The most honored and well-liked director of his generation, Sicilian-born Frank Capra graduated from the California Institute of Technology as a Chemical Engineering major. Down on his luck after service during World War I, he bluffed his way into the movie business and learned films from the bottom up, from the film lab to the prop department to the editing department. He settled in as a gagman during the 1920s, and soon became a director specializing in comedy. After a stint with Mack Sennett, Capra moved to Columbia Pictures, where he came into his own as a filmmaker.
Displaying a good feel for drama as well as comedy, and a common touch with which ordinary viewers could resonate, Capra quickly became the star among the tiny studio’s stable of directors. His pictures, starting with American Madness in 1932, displayed themes that audiences regarded as important and uplifting during the worst days of the Great Depression, and Capra, despite the relatively modest budgets with… read more
There is one beautiful scene that gets me every time I watch this movie. About 2/3 of the way in, Cobb reveals that Babe Bennett and Mary, are the same person. She has been playing him for a fool for a cheap headline. Look closely at the emotions that play over Gary Cooper's face as he learns the news. His eyes well up with tears, he smiles forlornly and you see a good, decent man's heart break from the inside. ****