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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Don't Know...FRANK CAPRA?

Frank CapraYou really should know who FRANK CAPRA (1897-1991) is! Director extrordinaire. Made many classics which were dismissed by the critics as "Capra Corn". He worked at Hal Roach as a gag writer for the Our Gang comedies then moved up to the Harry Langdon films where he found the star difficult to work with. He found his niche when he moved to Columbia Pictures. In the 1970s he wrote a splendid autobiography, The Name Above The Title.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946) Poster

A fine place to start is by viewing: It's A Wonderful Life (1946). Now a beloved classic, this film failed at the box office when it was released. He uses James Stewart as Everyman in a film which explores the dark side of the hero's psyche, then brings it into the light. It's a truly wonderful film.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

Why We Fight (1943-1945) This was a series of films documenting the causes of World War II and America's entries. Titles include "Prelude To War". "The Nazis Strike", "The Battle Of Britain" and others. They are splendid examples of the documentarian's art.
Lost Horizon (1937) When the movie failed during the previews, Capra lopped of the first reel and had a hit. This is a lovely fantasy with a great score by Dimitri Tiomkin.
Arsenic And Old Lace (1944) Filmed in 1942 before Capra joined the army, Arsenic And Old Lace could not be released until the play closed on Broadway. Capra gets the best out of a strong cast.
It Happened One Night (1934) Both Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert made this film as punishment for sins committed against their owns studios. We should all get such punishment. It is a classic screwball comedy and is still an audience pleaser.

Autographed Photo contributed by Eric Jamborsky
Autograph reads: Frank Capra

*Contributed by: "Eric Jamborsky" Date: Mon, Oct 3 2005 / 11:21:32 PST

Academy Awards®
© A.M.P.A.S.®
1932 Nominated for Best Achievement in Directing: LADY FOR A DAY
1934 Won Best Achievement in Directing: IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
1936 Won Best Achievement in Directing: MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN
1938 Won Best Achievement in Directing: YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU
1939 Nominated for Best Achievement in Directing: MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON
1946 Nominated for Best Achievement in Directing: IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE