Mr. Capra Goes to the Dryden

With his rags-to-riches backstory, Frank Capra, an Italian-American immigrant, was once labeled “the American Dream personified.” The assortment of highly successful comedies, dramas, and even wartime propaganda films quickly led to his recognition as one of the most influential directors of the 1930s and ’40s in America. Our series highlights the vast variety of Capra’s films, including his silent comedies (The Strong Man), greatest hits (Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It Happened One Night), unparalleled wartime efforts (Why We Fight series), and of course, his masterpiece and one of the most beloved American films of all time, It’s a Wonderful Life. Though many of Capra’s films were often labeled as overly simplistic or too idealistic, they kept resurfacing and have gradually solidified themselves as American household classics. 

Date:
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Capra. Lulu (Barbara Stanwyck) is a young librarian who takes a romantic cruise to Cuba and meets a rising politician (Adolphe Menjou) with whom she begins an affair. Soon, a newspaper editor (Ralph Bellamy) in pursuit of the scoop on this salacious story falls for Lulu, too.
Date:
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Capra. Gary Cooper plays the title character in this quintessential Capra story of a country fellow who inherits a fortune and tries to do the right thing with it, much to the dismay of everyone around him. This lighthearted and witty film is the first to show what would become the Capra trademark: an ordinary man trying to do good and the corrupt officials who try to stop him.
Date:
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Time:
2 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Capra. Gary Cooper plays the title character in this quintessential Capra story of a country fellow who inherits a fortune and tries to do the right thing with it, much to the dismay of everyone around him. This lighthearted and witty film is the first to show what would become the Capra trademark: an ordinary man trying to do good and the corrupt officials who try to stop him.
Date:
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Capra | Silent Tuesdays. Harry Langdon is one of the great silent comedians, but one who has been always difficult to classify; his persona of a childlike man is actually very complex and ambiguous, two elements that give his comedy an unusual edge and constant surprise. His considered reactions to mayhem and his thoughtful but ineffectual attempts to interact with the world around him (not to mention his genuine astonishment when he actually has to deploy his somewhat obscure maturity) make him a fascinating figure.
Date:
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Capra. In the pre-FDR days of the Great Depression, a good-hearted bank president, played by screen legend Walter Huston, strives to keep his business solvent for the “little people” who rely upon it.
Date:
Sunday, December 3, 2017
Time:
2 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Capra. James Hilton’s beautiful, melancholy novel Lost Horizon introduced the world to Shangri-La, a place of peace and contentment, and it became an equally popular film under the guidance of director Frank Capra. Set in a troubled world on the brink of a cataclysmic global war, a small group of individuals are given the opportunity to lead lives rich with meaning through the extension of time.
Date:
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Time:
7 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
SOLD OUT! Capra | Holidays | Special Guests. Special introduction by Karolyn Grimes and Jimmy Hawkins, who portrayed Zuzu and Tommy Bailey in the film. The actors will share behind-the- scenes stories of the making of this beloved classic.
Date:
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Time:
2 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Capra | Holidays. In one of the most inspirational films of all time, James Stewart and Donna Reed find their way through rough times in Bedford Falls (modeled after nearby Seneca Falls, New York) by way of a loving, dedicated relationship and a little heavenly intervention. 
Date:
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Capra. Frank Capra was one of the many Hollywood luminaries who felt it was their duty to enlist as soon as the United States officially entered World War II. 
Date:
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Capra | Holidays. Anyone who equates “Capraesque” with “corny” or “naively idealistic” may be surprised by the clear-eyed, pessimistic tone of this political comedy about a country rube turned US senator (James Stewart) who singlehandedly faces down a corrupt political machine.
Date:
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Capra | Holidays. Anyone who equates “Capraesque” with “corny” or “naively idealistic” may be surprised by the clear-eyed, pessimistic tone of this political comedy about a country rube turned US senator (James Stewart) who singlehandedly faces down a corrupt political machine.
Date:
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Capra. The fourth and fifth installments in the Why We Fight documentary series move away from Nazi victories that dominated first three parts to show how Germans failed to break Britain and the Soviet Union and had to abandon their invasion attempts.
Date:
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Capra. In The Battle of China, Capra turns his eye to the Pacific theater of war and introduces Japan as an aggressor that needs to be stopped before it conquers not just China, but all of Asia. The final film in the Why We Fight series, War Comes to America paints an honorable historical fresco of the USA, “the oldest major democratic republic still living under its original constitution,” and its responsibility to abandon isolationism and interfere in global affairs.
Date:
Thursday, December 28, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Capra | Holidays | Free Member Film. This charmingly morbid screwball comedy teams up director Capra and leading man Cary Grant for their only film together. 
Date:
Saturday, December 30, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Capra | Holidays. This charmingly morbid screwball comedy teams up director Capra and leading man Cary Grant for their only film together. The complex story involves two elderly sisters who commit “mercy” killings, Grant as their drama critic nephew, his new bride, and his two brothers—one who is convinced he’s Teddy Roosevelt and the other a serial killer on the run with a drunken plastic surgeon played by Peter Lorre.
Date:
Sunday, December 31, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Happy New Year | Holidays | Capra. Sparks fly when a headstrong runaway heiress (Claudette Colbert) and a cynical, down-on-his-luck reporter (Clark Gable) battle hunger and each other on a cross-country trek via bus, thumb, and auto. This sleeper hit of 1934 swept the top five Academy Awards, established Capra as a major director, and initiated the screwball comedy-romance cycle.