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1. The Name Above The Title
2. Frank Capra. The Tenth Annual
3. Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of
4. Frank Capra
5. American Vision: The Films of
6. Regarding Frank Capra: Audience,
7. Frank Capra: Interviews (Conversations
8. Examination of Narrative Structure
9. It's a Wonderful Life
10. The Hollywood Professionals, Vol
11. Another Frank Capra (Cambridge
12. Frank Capra: Authorship and the
13. Meet John Doe: Frank Capra, Director/Charles
14. The Complete Films of Frank Capra
15. Frank Capra
16. Frank Capra: El Nombre Delante
17. Cinema of Frank Capra: Approach
18. The Films of Frank Capra
19. Frank Capra: A Guide to References
20. Frank Capra (Collection Spectacle/poche)

1. The Name Above The Title
by Frank Capra
Paperback: 534 Pages (1997-03-22)
list price: US$21.00 -- used & new: US$14.99
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Asin: 0306807718
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Although Frank Capra (1897–1991) is best known as the director of It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can't Take It with You, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Arsenic and Old Lace, and It's a Wonderful Life, he was also an award-winning documentary filmmaker as well as a behind-the-scene force in the Director's Guild, the Motion Picture Academy, and the Producer's Guild. He worked with or knew socially everyone in the movie business from Mack Sennett, Chaplin, and Keaton in the silent era through the illustrious names of the golden age. He directed Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Jean Harlow, Claudette Colbert, Bette Davis, and others. Reading his autobiography is like having Capra sitting in your living room, regaling you with his anecdotes. In The Name Above the Title he reveals the deeply personal story of how, despite winning six Academy Awards, he struggled throughout his life against the glamors, vagaries, and frustrations of Hollywood for the creative freedom to make some of the most memorable films of all time.
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Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best entertainment book
I have read many, many books on Hollywood and auto/biographies in general and this book ranks as one of the best ever.It is a very entertaining book that doubles as a great history of Hollywood through its golden age. Capra interacted with Hollywood's legends and reports in a funny, candid and emotional way his dealings with the likes of Harry Cohn, Sinatra, Disney, Monroe and many more stars of the thirties and forties.Do not think the book is dated: yes, some of the names are meaningless to us today but the perspetive and lessons contained in every single page are timeless.this book tells you better than any others how movies are made or should be made...

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Autobiographical Experience!!
I cannot figure out which is more amazing and inspiring: the man, his films, his life or his autobiography.
Every autobiography will pale in comparison after you read this one.Frank's book should come with a
warning that he will open your mind, transform your relationship with films, and ultimatley find a place of permanent endearing love in your heart! Friends don't let friends go into the Light, without reading this book,
as I am sure, it is required reading in Heaven!

Frank's biggest fan, Vaishali, author of "You Are What You Love."

5-0 out of 5 stars An Astounding Talent and an Astounding Life
From the opening chapter which describes the incredible saga of how this man (as a young child) and his poor Sicilian family managed to come to America, to the end of his inspiring life and his brilliant career when he suffered cluster headaches so severe he could barely function, but kept his head up, this book captivated me. Capra exemplifies the American Dream, where a poor immigrant can become anything he sets his mind to be.Especially significant is his pure and honest soul.This book is SO inspiring.

5-0 out of 5 stars Straight from the Heart
Frank Capra's superb autobiography provides loads of fascinating information about the film industry during a thriving period, when he was one of filmdom's most popular and successful figures, as well as about the mindset of this intriguing man of accomplishment.What is refreshing, along with his basic candor, is that despite his enormous success he retains a humble and highly humane touch.

Some of the most humorous anecdotes of "Name Above the Title" involve madcap, always colorful Columbia boss Harry Cohn, who took his Gower Street studio from the ranks of "Poverty Row" to the that of a giant.Capra helped significantly with box office smashes such as "It Happened One Night", "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington","Lost Horizon" and "Meet John Doe."It took awhile, but the Capra film which has soared to top spot in the hearts and minds of the public was the 1946 release starring Jimmy Stewart, "It's a Wonderful Life."The star was so enthused about the story that he pitched it personally to Capra after driving over to his house.Capra relates the time that he begged Cohn not to drop a struggling young cartoonist from the Columbia payroll, predicting that he would be sorry.Capra was right as the cartoonist was a young, meek Iowa farm boy named Walt Disney.

