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Frank Capra

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NEWS
September 4, 1991 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
Frank Capra, director of American classics Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It's a Wonderful Life, died in his sleep yesterday at a nursing home in the Southern California desert community of La Quinta. He was 94. It is reasonably certain that the four-time Oscar winner, whose films championed the underdog and nearly always ended happily, is now the subject of Mr. Capra Goes to Heaven. The story of Frank Capra, one of Hollywood's most widely imitated filmmakers - his touch is visible in movies as diverse as E.T. - The Extra- Terrestrial and Home Alone - is as inspirational as his best-loved pictures.
NEWS
June 3, 1993 | By Paul J. Lim, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Brad Raider jumped onto the stage with all the vigor of an 18-year-old. But after the young actor emerged from behind the curtain, he spoke for a half-hour with the wisdom of a 75-year-old man - and moved with an appropriate caution. Raider, a senior at Cheltenham High School, had transformed himself into legendary filmmaker Frank Capra. When the brief run-through was over, he jumped out of character as quickly as he had jumped into it. "I forgot a real important line in the beginning," Raider said.
NEWS
August 12, 1986
I refer to Norman Podhoretz' Aug. 4 Op-ed Page column on Italo-Americans. In my estimation, he is a sly expert at insults through veiled praises. To say the least, he is less than charitable when he cites Mario Cuomo, Antonio Scalia, Lee Iacocca, Alfonse D'Amato and Geraldine Ferraro as examples of Italo-American prominence. Has he ever heard of people with substance, such as Giancarlo Giannini, Frank Capra, etc.? His statement that our parents slapped our faces at the mention of education is utterly ridiculous and laughable.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 1987 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
In The Younger Generation (1929), based on the Fannie Hurst play It Is to Laugh, Frank Capra found the theme he would develop later in his career: that poverty breeds content and riches misery. The older generation here includes Jewish immigrant and junk dealer Mr. Goldfish (Jean Hersholt), heartbroken that his son Morris (Ricardo Cortez) wants to assimilate and change his name to Maurice Fish. Made on the cusp of the sound era, The Younger Generation is part silent, part-talkie. Writer Mordecai Richler (The Education of Duddy Kravitz)
ENTERTAINMENT
July 3, 2002 | By JACK MATHEWS New York Daily News
Adam Sandler is back, if you can take the news. The lowbrow comedian's new movie, "Mr. Deeds," recorded an opening-weekend gross of $37.6 million, erasing memories of his previous film and dashing the hopes of those who thought "Little Nicky" might be the end of Little Adam. The question is, why? Why did Sandler's legion of fans rally to "Mr. Deeds" after abandoning their hero on "Little Nicky"? The movies, which have the same director and writer, both received damning reviews, yet "Mr. Deeds" grossed more than twice as much during its opening weekend.
NEWS
September 4, 1991 | by Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News The Associated Press contributed to this report
Was there any filmmaker who influenced Americans' image of themselves as effectively as Frank Capra? John Ford may have enshrined our mythic past and Howard Hawks defined two generations' masculine (and kinkier feminine) ideals. But Capra seemed to speak to everybody's everyday concerns. He championed the common man, faithfully predicted the triumph of virtue, and expertly manipulated the anger that's always roiled behind the populist myth. Capra, who died yesterday at the age of 94, was in fact the most overtly political of Hollywood's Golden Age directors.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 4, 2012 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
Given enough time, some wiseguy will eventually turn everything a culture holds dear into camp. For a current example, see People's Light's production of Steve Murray's This Wonderful Life . In fairness, Frank Capra's beloved film It's a Wonderful Life supplies plenty of fodder for a campy approach. Murray's one-person show bursts with snarky remarks or ridiculous exaggeration, picking on the movie's low-budget effects, poking fun at a young George Bailey's curious resemblance to Jimmy Stewart, noticing the cameo role played by Alfalfa from The Little Rascals , or ridiculing the mashed lips and smushed cheeks of George and Mary's first kiss.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
In order to like or identify with a character, you have to feel sympathy for his plight. Take George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life . Whatever you may think of his stand against the Mr. Potters of the world, the movie hinges on whether an audience indulges his moment of self-pity on the bridge before he jumps. I mention Bailey because I have never felt sympathy for him and because The Story of My Life , now receiving an emotionally potent production at Delaware Theatre Company, borrows heavily from Frank Capra's film, if to ultimately different effect.
NEWS
July 3, 1997 | by Francesca Chapman, Daily News Staff Writer
Jimmy Stewart may be best remembered by movie fans as George Bailey, the lovable banker with low self-esteem in the classic "It's a Wonderful Life. " Credit for that can go to Stewart himself, who undoubtedly saw some of himself in the small-town family man, and to director Frank Capra, who put Stewart on a patriotic pedestal in more than one film. But throughout a career that spanned from the 1930s through the '70s, Stewart demonstrated a range that would perplex many of today's screen stars.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 14, 1988 | By Tom Shales, Special to the Daily News
Even Frank Capra was amazed at the latter-day success of his great movie "It's A Wonderful Life. " In 1977, 30 years after the film was made, it had just begun its resurgence. "That film's got more than I put into it," Capra said then. "Something happens. It's got a life and a power of its own. I guess that's possible. " Of all the holiday perennials, new and old, that air on television, none has quite the warming glow or the emotional clout of "It's a Wonderful Life," the story of a small-town family man rescued from suicide by a guardian angel.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
In order to like or identify with a character, you have to feel sympathy for his plight. Take George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life . Whatever you may think of his stand against the Mr. Potters of the world, the movie hinges on whether an audience indulges his moment of self-pity on the bridge before he jumps. I mention Bailey because I have never felt sympathy for him and because The Story of My Life , now receiving an emotionally potent production at Delaware Theatre Company, borrows heavily from Frank Capra's film, if to ultimately different effect.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 4, 2012 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
Given enough time, some wiseguy will eventually turn everything a culture holds dear into camp. For a current example, see People's Light's production of Steve Murray's This Wonderful Life . In fairness, Frank Capra's beloved film It's a Wonderful Life supplies plenty of fodder for a campy approach. Murray's one-person show bursts with snarky remarks or ridiculous exaggeration, picking on the movie's low-budget effects, poking fun at a young George Bailey's curious resemblance to Jimmy Stewart, noticing the cameo role played by Alfalfa from The Little Rascals , or ridiculing the mashed lips and smushed cheeks of George and Mary's first kiss.
