64 Great Directors: Frank Capra

“There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.”

What Got This Director Here?
: It’s a Wonderful Life, mostly.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: It Happened One Night.

What Did I Watch: Arsenic and Old Lace (technically a rewatch but it’d been a while).

Where Does He Fit: Of the Frank Capra films that are generally well-liked, Arsenic and Old Lace is probably the silliest if we ignore political readings. He has gone into full dark comedy mode!…except it does not fit his temperament at all, and the play is happily light on villainy. The joke of the nice aunts being murderers is both funny, and it fits into his cheerful, optimistic view of the world. He doesn’t even have to do the undercutting that he normally crams in, it comes with the material. The humor is old fashioned and the length is too much, but on the whole, this has a fairly well earned reputation as harmless fun.


Most Valuable Asset: Cheer and good humor.
Most Excited For: A rewatch of It’s a Wonderful Life.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: The most famous pairing: Joel and Ethan Coen.


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