One of Capra's great contributions was directing and producing the excellent World War Two documentary series "Why We Fight."He tells about being called into the office of Army Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall, who asked him to undertake the project."But I've never done a documentary!" a surprised Capra replied.Marshall pointed out that he had never run an army before either, and that the American way during the critical war period was for citizens to learn jobs with which they were previously unfamiliar.Capra saw Marshall's logic and the rest is history.

This autobiography is fascinating enough for the interesting information about Capra's life.What makes it even better is that you are reading the revelations of a good man who did his best to instill positive values into his films, and to help in his distinctive way to make America a better country.

5-0 out of 5 stars Five Inspiring Words: It's a Frank Capra Book.
To begin with, several adjectives to describe this wonderful book: 1.) candid, 2.) inspiring, 3.) poetic, 4.) instructional, 5.) spiritual, 6.) humanitarian, 7.) humorous, 8.) compassionate, 9.) courageous. From whatI gather, it took Capra approximately three years to write this book, andwhat book it is. To be honest, this book is perhaps one of the best piecesof work we might ever have about the legendary director, the course of thetwentieth century, and the people who have helped shape the film industry.This book demystifies the often deified directors, actors, moguls thatruled Hollywood during the golden age, reminding us of the universal bondsof humanity that link us all to each other. In many ways, it reads like aFrank Capra movie -- life-affirming to the end.For the youngergeneration (X'ers and Y'ers) who might question the values of theirfathers' generation, this book is a must read. Underline this fact severaltimes because when Capra takes you into his fold and shares his world, itis an experience you won't likely forget. Most history books seem to bewritten with a detached sense of objectivity from an supposedly impartialhistorian. The results of such labor is often an uninspiring book thatkeeps the reader at arm's length from the fascinating history, often boringthe reader to no end. No so with Capra's autobiography. Capra remindsthe reader that people are still simply people, no matter what generation,no matter which occupation. There are always going to be saints, martyrs,bullies, intellectuals, clowns, idiots in every walk of life. Such anexample can be seen when Capra served in World War II and was privy to atouching moment with the great Admiral Nimitz. The old war hero had justcome back from seeing three thousand men he had sent off to war -- some ofthem now without limbs, others without faces, yet all of them saluting himand thanking him from the bottom of their hearts. Nimitz broke down andwept, his shoulders so burdened by the sadness of his men's suffering.Hitting his desk over and over again the Admiral cursed the war with everfiber in his being. After a brief moment to recompose himself Nimitz thanked Capra for being in the same room... allowing one tortured soul toconnect and draw strength from another.Personally, it is easy to findyourself laughing when he laughs and crying when he cries. Like all classicworks of literature, this book is so fresh in content, that it inspires thereader to look into his/her own heart and find the beating pulse ofhumanity and to take pride in the fact that one such as Capra was able todo so much through his films. I look forward to reading this book againand again. And perhaps, others will agree and do likewise. ... Read more

2. Frank Capra. The Tenth Annual American Film Institute Life Achievement Award.
by Frank Capra
 Paperback: Pages (1982)

Asin: B000JD2A9C
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3. Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success
by Joseph McBride
 Paperback: 800 Pages (2011-02-01)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$33.08
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Asin: 1604738383
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Moviegoers often assume Frank CapraÂ's life resembled his beloved films (such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and ItÂ'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 CapraÂ's response to being considered a possible Â"subversiveÂ" during the postÂ-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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Customer Reviews (11)