NEWS
November 21, 2005 | By Desmond Ryan INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
When Ronald Colman takes a literal view of the old show-business maxim and breaks a leg on the set of Twilight of the Scarlet Pimpernel, renowned movie director Frank Capra decides his only possible replacement is George Hay, a washed-up actor reduced to touring in rep and currently ensconced in a seedy theater in Buffalo. Why Capra would issue this prospect of redemption and a wonderful life to George (and the promise of a lead part for his actress wife, Charlotte) is one of several questions that dangle over Ken Ludwig's forced backstage farce, Moon Over Buffalo.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 3, 2002 | By JACK MATHEWS New York Daily News
Adam Sandler is back, if you can take the news. The lowbrow comedian's new movie, "Mr. Deeds," recorded an opening-weekend gross of $37.6 million, erasing memories of his previous film and dashing the hopes of those who thought "Little Nicky" might be the end of Little Adam. The question is, why? Why did Sandler's legion of fans rally to "Mr. Deeds" after abandoning their hero on "Little Nicky"? The movies, which have the same director and writer, both received damning reviews, yet "Mr. Deeds" grossed more than twice as much during its opening weekend.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 15, 2001 | By Dan DeLuca INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
What's so wonderful about It's a Wonderful Life? Frank Capra's 1946 morality tale starring James Stewart as a noble small-town businessman - which will screen at the Prince Music Theater Tuesday through Thursday - holds a hallowed place among feel-good holiday classics. But beneath the surface sentimentality, all is not so warm and fuzzy in Bedford Falls, U.S.A. Ultimately, of course, the movie masterfully delivers a Santa's sled full of uplift, arguing that every individual life is important, and that life with Donna Reed may not be so bad after all. Or, as guardian angel Clarence Oddbody writes to Stewart's George Bailey in a copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.
NEWS
July 13, 1997 | By Jane R. Eisner, Editor of the Editorial Page
Imagine a couple of young, idealistic filmmakers, Frank Capra disciples, who are trying to update Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. "It'll still be a story about an innocent, true-blue patriot tapped for the Senate when the ol' pol dies, but we'll update it. A woman. Maybe someone whose parents fled Cuba or Vietnam or Russia," says one. "Yes, and she'll go in starry-eyed, aiming to fix the one thing she thinks is really broken in this country - all the money in politics. " She'll introduce a bill that do-gooders call brilliant, but it upsets the status quo at its foundation, so Big Industry (not to mention Hollywood, the labor unions and the insurance lobby)
NEWS
July 3, 1997 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
James Stewart, beloved by generations of moviegoers for his uncommon range and extraordinary gift for bringing ordinary characters to wonderful life, died yesterday in his Beverly Hills home. Mort Viner, Mr. Stewart's agent, said the 89-year-old actor died of cardiac arrest. His health had declined precipitously following the death of his wife, Gloria, in 1994, leaving Mr. Stewart too frail even to attend the 1995 dedication of a museum in his honor in his hometown of Indiana, Pa. At the tribute to Mr. Stewart hosted by the American Film Institute in 1980, Frank Capra, who directed him in the classics Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It's a Wonderful Life, took the podium to address a hushed celebrity audience.
NEWS
July 3, 1997 | by Francesca Chapman, Daily News Staff Writer
Jimmy Stewart may be best remembered by movie fans as George Bailey, the lovable banker with low self-esteem in the classic "It's a Wonderful Life. " Credit for that can go to Stewart himself, who undoubtedly saw some of himself in the small-town family man, and to director Frank Capra, who put Stewart on a patriotic pedestal in more than one film. But throughout a career that spanned from the 1930s through the '70s, Stewart demonstrated a range that would perplex many of today's screen stars.
NEWS
July 3, 1997 | by Gary Thompson, Daily News Movie Critic
Of all the high praise we are likely to hear for the great Jimmy Stewart today, maybe the most valuable tribute was left by the man himself. You can say of Stewart something you can say of no other actor - that in all of the 80 or so movies he made in his 50-year career that spanned fundamental transformations in moviemaking, Jimmy Stewart never gave a bad performance. Think about it. A million reels of film, a thousand roles, characters of staggering variety, and not one false note.
NEWS
June 3, 1993 | By Paul J. Lim, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Brad Raider jumped onto the stage with all the vigor of an 18-year-old. But after the young actor emerged from behind the curtain, he spoke for a half-hour with the wisdom of a 75-year-old man - and moved with an appropriate caution. Raider, a senior at Cheltenham High School, had transformed himself into legendary filmmaker Frank Capra. When the brief run-through was over, he jumped out of character as quickly as he had jumped into it. "I forgot a real important line in the beginning," Raider said.
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