88 Facts About Frank Capra


In ensuing decades It's a Wonderful Life and other Frank Capra films were revisited favorably by critics.


Outside of directing, Frank Capra was active in the film industry, engaging in various political and social activities.


Frank Capra served as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, worked alongside the Writers Guild of America, and was head of the Directors Guild of America.


Frank Capra was born Francesco Rosario Frank Capra in Bisacquino, a village near Palermo, Sicily, Italy.


Frank Capra was the youngest of seven children of Salvatore Capra, a fruit grower, and the former Rosaria "Serah" Nicolosi.


Frank Capra remembers the ship's arrival in New York Harbor, where he saw "a statue of a great lady, taller than a church steeple, holding a torch above the land we were about to enter".


The family settled in Los Angeles's East Side on avenue 18, which Frank Capra described in his autobiography as an Italian "ghetto".


Frank Capra's father worked as a fruit picker and young Frank Capra sold newspapers after school for 10 years, until he graduated from high school.


Frank Capra worked through college at the California Institute of Technology, playing banjo at nightclubs and taking odd jobs like working at the campus laundry facility, waiting tables, and cleaning engines at a local power plant.


Frank Capra studied chemical engineering and graduated in the spring of 1918.


Frank Capra later wrote that his college education had "changed his whole viewpoint on life from the viewpoint of an alley rat to the viewpoint of a cultured person".


Frank Capra's father died during the war in an accident.


Frank Capra became a naturalized US citizen in 1920, taking the name Frank Russell Capra.


At 25, Frank Capra took a job selling books written and published by American philosopher Elbert Hubbard.


Frank Capra phoned them saying he had moved from Hollywood, and falsely implied that he had experience in the budding film industry.


The studio's founder, Walter Montague, was nonetheless impressed by Frank Capra and offered him $75 to direct a one-reel silent film.


Frank Capra took a position with another minor San Francisco studio and subsequently received an offer to work with producer Harry Cohn at his new studio in Los Angeles.


Frank Capra later became a gag writer for Hal Roach's Our Gang series.


Frank Capra was twice hired as a writer for a slapstick comedy director, Mack Sennett, in 1918 and 1924.


Under him, Frank Capra wrote scripts for comedian Harry Langdon and produced by Mack Sennett, the first being Plain Clothes in 1925.


Frank Capra returned to Harry Cohn's studio, now named Columbia Pictures, which was then producing short films and two-reel comedies for "fillers" to play between main features.


Frank Capra describes this early period in sound for film:.


Frank Capra was one of the few directors who knew what the hell they were doing.


Frank Capra directed a film for MGM during this period, but soon realized he "had much more freedom under Harry Cohn's benevolent dictatorship", where Cohn put Frank Capra's "name above the title" of his films, a first for the movie industry.


Frank Capra wrote of this period and recalled the confidence that Cohn placed in Frank Capra's vision and directing:.


Frank Capra directed his first "real" sound picture, The Younger Generation, in 1929.


Frank Capra followed the film with Broadway Bill, a screwball comedy about horse racing.


Frank Capra started using his films to convey messages to the public.


The talents you have, Mr Frank Capra, are not your own, not self-acquired.


Frank Capra began to embody messages in subsequent films, many of which conveyed "fantasies of goodwill".


The first of those was Mr Deeds Goes to Town, for which Frank Capra won his second Best Director Oscar.


Critic Alistair Cooke observed that Frank Capra was "starting to make movies about themes instead of people".


In 1938, Frank Capra won his third Director Oscar in five years for You Can't Take It with You, which won Best Picture.


On May 5,1936, Frank Capra hosted the 8th Academy Awards ceremony.


Frank Capra pleaded with Cohn to allow the film to go into distribution and remembers the intensity of their decision making:.


Cohn and Frank Capra chose to ignore the negative publicity and demands and released the film as planned.


In 1941 Frank Capra directed Meet John Doe, which some consider Frank Capra's most controversial movie.


Frank Capra is selected by a news reporter to represent the "common man," to capture the imagination of ordinary Americans.


Frank Capra gave up his presidency of the Screen Directors Guild.


Frank Capra ended up directing a seven-episode Why We Fight series: Prelude to War, The Nazis Strike, Divide and Conquer, The Battle of Britain, The Battle of Russia, The Battle of China, and War Comes to America.


Additionally, Frank Capra directed or co-directed the propaganda films Tunisian Victory Know Your Enemy: Japan, Here Is Germany, and Two Down and One to Go, which do not bear the Why We Fight banner.


Frank Capra produced the critically-acclaimed The Negro Soldier, which was directed by Stuart Heisler.


Frank Capra directed, uncredited, the 13-minute film Your Job in Germany, which was meant for US troops headed to Allied-occupied Germany.


Frank Capra was so anxious that his people should see the film that he did not bother creating a Russian soundtrack.


When his career ended, Frank Capra regarded these films as his most important works.


