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Jimmy Stewart on what makes Frank Capra a great director


OrcoDev
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Hi classic movie fans. Thought you'd like to listen to this interview my dad conducted with Jimmy Stewart in service of his educational program. Mr. Stewart talks about what made Mr. Capra such a remarkable director. Thanks and let me know what you think.

 

[Jimmy Stewart on Frank Capra|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKJKdjES14k&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLMPg4RkqBExamQ9SC8xjmojtPvoqwObEs]

 

For more info on my dad's educational program: [www.orcodevelopment.org]

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James Stewart seemed to work well with most of his directors. A lot of that had to do with Stewart's nature. A very affable man. But Stewart was no push over either, he demanded respect in return. I don't believe he took any nonsense from a guy like John Ford . And given Stewart's talent as an actor it was hard not to respect him. It was probably Stewart's good fortune that early in his career he got to work with a man like Capra.

 

Edited by: mrroberts on Sep 19, 2013 3:22 PM

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I have a book "Jimmy Stewart, Bomber Pilot" , that I bought at the Stewart museum about a year ago. I have never read it through (so many books, so little time) . I've only read bits and pieces, someday will read it straight through. By the way, the book was written and published soon after Stewart's death. Done with the cooperation of his family and fellow servicemen from WW2.

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When I met Capra in 1974 we talked about his handling of actors, especially bit players. He said he took special care to make sure every actor in a scene - especially extras and bit players - had a purpose to what they were doing. When he shot the stadium sequence in MEET JOHN DOE he talked for a while to the entire gathering to make sure that each person in the stands really felt and understood why they were there, what they had come for, how eager and desperate they were for this man Doe to succeed. And when they came to film the shots where he is "exposed" by Norton that their profound disappointment and anger would be real.

 

This is one reason I have always loved Capra's films. This attention to detail and reality. And I think it is crucial to having a sustained and progressive emotional impact. You never get the sense that people in a shot are just "there".

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