Skip to comments.Frank Capra’s Greatest Gift
Posted on 12/24/2013 9:14:09 AM PST by Conservative Beacon
Many of us will gather our families around the TV this Christmas Eve to watch Frank Capras Its A Wonderful Life. The story behind the movie is well known, so I wont bore you with reiterations of such.
Capra based Its A Wonderful Life on the short Christmas story, The Greatest Gift, by Philip Van Doren Stern. His adaption on the big screen of the ultimately undeniable importance and fragility of each and every one of our lives has become a gift to us in and of itself. But Capras real gift to us was his philosophy as a filmmaker.
He describes it best in his autobiography The Name Above The Title:
My films will explore the heart not with logic, but with compassion. The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of, wrote Blaise Pascal, the French Scientist. I will deal with the little mans doubts, his curses, his loss of faith in himself, in his neighbor, in his God. And I will show the overcoming of doubts, the courageous renewal of faith, and the final conviction that of himself he can and must survive and remain free. For the only true revolutionary is the free man, and revolution is liberty, and liberty is revolution. And I will remind the little man that his mission on earth is to advance spiritually , that to surrender his free spirit to Big Brothers concentration camp is a step backward to the jungle.
As a filmmaker I will champion manplead his causes, protest the degradation of his dignity, spirit, divinity. Because be he saint or sinner, rich or poor, coward or hero , black or white, genius or retarded, basket case or pole vaulter; be he lame, halt, or blind, each is of a piece with his Maker. Pat the head of a child, you are patting God; slay a man, you are murdering Goodness.
And finally, my films must let every man, woman, and child know that God loves them, and that I love them, and that peace and salvation will become a reality only when they all learn to love each other.
Thats exactly how it should be. Unfortunately todays so-called filmmakers and producers like Oliver Stone, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Weinstein, etc. dont share this philosophy. Theirs is one that glorifies and romanticizes the villain, seeks to humanize and sympathize with the enemy, denigrate Christianity and Judaism, rebuke the American Dream, and devalue and destroy the greatest gift: life.
As you watch Its A Wonderful Life this Christmas season, please remember the philosophy behind the making of the movie and understand the dire need to re-populate Hollywood and the entertainment industry with modern versions of Frank Capra-esque entertainers.
BRAVO...BRAVO to Frank Capra! It took a Wonderful man to make “It’s a Wonderful Life!” Thank you Frank. Thank you!
A few years back I bought a DVD copy of the movie which had been digitally restored. The black and white film is stunningly, photographically clear to the point where a few minutes into the film you really don’t even notice it is black & white. Of course, being a great movie helps in that regard too!
Has anyone else noticed the similarities between Uncle Billy and Barney Frank?
Thanks for posting, I had never seen Capra’s expression of his philosophy of film making. His ideas fit neatly with this philosophy of art I read recently: “The high mission of any art is, by its illusions, to foreshadow a higher universe reality, to crystallize the emotions of time into the thought of eternity.”
We saw the movie on the big screen last weekend at the historic Al Ringling Theater in Baraboo, WI. Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore) actually performed in a play at this theater in 1921. Watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” on the big screen was...wonderful.
And what a place. http://www.alringling.com/
Beautiful theater. I spent the winter 1974/75 working as an engineer at the Badger TNT plant and rented a cozy house in the woods in the Dells, and spent many a blustery evening in Baraboo’s food/drink establishments. It’s a very nice town.
Yes it is. I was lucky enough to live there from 1st grade through HS, class of ‘70. It was a real Norman Rockwell kind of place back then.
You wouldn’t recognize Badger now. All the buildings have been removed and the soil cleaned.
Wow! All those little buildings with the silver ramps for fast exit in the event of explosion. And the deer all leaped the fence into the plant around Thanksgiving because there they had sanctuary from the hunters during deer season. I was with a Chicago insulation company that was insulating some tanks as part of an expansion. We used insulators out of the Madison local. Yes, it looked to have been a nice place to come of age. I had a gang of 30 friends up for my farewell party there, and we cross-country skiied at Blackhawk Ridge, and created a cross between soccer and hockey on Lake Delton fueled by Bloody Marys. I remember taking a cruise over to Spring Green to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesan East, and it was boarded up. I removed a 2X4 and “broke in” to tour the place. It was as if a tragedy of some sort had happened and everyone evacuated years prior, as architectural drawings etc were strewn everywhere. I spent a couple of hours in that incredible building (I hail from Oak Park and so had long admired Wright’s work). I returned for a vist about 20 years later and what an amazing transformation had taken place.
A professor of mine had worked with Capra during the war and they stayed friends all those years. I got the opportunity to talk with him when he came to class to discuss his films. Very nice and interesting fellow.
Your father in law should expect three visitors this night, as foretold by the enchained ghost of an old deceased business associate.
Wow, what a treat! I’ll bet he had some great stories.
Capra’s life is another example of the power and reality of the American Dream. I encourage everyone to read his autobiography.
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