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Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Moviegoers often assume Frank Capra's life resembled his beloved films: as in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington or 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 ...more
Paperback, 784 pages
Published November 4th 2000 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1992)
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Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge Fan of Frank Capra, the author is highly partial and I think, he does not do justice to Capra, but the research and effort taken to write the book is extraordinary, I came to know a lot about Capra through this book.
Boris Lermontov
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Indudablemente es una biografía muy trabajada en la que se nota un gran esfuerzo de investigación detrás, y eso sumado a que la vida y la contradictoria personalidad de Frank Capra son muy interesantes la hacen más que recomendable.

El problema es que se nota que el autor le tiene manía a Capra, quizá porque le decepcionó descubrir cómo era en realidad el cineasta que había tras esas películas tan encantadoras, alguien mucho más conservador, apegado al dinero y con un ego que no le cabía dentro.
Todd Stockslager
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 ...more
John Kennedy
Nov 08, 2011 rated it liked it
In more than 700 pages McBride takes an antagonistic attitude to Capra and Capra's autobiography, The Name Above the Title, which McBride labels fantasy. Throughout McBride is focused on Capra's insecurities, his drive to take credit for what he did in collaboration with others and his obsession with being seen as a patriotic American. No doubt the book is well-written, insightful and thoroughly researched. McBride seems to think there is some symbol of sexual repression in all of Capra's great ...more
One of my parents bought me this book for Christmas about a year after it was published. Whichever one of them it was had asked other members of the family for ideas about what I would like, and somewhere along the line "Frank Capra" was confused with "Robert Capa". I was, and am, extremely interested in the life and work of Robert Capa, but don't particularly care about Frank Capra. That being said, this book was not as boring as I expected it to be; if you are interested in the "Classic Era" ...more
Rose Ann
Meticulously researched and very well-written
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An unvarnished look at a great American film director who was not such a nice guy. When I finished it, I really did not like Frank Capra the man, but I still love his movies.
Ric Christensen
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Jul 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
Well-written, fascinating look at one of America's greatest directors.
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