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Capra, Frank

Frank Capra (1897-1991), an American film director and producer, noted for his sophisticated comedies, was born in Palermo, Italy. Capra was six years old when his family immigrated to the United States, settling in Los Angeles. His first important job in Hollywood was as a writer for the Mack Sennett studios. Capra later joined Columbia Pictures, where he gained his greatest success as a director of comedies that had appealing characters, social overtones, and happy endings. Such films include three that won Capra Academy Awards for best director: It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), and You Can't Take It with You (1938). During World War II Capra produced military documentaries. Other films he directed or produced include Lost Horizon (1937), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Arsenic and Old Lace (1941), It's a Wonderful Life (1944) State of the Union (1948), A Hole in the Head (1959), and A Pocketful of Miracles (1961). His autobiography, The Name Above the Title, was published in 1971 (reprinted, 1985).

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