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 a biography of the life and career of filmmaker Frank Capra, including interviews with the director's friends, colleagues and admirers.
Ron Howard as narrator? Well, it works for "Arrested Development", so why not here? And, in deed, he does have a pretty good speaking voice for this sort of thing.
But anyway, if anyone deserves a good documentary, it is Frank Capra. With films like "It Happened One Night" and "It's a Wonderful Life", he was sort of the Norman Rockwell of film, crafting an American vision in his tales. Little worlds where life can be perfect, even when it is not. And what makes it most interest is how Capra was not an American by birth, but by choice... he had more to say about the country than many of its inhabitants did.
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