Frank Capra was discharged from the service in 1945 as a colonel, having been awarded the Legion of Merit in 1943, the Distinguished Service Medal in 1945, the World War I Victory Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.


In January 1952, the US Ambassador to India asked Frank Capra to represent the US film industry at an International Film Festival to be held in India.


Frank Capra's name is big here, and I've heard he's quick on his feet in an alley fight.


Friedman finds that while Frank Capra's ideas were popular with depression-era and prewar audiences, they became less relevant to a prospering post-war America.


Frank Capra had become "disconnected from an American culture that had changed" during the previous decade.


Biographer Joseph McBride argues that Frank Capra's disillusionment was more related to the negative effect that the House Un-American Activities Committee had on the film industry in general.


Frank Capra himself was not called to testify, although he was a prime target of the committee due to his past associations with many Hollywood blacklisted screenwriters.


Frank Capra blamed his early retirement from films on the rising power of stars, which forced him to continually compromise his artistic vision.


Frank Capra claimed that increasing budgetary and scheduling demands had constrained his creative abilities.


Frank Capra remained employable in Hollywood during and after the HUAC hearings but chose nonetheless to demonstrate his loyalty by attempting to re-enlist in the Army at the outbreak of the Korean War, in 1950.


Frank Capra was later invited to join the Defense Department's newly formed Think Tank project, VISTA, but was denied the necessary clearance.


Frank Capra directed two films at Paramount Pictures starring Bing Crosby, Riding High and Here Comes the Groom.


From 1952 to 1956, Frank Capra produced four science-related television specials in color for The Bell System Science Series: Our Mr Sun, Hemo the Magnificent, The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays, and Meteora: The Unchained Goddess.


Frank Capra's final film, Rendezvous in Space, was an industrial film made for the Martin Marietta Company and shown at the 1964 New York World's Fair.


Frank Capra's directing style relied on improvisation to a great extent.


Frank Capra was noted for going on the set with no more than the master scenes written.


Frank Capra adds that his style relied on editing to help his films sustain a "sequence of rhythmic motion".


Frank Capra's [editing] has the effect of imposing order on images constantly in motion, imposing order on chaos.


Frank Capra's films move at a breathtaking clip: dynamic, driving, taut, at their extreme even hysterical; the unrelenting, frantic acceleration of pace seems to spring from the release of some tremendous accumulation of pressure.


Frank Capra added to the naturalistic quality of the dialogue by having speakers overlap one another, as they often do in ordinary life; this was an innovation that helped to move the talkies away from the example of the legitimate stage.


Frank Capra married Lucille Warner in 1932, with whom he had a daughter and three sons, one of whom, Johnny, died at age 3 following a tonsillectomy.


Frank Capra was four times president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and three times president of the Directors Guild of America, which he helped found.


Physically, Frank Capra was short, stocky, and vigorous, and enjoyed outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, and mountain climbing.


Frank Capra collected fine and rare books during the 1930s and 1940s.


Frank Capra stood against government intervention during the national economic crisis.


Frank Capra wrote in his early adulthood that he was a "Christmas Catholic".


In 1985, aged 88, Frank Capra suffered the first of a series of strokes.


Frank Capra was interred at Coachella Valley Public Cemetery in Coachella, California.


Frank Capra left part of his 1,100-acre ranch in Fallbrook, California, to the California Institute of Technology, to be used as a retreat center.


In true Hollywood fashion, no Frank Capra film would ever suggest that social change was a complex, painful act.


French film historian John Raeburn, editor of Cahiers du cinema, noted that Frank Capra's films were unknown in France, but there too his films underwent a fresh discovery by the public.


Frank Capra believes the reason for his renewed popularity had to do with his themes, which he made credible "an ideal conception of an American national character":.


In 1982, the American Film Institute honored Frank Capra by giving him their AFI Life Achievement Award.


The event was used to create the television film, The American Film Institute Salute to Frank Capra, hosted by James Stewart.


The art of Frank Capra is very, very simple: It's the love of people.


Frank Capra expanded on his visions in his 1971 autobiography, The Name Above the Title:.


In 1957, Frank Capra was awarded the George Eastman Award, given by George Eastman House for distinguished contribution to the art of film.


In 1966, Frank Capra was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater Caltech.


In 1972, Frank Capra received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.


In 1975, Frank Capra was awarded the Golden Anchor Award by the USNaval Reserve's Combat Camera Group for his contribution to World War II Naval photography and production of the "Why We Fight" series.


An annual It's a Wonderful Life celebration that Frank Capra attended in 1981, during which he said, "This is one of the proudest moments of my life," was recounted in The New Yorker.


Out of six nominations for Best Director, Frank Capra received the award three times.


Frank Capra briefly held the record for winning the most Best Director Oscars when he won for the third time in 1938, until this record was matched by John Ford in 1941, and then later surpassed by Ford in 1952.