Master of “Feel-Good Movie”

Master of "Feel-Good Movie"

French Culture – On Demand – Domentary Portrait

Thirty years ago, on September 3, 1991, American Multi-Oscar winner Frank Capra died at the age of 94. Happy, recognized, respected, rich. He wrote his autobiography twenty years ago. The name above the title (“Title before title” Da Cabo Press, 1971). With Alfred Hitchcock, the reminder that he was one of the only directors to see his name above the name of the film on posters and credits.

However, when was it released in 1946? Life is beautiful, One of his most famous films – and his personal favorite, aired on American (and French) television every year during year-end celebrations – was not a success. This social myth that ends with a precise sense of humor and drama is a metaphor for its own life.

Also read: Frank Capra or the factory of happiness

Capra was born in 1897 in Sicily. He landed in Los Angeles (California) in 1903 at the age of 6 in the United States. He believes in the American dream and lives it: he will study only one of his siblings. Graduated in chemistry in 1918, he became the screenwriter for McCann’s Burlesque shorts, which replaced Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton among others. His fruitful collaboration with comedian Harry Langton opened the door to realization.

Social stories

Successes are linked to: New York-Miami (1934) won the Oscar for Best Picture; L’Extravagant Mr. Acts (1936), Best Director; You will not take it with you (1938), New Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director. Mr. in the Senate. Smith (1939) It was a success, producing Columbia Pictures, then a studio “The bad guy who makes small, cheap products”, Rival of great majors like Paramount or Warner.

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In the 1930s, during the Great Depression in the United States, Capra created social stories where ethics and solidarity changed the worst of circumstances. Based on his autobiography and the intriguing insights of three film historians, Perrin Kervran reluctantly retrieves the master’s life. Feeling good movie, It will inspire filmmakers like Steven Spielberg or Oliver Stone.

Read the condolence message (in 1991): Frank Capra, champion of the Rooseveltian democratic ideal

Rich Movie Clips, Screenwriter Baya Cosmi’s Comments (Name of the people, 2010, Hippocrates, 2014) and Christian Viviani, coordinator and author of Cinema Criticism Positive, Come up with more cinematic views. One regret, however: the ambiguous passage of political beliefs of this genuine propagandist of the country he adopted would have deserved more development.

Frank Capra, A Life as a Script, Documentary by Berrin Kervron directed by Christine Tiger for the show “A lifetime” (Fr., 2016, 58 min), available franceculture.fr

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About the Author: Timothea Maldonado

"Coffee practitioner. Lifelong web evangelist. Unapologetic internet enthusiast."

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