures, 1984: Sally Field, Danny Glover, John Malkovich, and Ed Harris; Robert Benton-director) PG – A recently widowed woman and her family try to run her cotton farm with the help of an African-American wanderer and a blind boarder. The ethnic tensions of the South in the 1930s are skillfully presented in this heart-stirring story.
- Courageous (TriStar Pictures, Provident Films, and Sherwood Pictures, 2011: Alex Kendrick, Ken Bevel, and Kevin Downes; Ales Kendrick-director) PG-13 – Just the right amount of humor, action, and tragedy—all while dealing with issues of genuine faith and the struggles men face daily.