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Lady for a Day (1933)

A film that impressed me very much from the beginning, “Lady for a Day” tells the story of a very poor woman who deceives her daughter living in Spain. She pretends to be a wealthy lady of New York’s high society. She usually receives correspondence form her daughter at a luxurious hotel, without ever having stayed there. One day, her daughter decides to pay her a visit with her fiancé and his father, a member of the Spanish aristocracy. The possibility of an awkward, shameful reunion with her daughter after so many years becomes a source of great pain to Apple Annie, and thus she is forced by circumstances to accept the help of an infamous gangster. He pays her to stay at the hotel and he also makes all the necessary arrangements to make her look like an aristocrat. Even if things get more and more complicated when her daughter arrives, the truth never comes to surface and Annie sees her dream come true. She didn’t embarass her daughter and she played her role with dignity and distinction. May Robson, the great actress who was in the leading role, received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, becoming the earliest-born actress to receive an Oscar nomination. “Lady for a Day” was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Writing, Adaptation. Frank Capra did a wonderful job again, and this film, just like the rest of his productions, manages to impress the viewer with its simple, direct, and significant message: that everybody, no matter the class and the age, has the right to be happy, even if sometimes it is necessary to pretend, to lie, to create an illusion just like in fairy tales with happy endings.

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