Photo of Frank Capra Frank Capra

Born May 18, 1897, in Palermo, Italy, Frank Capra immigrated to the United States in 1903, settling with his family in Los Angeles. After a stint in the Army during World War I, he worked as an extra for various film studios -- and was bitten by the movie bug.

A gag writer for producer-director Mack Sennett in the 1920s, Capra later joined Columbia Pictures, where he made his name helming uplifting films and screwball comedies that struck a chord with Depression-era audiences. During his run at Columbia, he directed the classics It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and You Can't Take It with You (1938), copping Best Director Oscars for all three.

Among Capra's postwar works are the enduring 1946 masterpiece It's a Wonderful Life and his final cinematic effort, A Pocketful of Miracles (1961). Capra died of a heart attack Sept. 3, 1991, leaving behind a great legacy.

Frank Capra in It Happened One Night

It Happened One Night

1934 NR

Runaway socialite Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) is en route to the Big Apple to elope and along the way she meets a crusty newspaperman (Clark Gable). But a string of zany misadventures leads them to realize they're madly if reluctantly in love.

  • Frank Capra in Arsenic and Old Lace Arsenic and Old Lace
  • Frank Capra in You Can't Take It with You You Can't Take It with You
  • Frank Capra in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  • Frank Capra in It's a Wonderful Life It's a Wonderful Life
  • Frank Capra in Lost Horizon Lost Horizon
  • Frank Capra in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
  • Frank Capra in Meet John Doe Meet John Doe
  • Frank Capra in Pocketful of Miracles Pocketful of Miracles
  • Frank Capra in State of the Union State of the Union
  • Frank Capra in Platinum Blonde Platinum Blonde
  • Frank Capra in Frank Capra's WWII: Why We Fight Frank Capra's WWII: Why We Fight
  • Frank Capra in Our Father's Enemy Our Father's Enemy
  • Frank Capra in Riding High Riding High
  • Frank Capra in Our Mr. Sun / Cosmic Rays Our Mr. Sun / Cosmic Rays
  • Frank Capra in The Dick Cavett Show: Hollywood Greats The Dick Cavett Show: Hollywood Greats
  • Frank Capra in Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese
  • Frank Capra in The Big Picture: Military Series The Big Picture: Military Series
  • Frank Capra in Heroes of World War II Heroes of World War II