1-0 out of 5 stars Mean-spirited hatchet job
Let me get this straight:Capra was supposedly an egotist who cared only about his own ambition?
Nothing could be further from the truth.Capra, as Joe McBride is forced to admit in his book,
is one of the very few Hollywood directors who served in World War II even though Capra was
exempt from the draft because he was 42 years old and had ALREADY SERVED IN THE U.S.
ARMY in WORLD WAR ONE !Capra voluntarily enlisted.
Capra turned his back on a million dollar a year salary he was making in
Hollywood as a three time Oscar Best Director winner (see the TIME magazine 1938 cover story on
Capra as proof of Capra's earnings)to enter military service in the fight against the Axis powers.
Where were all the other Hollywood directors?Why didn't they volunteer? Capra received the
Distinguish Service Medal from the General of the Army George Marshall. FDR and Winston Churchill
commended Capra for his war service. Indeed, the worst career move
Capra ever made was to leave Hollywood and enter the Army; his years away from the film
business made it tough for him to make a comeback and while he made some great films
after the war, his career never fullyrecovered. But he felt he had to join the Army in the
greatest fight between good and evil.Again, where were the other Hollywood directors?
How many of them enlisted in the fight against Hitler?It was not a foregone conclusion the Allies were going
to win; the Axis/Nazis were a horrific force.We could use all the help we could get in the fight against them.
Capra did not shirk; he served another tour in the Army and emerged a decorated veteran.
Yet Joe McBride implies Capra was an egotist and really has little good to say about him.
Worse, I guess McBride works for a state college now sowe taxpayers are forced to pay his salary.
What a cruel, mean-spirited book. A complete hatchet job filled with false ideas about a
great patriot, artist and idealist, Frank Capra.

3-0 out of 5 stars Just like Capra, biography is a larger-than-life success and a mess--at the same time
Much like Capra's life and movies, this biography is a larger-than-life success and a mess at the same time.Who knew that Capra's story was so big and so strange, but then what might be expected of the director of classics like "Mr. Deeds goes to Town", "Mr. Smith goes to Washington", and "It's a Wonderful Life."--whose career started in the silent movie era and crashed after a tortured journey through the blacklist era of the 50s?All this from a little Italian immigrant living in a strange new world that he made his own and shaped in his own image.

McBride's book rambles across this sprawling landscape with remarkable access to Capra himself and many other primary sources.In fact, McBride strikes me as a better researcher than a writer, who sometimes struggles to synthesize the research material into a well-written story.Given the larger-than-life task, perhaps McBride deserves more credit, but his unrelenting negativism and seemingly angry approach to his subject does make the reader question his objectivity and his motivation for undertaking such a major biography of a figure toward whom he is so disrespectful.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money!
This was the biggest waste of time and money! The author (Joseph McBride) obviously despised his subject and it comes through on every page. Hopefully one day someone will write a biography of McBride with the same thoughtfulness and care he put into this pile of drivel. I wonder how he'd like the same treatment?

2-0 out of 5 stars Lots of research, questionable conclusions
Joseph McBride's biography of Frank Capra is good in the sense that he amassed painstaking research and shares a fair amount of it in this extensive tome. We can thank him for all of his hard work piecing together factual material surrounding the fullness of Capra's life.

He provides us just enough source material to clue us in that his conclusions about Capra are highly suspect. While I'm sure there is a darker side to Capra that is well documented here, the Frank Capra presented in this book remains to me a strange cardboard construct that McBride uses to argue some dubious points about filmmaking and politics.

His critique of Capra's films, which is one instance where we are on equal footing with the author in terms of source material, often come across as frustratingly uninsightful, even narrow-minded. The lack of insight is truly perplexing when surrounded by evidence that McBride spent thousands of hours analyzing Capra's life and work. In terms of Capra's films and their enduring appeal with millions of moviegoers, McBride to me in places comes across as dismissive, even slightly insulting to Capra and those who find worth in his works. I don't know if McBride intended to come off this way, but judging from other reviewers I'm not alone in my dismay.

