Blog Directory CineVerse: Crucial Capra

Crucial Capra

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

by Erik J. Martin

Note: This is part 2 of a 2-part article on Frank Capra. Part 1 published last week.

Here are the essential must-see films in Frank Capra’s filmography (all are available on home video or DVD):

  • It Happened One Night (1934): Screwball comedy starring Hollywood big guns Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, who, along with the picture, won top Oscars
  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936): Gary Cooper stars as a philanthropist who inherits $20 million and gives it away to the needy; co-starring Jean Arthur
  • Lost Horizon (1937): A socially redeeming film about living in the mythical paradise of Shangri La, starring Ronald Colman and Jane Wyatt
  • You Can’t Take it With You (1938): Another delightful screwball comedy (and Best Picture winner) that helped make Jimmy Stewart a star; also co-starring Jean Arthur
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939): Moving story of an everyman (Stewart) who bucks the political system and triumphs 
  • Meet John Doe (1941): Uplifting tearjerker about a hobo (Gary Cooper) plucked by politicians to inspire the discouraged masses; co-starring Barbara Stanwyck 
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1946): Life-affirming classic that demonstrates how one man’s (Stewart) would-be unimportant life touches so many other lives; Donna Reed co-stars

  • State of the Union (1948): Lovable comedy depicting Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn as a couple who will do anything for the Republican presidential nomination.

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