A simple, small town man inherits a massive fortune, making him the target for scammers and publicity-seekers. Overwhelmed by the turn his life has taken, and awoken to another use for his new-found fortune, he makes a momentous decision.
The life and career of legendary, three-time Oscar winner Frank Capra is explored in this acclaimed documentary through clips from his films, interviews with friends, family, and co-workers, and revealing archival film including footage of Capra himself. The director started as a poor Italian immigrant and through ambition, hard work, and talent singlehandedly put Poverty Row Columbia Studios on the map with classics like "American Madness," "Lost Horizon," and "Meet John Doe," as well as Oscar winners "It Happened One Night," "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," and "You Can't Take It with You,'' culminating with his masterpiece, "It's a Wonderful Life." Capra's professional and personal philosophy of "One man, one film predated the auteur theory by decades. Capra's wartime service and educational TV experience are detailed along with his two last features, "A Hole in the Head" and "Pocketful of Miracles," made after the collapse of the studio system resulting in the director's premature ...Written by
Narrator Howard states that one hour was edited out of 'Lost Horizon" by Columbis studio boss Harry Cohn without Capra's consent. In Capra's biography, "The Name above the Title" the director claims that that the preview audience laughed at the oriental melodramatics in the first two reels which preceded the airport panic that the film in its present state opens with. Capra states that the audience compared it unfavorably with Fu Manchu movies. An upset Capra claims he took the first two reels home and burned them in his furnace without consulting Cohn. See more »
John Cassavetes prologue:
Maybe there really wasn't an America. Maybe it was only Frank Capra.
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Ron Howard hosts this wonderful documentary that covers the life and career of three-time Oscar-winner Frank Capra. The documentary features interviews with two of his sons as well as various famous faces including Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Robert Altman, Andre De Toth, Richard Dreyfuss, Michael Keaton, Amy Heckerling, Arthur Hiller, Angela Lansbury, Garry Marshall, John Milius, Richard Schickel,Edward Zwick and even some who worked with Capra including Jane Wyatt and Fay Wray.
If you're a fan of Capra then you'll certainly enjoy this detailed documentary that does a very good job at talking about the director's early life and how he ended up in Hollywood. From here we basically get a look at all of the films he made and a discussion of their box office success or failures as well as their impact on Capra himself. We get a more detailed look at the bigger titles including IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN, MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, MEET JOHN DOE and of course IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.
The documentary does an extremely good job at going over the highs and lows of Capra's career as well as his own personal life, although the main focus always remains on the films. Fans of the director will get a lot of great stories told about the films and those new to Capra will get to learn about what made him so special.
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