Capra's Early Life (03:31)
Frank Capra was born in Italy in 1897; his family immigrated to California when he was 5-years-old. Capra attended Throop College and taught math in the army at the end of WWI. He got the Spanish Flu and was discharged, and began small jobs in the film industry; he earned a job as a comedy gag writer for Hal Roach.
Capra Begins Directing (07:46)
Capra’s first big break was with Harry Langdon in "Strong Man"; "Long Pants" and "Matinee Idol" followed. Capra made his first film with sound in 1929. Other films include: "The Donovan Affair," "Ladies of Leisure," "The Miracle Woman," and "Platinum Blonde." (Credits)
Columbia Pictures (08:59)
Between 1933 and 1937, Capra created "Lady for a Day," "It Happened One Night," "Broadway Bill," "Mr. Deeds goes to Town," and "Lost Horizon." He worked with cinematographer Joseph Walker, screenwriter Robert Riskin, and actors Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. (Credits)
Political Films (07:22)
In 1938, Capra created "You Can’t Take it with You"; he also directed "Mr. Smith goes to Washington" and "Meet John Doe." Capra worked with actors James Stewart, Gary Cooper, and Barbara Stanwyck. Capra and Robert Riskin ended their partnership after one film created by Frank Capra Productions.
Family and Fighting (08:37)
Between 1944 and 1946, Capra created movies about family relationships, "Arsenic and Old Lace" with Cary Grant and "It’s a Wonderful Life." After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Capra created a series of documentaries called "Why We Fight," which earned him a distinguished service medal. (Credits)
Capra's Return to Politics (05:05)
Capra returned to creating political films with "State of the Union," "Riding High," and "Here Comes the Groom." He worked with actors Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, and Bing Crosby.
Capra's Last Films (03:32)
At the end of his career, Capra returned to creating feature films with his first color film, "A Hole in the Head," starring Frank Sinatra. Capra’s final film was "Pocket full of Miracles," a remake of "Lady for a Day." Capra made Columbia Pictures into one of the largest and most famous studios in the world.
Credits: Frank Capra (00:37)
Credits: Frank Capra
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