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Frank Capra: The American Dreamer

MUBI Special

It is a great honor for us to present a series dedicated to a seminal director of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Best known for his quintessential Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), Capra was (in)arguably the most influential filmmaker in the 30s studio scene—winning three Academy Awards for Best Director in five years (!). His films made history by approaching the reality of the great American Depression with hope, and they remain lively, humanist odes to the resilience and virtues of everyday heroes. An Italian immigrant himself, Capra’s own life story embodied the American Dream that his filmography celebrates. The United States of Capra are a land of opportunity, where normal people want to do the right thing—and that might just be what we need right now.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Frank Capra United States, 1939

By the mid 30s Capra’s cinema had become a genre in itself, so much so that the term Capracorn was coined to describe its unashamed idealism! We close our focus on the director with one of his quintessential humanist tales, a paean to integrity and democracy of renewed relevance in the age of Trump.

You Can't Take It With You

Frank Capra United States, 1938

More Frank Capra! Our focus continues with the film that won the Italian-American his third Oscar—also his first collaboration with (a very young) Jimmy Stewart! Ranked among his finest classics, this spirited, heart-warming comedy rewards us with a much-needed dose of optimism and genuine utopia.

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

Frank Capra United States, 1936

The cinema of Frank Capra might just be a perfect antidote to Trump. We resume our series with the film that inaugurates his social fables and transformed former sex symbol Gary Cooper into the exemplary American, the everyday hero fighting an unjust system. Read more about the season on Notebook.

The Bitter Tea of General Yen

Frank Capra United States, 1933

It’s an honor to launch a series dedicated to a seminal director of Hollywood’s Golden Age: Frank Capra. We kick off with this gem of pre-Code exotica, featuring an interracial love story (in 1933!) and a glamorous Stanwyck filling the screen with glow. Look out for a striking dream sequence!

Life is too short for bad films

Every day we hand-pick a beautiful new film and you have a whole month to watch it, so there’s always 30 perfectly curated films to discover.