Instead of presenting Capra as an enormously complex person who somehow managed to harness his strengths, hopes, fears, loves, and hatreds into vibrant, challenging cinema, McBride often paints Capra as small-minded and relying on the talents of others to succeed. McBride's views simply don't line up with the unparalleled body of work Capra has left us. This book feels like one of those tomes that tries to inform us how Shakespeare really couldn't have written all of those remarkable plays.

Many people consider It's a Wonderful Life to be one of the greatest films ever made, but McBride's coverage of it would lead you to believe it is the product of Capra's "anachronistic, and by then reactionary, thought pattern," an exposure of "how utterly distrustful Capra had become of the American public." McBride leaves more or less the last word on the film to William S. Pechter, who "noted that the supernatural resolution of Wonderful Life exposes the 'fatal weakness' of Capra's work... 'for those who can accept the realities of George Bailey's situation...and do not believe in angels...the film ends, in effect with the hero's suicide'...the film is a "dead end" for Capra.

It appears the fatal weakness is in McBride's and Pechter's inability to appreciate the soaring triumph and powerful lasting impact of this remarkable film, still touching and challenging people 60 years after its creation. If it was an ending to Capra's career, I can only suggest it was because he took filmic storytelling to a height no one has since matched. Where could he go from there? To my mind, *no one* has answered that film with a more powerful or compelling entertainment.

It's a frustration when a talented researcher takes over a biography with zeal and attention to detail but seems so unaware of many aspects of the subject's brilliance. Such is the case with The Catastrophe of Success. McBride is a smart research whiz who appears to be off the wavelength of what to my mind makes his subject so amazing.

To McBride, Frank Capra is in some form a model of human failure. While this must have been depressing to the author, who spent a remarkable seven years on this project, I have to respond by saying Capra was not a catastrophe, but an imperfect person like us all who still managed through his art to bravely push the boundaries of his own sense of idealism. In the process Capra made some remarkable films that continue to touch and challenge many, many people even today.

I hope that perhaps one day McBride will be able to open up his research archives to another biographer who has a different understanding and appreciation of Capra's works and can provide areas of insight that are lacking in this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars SAD HATCHET JOB
after about more than halfway through this book (I'm not finished yet, but not sure if I want to), I don't know who I feel more pity for...Frank Capra or the "biographer" McBride

although Frank Capra may not be the perfect man (who is?) McBride's disdain for his subject emanates from every page. was it Capra's politics McBride didn't like as some other reviewers have stated?

whatever axe the author McBride wanted to grind in regards to his subject, he swung away and has left some painful and vicious marks...I think the bordering on hatred the author has for Frank Capra says more about the author than his subject...I should've known the road this "biography" was going to take when one of the anecdotes McBride opens the book with is of an old Frank Capra suffering a particularly nasty bout of diarhea while on a visit to Sicily

I'm all for debunking myths as much as the next wannabe intellectual, but McBride was on a quest to paint Capra as an egotistical, [...] ignoramus who somehow lucked into directing some of the finest motion pictures ever made...
an actual REPUBLICAN who believed in the American Ideal nonetheless...Philistines like that can NEVER make good movies...how dare he?

sad, vicious book from a sad, vicious author ... Read more

4. Frank Capra
by Charles J. Re: Frank Capra Maland
 Paperback: Pages (1995-01-01)

Asin: B003COP5GA
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5. American Vision: The Films of Frank Capra
by Ray Carney
Paperback: 534 Pages (1996-03-15)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$71.91
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Asin: 0819563013
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The first interdisciplinary study of America's best-known filmmaker. ... Read more

6. Regarding Frank Capra: Audience, Celebrity, and American Film Studies, 1930–1960
by Eric Smoodin
Paperback: 320 Pages (2004-01-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$4.44
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Asin: 0822333945
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In this innovative historical examination of the American movie audience, Eric Smoodin focuses on reactions to the films of Frank Capra. Best known for his Hollywood features—including It Happened One Night, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington—Capra also directed educational films, military films, and documentaries. Based on his analysis of the reception of a broad range of Capra’s films, Smoodin considers the preferences and the attitudes toward Hollywood of the people who watched movies during the "Golden Age" of studio production, from 1930 to 1960.

