July 10 – Perfect Code Film Feature #10
Today’s highlighted film is The Vanishing Virginian from 1942. This is the story of a Virginian district attorney who guides his large family through the early twentieth century with a big personality and a bigger heart. Beloved by the community, he shares a friendship with a devoted servant, defends a black defendant he is supposed to acquit, runs for district attorney numerous times despite his wife’s protests, reacts to the politics and social change of the time, and guides his children toward successful and happy lives. This film stars Frank Morgan, Kathryn Grayson, and Spring Byington. It was directed by Frank Borzage, produced by Mr. Borzage and Edwin Knopf, and released by MGM. This is a perfect Code film because it provides an uplifting, inspiring look at a patriotic family man who has strong opinions but is devoted to his firm Christian beliefs, his old-fashioned family, and his longstanding friends, regardless of their color. I like this movie because of Frank Morgan’s hilarious, bombastic portrayal of Robert Yancey, the head of a strong family and the leader of a great cast as well as the most prominent role in which I have ever seen the very talented Mr. Morgan. My favorite thing about it is the large cast of diverse and talented actors who were melded together into one great film, which alternates between moments of hilarious fun and serious drama.
As a special high-point of our month-long celebration in July, we are hosting a blogathon on the first weekend in July in honor of the formation of the PCA and the twenty wonderful years of decent cinema which followed during Joseph Breen’s tenure. It will be called The Favorite Code Film Blogathon. On July 5-7, participants will choose their single favorite Code films and write about why these movies from the era of film decency were so good. Please join!
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