7.4/10
215
6 user 5 critic

Frank Capra's American Dream (1997)

PG | | Documentary, Biography, History | TV Movie
Ron Howard hosts a biography of the life and career of filmmaker Frank Capra, including interviews with the director's friends, colleagues and admirers.

Director:

Kenneth Bowser

Writer:

Kenneth Bowser
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A New York gangster and his girlfriend attempt to turn street beggar Apple Annie into a society lady when the peddler learns her daughter is marrying royalty.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Glenn Ford, Bette Davis, Hope Lange
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A man from a family of rich snobs becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore
Lost Horizon (1937)
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A plane crash delivers a group of people to the secluded land of Shangri-La - but is it the miraculous utopia it appears to be?

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt, Edward Everett Horton
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The queen of mythical Sylvania marries a courtier, who finds his new life unsatisfying.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Lupino Lane
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ron Howard ... Himself - Host and Narrator
Robert Altman ... Himself - Interviewee: Director
Jeanine Basinger Jeanine Basinger ... Herself - Interviewee: Curator, Capra Archives, Weslayan University
Edward Bernds Edward Bernds ... Himself - Interviewee: Sound Technician / Director
Frank Capra Jr. Frank Capra Jr. ... Himself - Interviewee: Producer (archive footage)
Tom Capra Tom Capra ... Himself - Interviewee: Producer
Allen Daviau ... Himself - Interviewee
André De Toth ... Himself - Interviewee: Director (as André DeToth)
Richard Dreyfuss ... Himself - Interviewee
Bill Duke ... Himself - Interviewee: Director
Peter Falk ... Himself - Interviewee: Actor
Amy Heckerling ... Herself - Interviewee: Writer / Director
Marshall Herskovitz ... Himself - Interviewee: Director
Arthur Hiller ... Himself - Interviewee: Director
Michael Keaton ... Himself - Interviewee
Edit

Storyline

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 duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief war footage and mild language
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Also Known As:

Frank Capra e o Sonho Americano See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

John Cassavetes prologue: Maybe there really wasn't an America. Maybe it was only Frank Capra.
See more »

Connections

Features Submarine (1928) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Great Look at Capra's Dream
5 August 2018 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Frank Capra's American Dream (1997)

**** (out of 4)

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.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed