Capra, Frank Russell, 1897-1991

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Frank Russell Capra (born Francesco Rosario Capra; May 18, 1897 – September 3, 1991) was an Italian-American film director, producer and writer who became the creative force behind some of the major award-winning films of the 1930s and 1940s. Born in Italy and raised in Los Angeles from the age of five, his rags-to-riches story has led film historians such as Ian Freer to consider him the "American Dream personified."

Capra became one of America's most influential directors during the 1930s, winning three Academy Awards for Best Director from six nominations, along with three other Oscar wins from nine nominations in other categories. Among his leading films were It Happened One Night (1934), You Can't Take It with You (1938), and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939); Capra was nominated as Best Director and as producer for Academy Award for Best Picture on all three films, winning both awards on the first two. During World War II, Capra served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and produced propaganda films, such as the Why We Fight series.

After World War II, Capra's career declined as his later films, such as It's a Wonderful Life (1946), performed poorly when they were first released. In ensuing decades, however, It's a Wonderful Life and other Capra films were revisited favorably by critics. Outside of directing, Capra was active in the film industry, engaging in various political and social activities. He 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.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Documentary Films. 1914 - 1944. Attack! The Battle for New Britain National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of the U.S. Information Agency. 1900 - 2003. Background Reports Relating to Film Festivals National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Osborn, Frederick, 1889-1981. Papers, [ca. 1903]-1980. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Capra, Frank, 1897-1991. Reminiscences of Frank Capra : oral history, [195-?]. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Asian American Film Ephemera Collection. Harvard Film Archive, Fine Arts Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Frederick Henry Osborn Papers, Circa 1903-1980 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Beck, Patricia, 1924-1978. Patrica Beck Papers, 1936-1986 (bulk 1940-1978). Smith College, Neilson Library
creatorOf Kanter, Hal. Pocketful of miracles / Hal Kanter ; with revisions by Frank Capra. Columbia College Chicago
referencedIn Mies, John. Papers, 1953-1978 (bulk 1953-1962). Univerisity of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
referencedIn Jill "Billy" Rainsford Papers, 1922-1991 Fales Library & Special Collections
referencedIn Ralph Edwards Productions Radio and Television Scripts, 1940-1975 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Ralph Edwards Productions. Ralph Edwards Productions radio and television scripts, 1940-1975. Library of Congress
creatorOf Selznick, David O., 1902-1965. Studio archive, 1904-1980 (bulk 1936-1955). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Capra, Frank, 1897-1991. Oral history, 1978. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Bliven, Bruce, 1889-1977. Bruce Bliven papers, 1906-1985. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Capra, Frank, 1897-1991,. It happened one night : choreographic notes and research materials used by Twyla Tharp for a dance project, 1963-ongoing. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. 1921 - 2008. Transcripts of Oral History Interviews National Archives at College Park
referencedIn James Neyland Papers 2009-063, 2009-334, 2009-358, 2009-366; 2010-011; 2010-266; 2010-095; 2011-015; 2011-191; 2012-101., 1953-1997 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
creatorOf Capra, Frank, 1897-1991. La vie est belle / Frank Capra, réal., scénario ; Philip Van Doren Stern, aut. adapté ; Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Jo Swerling, scénario ; Dimitri Tiomkin, comp. ; James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore... [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Capra, Frank, 1897-1991. La vie est belle / Frank Capra, réal., scénario ; Philip Van Doren Stern, aut. adapté ; Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Jo Swerling, scénario ; Dimitri Tiomkin, comp. ; James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore... [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn McBride, Joseph. Papers, 1960-1983. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Raposo, Joe. A wonderful life / music by Joe Raposo ; lyrics and adaptation by Sheldon Harnick ; adapted from the film script of "It's a wonderful life" [by Frances Goodricch, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra, and Jo Swerling], 1983. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Robert Benney research materials, 1926-1978 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Patricia Beck Papers MS 14., 1936-1986, 1940-78 Sophia Smith Collection
creatorOf Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Director's Office Records of Receptions, Events, and Lectures, 1957-1989. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, The Clark
creatorOf Capra, Frank, 1897-1991. Robert W. Wagner Cinema Collection. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Lothar and Eva Just Film Stills Collection. Harvard Film Archive, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
creatorOf Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Orientation Films. 1942 - 1949. The Nazis Strike National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Rosenbach Company. Correspondence, 1903-1953 Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection. Cinema showcase collection, 1972-1992. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
referencedIn Maltz, Albert, 1908-1985. Papers, 1932-1985. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
Relation Name
correspondedWith Beck, Patricia, 1924-1978 person
associatedWith Benney, Robert, 1904-2001 person
associatedWith Bliven, Bruce, 1889-1977. person
associatedWith Friedman, Arthur B., person
associatedWith Kanter, Hal. person
associatedWith Maland, Charles. person
associatedWith Maltz, Albert, 1908-1985. person
associatedWith McBride, Joseph. person
associatedWith Mies, John. person
associatedWith Neyland, James person
associatedWith Osborn, Frederick, 1889-1981. person
associatedWith Rainsford, Jill Billy (Marguerite), 1905-1994 person
associatedWith Ralph Edwards Productions. corporateBody
associatedWith Raposo, Joe. person
associatedWith Rosenbach Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Selznick, David O., 1902-1965. person
associatedWith Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. corporateBody
memberOf United States. Army corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Sicily 15 IT
California CA US
Subject
Motion picture producers and directors--Interviews
Motion pictures
Motion picture industry--Finance
Motion pictures--Production and direction
Occupation
Film directors
Activity

Person

Birth 1897-05-18

Death 1991-09-03

Male

Americans

English

Information

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