Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success

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Univ. Press of Mississippi, Jun 2, 2011 - 800 pages
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Moviegoers often assume Frank Capra's life resembled his beloved films (such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It's a Wonderful Life). A man of the people faces tremendous odds and, by doing the right thing, triumphs! But as Joseph McBride reveals in this meticulously researched, definitive biography, the reality was far more complex, a true American tragedy. Using newly declassified U.S. government documents about Capra's response to being considered a possible "subversive" during the post-World War II Red Scare, McBride adds a final chapter to his unforgettable portrait of the man who gave us It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, and Meet John Doe.

 

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FRANK CAPRA: The Catastrophe of Success

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Huge, richly researched, absorbing revisionist biography of the filmmaker renowned for standing up for ``the little man''; by the author of studies of Orson Welles, Howard Hawks, John Ford, and others ... Read full review

Frank Capra: the catastrophe of success

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Capra is largely remembered today as a director whose films champion all-American optimism in a world where good ultimately triumphs. This exhaustively researched and densely--perhaps overly--detailed ... Read full review

Contents

1 I felt nothing
2 I hated America
29
3 A terrible wop
49
4 Cap
69
5 Im from Hollywood
103
6 The Gag Man
139
7 Marrying the harlot
181
8 The Man in the Street
219
14 My ancestors couldnt I can
401
15 Were the front office
425
16 That fellow Capra
453
17 Liberty
503
18 I have no cause
535
19 The Judas pain
561
20 A Reputation
611
Appendix
657

9 American Madness
247
10 The catastrophe of Success
289
11 A sense of responsibility
327
12 The doghouse
351
13 Columbias Gem
375
Acknowledgments
689
Notes on Sources
699
Filmography
749
Index
763
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About the author (2011)

Joseph McBride, Berkeley, California, is a film historian and associate professor in the cinema department at San Francisco State University. His many books include Searching for John Ford, Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success; Hawks on Hawks; and What Ever Happened to Orson Welles? A Portrait of an Independent Career.

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