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Frank Russell Capra was an Italian American film director, producer and writer who became the .. Written by Robert Riskin, it is one of the first of the screwball comedies, and with . In Capra directed Meet John Doe (), which some consider Capra's Discussing Lost Horizon on Dick Cavett Show on YouTube. ''YouTube Yackfest Does Dems Some Good.'' New York Daily Diamond, Edwin, and Robert Silverman. From the White Dirks, Tim. ''Review: Meet John Doe. Meet John Doe is a American comedy drama film directed and produced by Frank Capra, and starring Gary Cooper and Barbara.
When sound first came in, nobody knew much about it. We were all walking around in the dark. Even the sound man didn't know much about it.Meet John Doe (1941) GARY COOPER
Frank lived through it. But he was quite intelligent. He was one of the few directors who knew what the hell they were doing. Most of your directors walked around in a fog — they didn't know where the door was. After the first few, Harry Cohn said "it was the beginning of Columbia making a better quality of pictures. I owed Cohn a lot — I owed him my whole career. So I had respect for him, and a certain amount of love. Despite his crudeness and everything else, he gave me my chance. He took a gamble on me.
It was a rags-to-riches romantic comedy about a Jewish family's upward mobility in New York City, with their son later trying to deny his Jewish roots to keep his rich, gentile girlfriend.
That scene, notes McBride, "echoes the shame Capra admitted feeling toward his own family as he rose in social status.
In many of Capra's films, the wise-cracking and sharp dialogue was often written by Riskin, and he and Capra went on to become Hollywood's "most admired writer-director team. Written by Robert Riskinit is one of the first of the screwball comediesand with its release in the Great Depressioncritics considered it an escapist story and a variation of the American Dream.
The film has been called " picaresque. The film was a turning point for Capra, however, as he began to conceive an additional dimension to his movies. He started using his films to convey messages to the public. Capra explains his new thinking: My films must let every man, woman, and child know that God loves them, that I love them, and that peace and salvation will become a reality only when they all learn to love each other. The talents you have, Mr.
Meet John Doe
Capra, are not your own, not self-acquired. God gave you those talents; they are his gifts to you, to use for his purpose. Critic Alistair Cooke observed that Capra was "starting to make movies about themes instead of people. In addition to his three directing wins, Capra received directing nominations for three other films Lady for a DayMr.
On May 5,Capra hosted the 8th Academy Awards ceremony. Smith Goes to Washingtonwhich most represented the "Capra myth. In his research before filming, he was able to stand close to President Franklin D.
Roosevelt during a press conference after the recent acts of war by Germany in Europe. Capra recalls his fears: And panic hit me. Japan was slicing up the colossus of China piece by piece. Nazi panzers had rolled into Austria and Czechoslovakia; their thunder echoed over Europe.
England and France shuddered. The Russian bear growled ominously in the Kremlin. The black cloud of war hung over the chancelleries of the world. Official Washington from the President down, was in the process of making hard, torturing decisions.
Wasn't this the most untimely time for me to make a film about Washington? Kennedy wrote to President Roosevelt that, "In foreign countries this film must inevitably strengthen the mistaken impression that the United States is full of graftcorruption and lawlessness. The more uncertain are the people of the world, the more their hard-won freedoms are scattered and lost in the winds of chance, the more they need a ringing statement of America's democratic ideals. The soul of our film would be anchored in Lincoln.
Our Jefferson Smith would be a young Abe Lincoln, tailored to the rail-splitter's simplicity, compassion, ideals, humor, and unswerving moral courage under pressure.
Harry Cohn paced the floor, as stunned as Abraham must have been when the Lord asked him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. It was later nominated for 11 Academy Awards, only winning one for Best Original Story partly because of the number of major pictures that were nominated that year was 10, including The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind. When the French public were asked to select which film they wanted to see most, having been told by the Vichy government that soon no more American films would be allowed in France, the overwhelming majority chose it over all others.
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To a France soon to be invaded and occupied by Nazi forces, the film most expressed the "perseverance of democracy and the American way. The film's hero, played by Gary Cooperis a former baseball player now bumming around, lacking goals. He is selected by a news reporter to represent the " common man ," to capture the imagination of ordinary Americans.
The film was released shortly before America became involved in World War II, and citizens were still in an isolationist mood. According to some historians, the film was made to convey a "deliberate reaffirmation of American values," though ones that seemed uncertain with respect to the future. Film author Richard Glazer speculates that the film may have been autobiographical, "reflecting Capra's own uncertainties. Meet John Doe, then, was an attempt to work out his own fears and questions.
He also gave up his presidency of the Screen Directors Guild. Being 44 years of age, he was not asked to enlist, but, notes Friedman, "Capra had an intense desire to prove his patriotism to his adopted land. I had a guilty conscience. In my films I championed the cause of the gentle, the poor, the downtrodden. Yet I had begun to live like the Aga Khan.
The curse of Hollywood is big money. It comes so fast it breeds and imposes its own mores, not of wealth, but of ostentation and phony status.
Why We Fight During the next four years of World War IICapra's job was to head a special section on morale to explain to soldiers "why the hell they're in uniform", writes Capra, and were not "propaganda" films like those created by the Nazis and Japan. Capra directed or co-directed seven documentary war information films.
Meet John Doe | Revolvy
Capra was assigned to work directly under Chief of Staff George C. Marshallthe most senior officer in command of the Army, who later created the Marshall Plan and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. Marshall chose to bypass the usual documentary film-making department, Signal Corpsbecause he felt they were not capable of producing "sensitive and objective troop information films.
You were the answer to the General's prayer You see, Frank, this idea about films to explain "why" the boys are in uniform is General Marshall's own baby, and he wants the nursery right next to his Chief of Staff's office. MarshallDuring his first meeting with General Marshall, Capra was told his mission: You have an opportunity to contribute enormously to your country and the cause of freedom.
Are you aware of that, sir? Army staff felt they were powerful messages and excellent presentations of why it was necessary for the United States to fight in the war. All footage came from military and government sources, whereas during earlier years, many newsreels secretly used footage from enemy sources.
Animated charts were created by Walt Disney and his animators. A number of Hollywood composers wrote the background music, including Alfred Newman and Russian-born composer Dimitri Tiomkin.
After the first complete film was viewed by General Marshall along with U. Army staff, Marshall approached Capra: That is a most wonderful thing. In Lewis Milestone 's adventure film The General Died at Dawn with Madeleine Carrollhe plays an American soldier of fortune in China who helps the peasants defend themselves against the oppression of a cruel warlord.
DeMille 's sprawling frontier epic The Plainsman —his first of four films with the director—Cooper portrays Wild Bill Hickok in a highly fictionalized version of the opening of the American western frontier.
And I was almost good. Selznick 's first choice for the part. But I said no. I didn't see myself as quite that dashing, and later, when I saw Clark Gable play the role to perfection, I knew I was right. It succeeded only at the European box office market. Potter 's romantic comedy The Cowboy and the Lady with Merle Oberonabout a sweet-natured rodeo cowboy who falls in love with the wealthy daughter of a presidential hopeful, believing her to be a poor, hard-working lady's maid.
Wellman 's adventure film Beau Gestehe plays one of three daring English brothers who join the French Foreign Legion in the Sahara to fight local tribes.
York one of the most decorated American soldiers in World War I. Shucks, I've been in the business sixteen years and sometimes dreamed I might get one of these. That's all I can say Funny when I was dreaming I always made a better speech.