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TO FEBRUARY 1
Director Frank Capra made some of his most beloved films in the ’30s, and they’re all in this series: It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (both shown last week), You Can’t Take It With You (Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 11 at 5:15 p.m.), and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Jan. 30 & 31 at 8:15 p.m.). What makes the program most remarkable, however, are the newly struck prints of the director’s rarely seen pictures from early in the decade. Of the four that AFI screened for critics, two are still to come in the series: The Miracle Woman is the remarkably skeptical (about religion) but sentimental (about romance) tale of a young woman evangelist (Barbara Stanwyck) who abandons her lucrative fakery after she falls in love with a blind man (Jan. 8 at 6:45 p.m.). Set mostly in a bank run by a beleaguered stand-up guy (Walter Huston), American Madness is a Depression-era plea for small-business solidarity in the face of big-banker plots and wild rumors of bank insolvency (pictured, Jan. 10 at 4:15 p.m., Jan. 11 at 9 p.m.). Among the other entries are a “pre-screwball” screwball comedy, Platinum Blonde (Jan. 8 at 5:10 p.m., Jan. 9 at 6:45 p.m.), Lost Horizon, an adaptation of James Hilton’s mystical novel about an unknown Himalayan city (Jan. 9 at 8:30 p.m., Jan. 10 at 9:45 p.m., Jan. 11 at 1 p.m.), and The Bitter Tea of General Yen, a once-controversial tale of romance between an American missionary (Stanwyck again) and a Chinese warlord (Jan. 10 at 5:45 p.m., Jan. 11 at 3:30 p.m.). At the Kennedy Center’s American Film Institute Theater. $6.50. (202) 785-4600. (Mark Jenkins)