Job Director Producer Writer
Years active 1922-1961
Known for Films celebrating the common man's triumph over insurmountable odds, the American dream personified
Top Roles Himself
Top GenresComedy, Drama, Romance, Short Films, Silent Films, Adventure
Top TopicsWorld War II, Book-Based, Newspapers
Top Collaborators , , ,
Shares birthday with Richard Brooks, Louis F. Edelman, James Donald  see more..

Frank Capra Overview:

Legendary director, Frank Capra, was born Francesco Rosario Capra on May 18, 1897 in Bisacquino, Italy. Capra died at the age of 94 on Sep 3, 1991 in La Quinta, CA and was laid to rest in Coachella Valley Cemetery in Coachella, CA.


Frank Capra looked at the world through rose-colored glasses and believed, rightly so, that thousands of other people all over the world wanted to look at it the same way. He also believed that goodness and virtue, even in the humblest of people, could triumph over insuperable odds in the end, and his most famous films are celebrations of the common man par excellence. Of course, in real life, the world's 'nasties' don't always repent and confess, but the climaxes to Capra's greatest films (however little they might have to do with real life) are constructed with superb skill and can still bring a lump to the throat.

Capra had come to America at the age of six. Trained as a chemical engineer, he couldn't find work in that field and drifted into films almost by chance, his lively mind earning him employment as a gag writer for silent comedies, latterly with Mack Sennett. It was in the slapstick vein that he began his career as a feature film director with two comedies starring chalk-faced Harry Langdon. He began to work in a wider variety of films and became an expert in manipulating emotions to such an extent that his 1930s and early 1940s films influenced the lives and beliefs of a nation as they followed the efforts of Longfelllow Deeds, Jefferson Smith and John Doe to take on corruption and win, not without coming heart-rendingly close to failure.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Directors).


Capra's autobiography The Name Above The Title was first published in 1972.



Frank Capra was nominated for six Academy Awards, winning three for Best Director for It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and You Can't Take It with You in 1934, 1936 and 1938 respectively.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1932/33Best DirectorLady for a Day (1933)N/ANominated
1934Best DirectorIt Happened One Night (1934)N/AWon
1936Best DirectorMr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)N/AWon
1938Best DirectorYou Can't Take It with You (1938)N/AWon
1939Best DirectorMr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)N/ANominated
1946Best DirectorIt's a Wonderful Life (1946)N/ANominated

He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.

BlogHub Articles:

Walther Huston is caught in ’s “American Madness”

By Stephen Reginald on Jun 16, 2024 From Classic Movie Man

Walther Huston is caught in ’s “American Madness” American Madness (1932) is a pre-Code drama film directed by and starring Walter Huston. Other members of the cast include Pat O’Brien, Kay Johnson, and Constance Cummings. Tom Dickson (Huston) is ... Read full article

Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in ’s “It Happened One Night”

By Stephen Reginald on Nov 28, 2023 From Classic Movie Man

Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in ’s “It Happened One Night” It Happened One Night (1934) is an American romantic comedy directed by and starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. The supporting cast includes Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns, and Alan H... Read full article

’s “Lady for a Day”

By Stephen Reginald on Feb 13, 2023 From Classic Movie Man

’s “Lady for a Day” Lady for a Day (1933) is an American pre-Code comedy-drama directed by and starring Warren William, May Robson, Guy Kibbee, Ned Sparks, Walter Connolly, Glenda Farrell, and Jean Parker. The screenplay was written by frequent Capra col... Read full article

Top of the World: Celebrating with Five Films!

By Virginie Pronovost on May 18, 2019 From The Wonderful World of Cinema

Today, the highly celebrated movie director would have been 122 years old! For the occasion, I thought, what would be a better way to pay him tribute than with a top list of my favorite films of his?! I liked the idea of the top 5 format that we did for the Five Favourite Films of the Fi... Read full article

Colaboradores e amigos: Robert Riskin e / Collaborators and friends: Robert Riskin and

By L? on Mar 3, 2019 From Critica Retro

Colaboradores e amigos: Robert Riskin e / Collaborators and friends: Robert Riskin and Quando falamos de duplas din?micas do cinema, em geral nos referimos a uma dupla de director e int?rprete (ator ou atriz) – como William Wyler e Bette Davis, por exemplo ̵... Read full article

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Frank Capra on the
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Frank Capra Facts
Capra heavily influenced friend, Producer/Director Thomas R. Bond II, where Bond gained most of his knowledge in directing and producing.

Awarded American Film Institute Life Achievement Award. [1982]

Capra was once a gag man for the Keystone Film Company (best known for its Keystone Kops shorts).

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