Drawing on archival sources including fan letters, exhibitor reports, military and prison records, government and corporate documents, and trade journals, Smoodin explains how the venues where Capra’s films were seen and the strategies used to promote the films affected audience response and how, in turn, audience response shaped film production. He analyzes issues of foreign censorship and government intervention in the making of The Bitter Tea of General Yen; the response of high school students to It Happened One Night; fan engagement with the overtly political discourse of Meet John Doe and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; San Quentin prisoners’ reaction to a special screening of It’s a Wonderful Life; and at&t’s involvement in Capra’s later documentary work for the Bell Science Series. He also looks at the reception of Capra’s series Why We Fight, used by the American military to train recruits and re-educate German prisoners of war. Illuminating the role of the famous director and his films in American culture, Regarding Frank Capra signals new directions for significant research on film reception and promotion. ... Read more

7. Frank Capra: Interviews (Conversations With Filmmakers Series)
Paperback: 264 Pages (2004-02-20)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$16.58
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Asin: 1578066174
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Few Hollywood directors had a higher profile in the 1930s than Frank Capra. He served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and of the Screen Directors Guild. He won three Academy Awards as best director and was widely acclaimed as the man most responsible for making Columbia Pictures a success.

This popularity was matched by films that spoke to and for the times---It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Meet John Doe. These replicated the nation's hopes and dreams for a national community. He worked with some of the brightest stars in Hollywood---James Stewart, Clark Gable, Jean Arthur, Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Claudette Colbert, Bette Davis, Donna Reed, and Ann-Margret.

Capra's interviews express his connection to the national audience and explore his own story. He was a Sicilian immigrant boy who survived rough-and-tumble beginnings to become Hollywood's most bankable director. In reflecting his life, almost every one of his films was a parable of acclaim verging on disaster. He spent much of the 1940s in uniform while making films for the War Department. Although Capra was an optimist, World War II and his series of Why We Fight films called his legendary optimism into question. His postwar film It's a Wonderful Life (1946) gave an answer to those questions with an astonishing directness Capra never equaled again.

In 1971 he published his autobiography, The Name Above the Title. Many of the interviews collected here come from this period when, as an elder statesman of motion picture art and history, he reflected on his long career. The interviews portray the Capra legend vividly and demonstrate why the warm relations between Capra and his audiences continue to inspire acclaim and admiration. ... Read more

8. Examination of Narrative Structure in Four Films of Frank Capra (Dissertations on Film Series)
by Brian G. Rose
 Hardcover: 233 Pages (1980-06)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$19.95
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Asin: 0405129157
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9. It's a Wonderful Life
by James W. Rodgers, Frank Capra, Philip Van Doren Stern
 Paperback: 69 Pages (1994-05-01)
list price: US$7.50 -- used & new: US$7.50
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Asin: 087129432X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's all inspiration
This is a great book!I'm in the play right now and I think it is very inspirational.Everyone knows the story of George Bailey as it is in the classic Christmas special.This is very close to that.George Bailey, whois a good man with many friends, finds there may be no reason to live anymore.Clarence, who claims to be George's guardian angel comes and stopsGeorge from killing himself, but he doesn't know how he can prove to Georgethat he is a very important man.Clarence gives George Bailey the chanceto see what his family and friends would be like if he were dead.It's agreat story with amusing parts and would be a great addition to any theatrearound Christmas. ... Read more

10. The Hollywood Professionals, Vol 6, Capra, Cukor, Brown
by Allen Estrin
 Hardcover: 192 Pages (1980-02)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$128.09
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Asin: 0498022374
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11. Another Frank Capra (Cambridge Studies in Film)
by Leland Poague
Paperback: 308 Pages (2005-11-24)
list price: US$58.00 -- used & new: US$55.93
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Asin: 052138978X
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Another Frank Capra offers a new interpretation of the great Hollywood director beyond the patriotic sentimentalist or the cynical opportunist that he has been taken for. Often cast as a cinematic simpleton or primitive, Capra's exploitation of the stylistic and narrative resources of cinema was, in fact, extremely self-conscious and adventurous in ways typical of artistic modernism. His modernism is also evident in his repeated and strong identification with female characters. Informed by recent work in genre theory and feminist psychology, Another Frank Capra shows Capra to be a 'proto-feminist' director whose feminism has been entirely neglected by previous critics. ... Read more

12. Frank Capra: Authorship and the Studio System (Culture And The Moving Image)
by Robert Sklar
Paperback: 293 Pages (1998-03-30)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$27.31
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Asin: 1566396085
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Frank Capra's films have had a lasting impact on American culture. His powerful depiction of American values, myths, and ideals was central to such famous Hollywood films as "It Happened One Night", "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", and "It's a Wonderful Life". These pre-war films are remembered for their depiction of an individual's overcoming adversity, populist politics, and an unflappable optimist view of life. This collection of nine essays by leading international film historians analyzes Capra's filmmaking during his most prolific period, from 1928 to 1939, taking a closer look at the more complex aspects of his work. They trace his struggles for autonomy against Columbia Pictures head Harry Cohn, his reputation as an auteur, and the ways in which working within studio modes of production may have enhanced the director's strengths.The contributors also place their critiques within the context of the changing fortunes of the Hollywood studio system, the impact of the Depression, and Capra's working relationships with other studio staff and directors.The contributors' access to nineteen newly restored Capra films made at Columbia during this period fills this collection with some of the most comprehensive critiques available on the director's early body of work. Author note: Robert Sklar, Professor of Cinema at New York University, is the co-editor (with Charles Musser) of "Resisting Images: Essays on Cinema and History" (Temple), and the author of numerous books on film, including "Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies", "City Boys: Cagney, Bogart, and Garfield, and Film: An International History of the Medium", winner of the Kraszna-Krausz Book Award. Vito Zagarrio teaches film history at the University of Florence and film analysis at the University of Rome III, Italy. ... Read more

13. Meet John Doe: Frank Capra, Director/Charles Wolfe, Editor (Rutgers Films in Print)
 Paperback: 297 Pages (1989-07)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$19.37
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Asin: 0813513871
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The third film in a celebrated trilogy of socio-political dramas directed by Frank Capra in the late 1930s and early 1940s, "Meet John Doe" is arguably his most ambitious and disturbing work. An introductory essay reconstructs and analyzes the history of production, promotion and reception of "Meet John Doe". A complete transcript of the finished film, extensive annotations concerning original script material and previously unpublished alternate endings are included in this volume, as well as a section of recollections about the film's production, personal correspondance, an excerpt from Capra's autobiography, and a sampling of reviews and contemporary commentaries. ... Read more

14. The Complete Films of Frank Capra
by Victor Scherle, William Turner-Levy
 Paperback: 278 Pages (1992-02)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$108.85
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Asin: 0806512962
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15. Frank Capra
by Michel Cieutat
Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1999-03-02)
-- used & new: US$40.99
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Asin: 2869308469
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16. Frank Capra: El Nombre Delante Del Titulo (Spanish Edition)
by Frank Capra
 Paperback: 583 Pages (1999-10)
list price: US$21.95
Isbn: 8493006572
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17. Cinema of Frank Capra: Approach to Film Comedy
by Leland A. Poague
 Hardcover: 252 Pages (1975-11-27)

Isbn: 0904208516
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18. The Films of Frank Capra
 Hardcover: 278 Pages (1977-07-01)
list price: US$16.95
Isbn: 0806504307
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19. Frank Capra: A Guide to References and Resources (Reference Publication in Film)
by Charles Wolfe
 Hardcover: 464 Pages (1987-03)
list price: US$55.00 -- used & new: US$475.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0816185077
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20. Frank Capra (Collection Spectacle/poche) (French Edition)
by Christian Viviani
Paperback: 142 Pages (1988)

Isbn: 2907468022
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