Traditionally identified with screwball comedies, Frank Capra has seldom been considered a conduit for populist concerns and issues. In this book, Gehring examines the influence of both Will Rogers and Frank Capra on modern populist movies, providing important background on Capra's links to the crackerbarrel personality of Rogers. He follows this theme forward, examining the populist roots in such films as The Electric Horseman, Field of Dreams, Dave, Grand Canyon, and others. A final chapter is a close-up of the contemporary, Capra-like director, Ron Howard. The inclusion of a bibliography and selected filmography makes this book an important contribution to film studies, popular culture, and American humor.
WES D. GEHRING is Professor of Film at Ball State University, and the author of nine previous books: Leo McCarey and the Comic Antihero in American Film (1980), Charlie Chaplin: A Bio-Bibliography (1983), W. C. Fields: A Bio-Bibliography (1984), Srewball Comedy: A Genre of Madcap Romance (1986), The Marx Brothers: A Bio-Bibliography (1987), Handbook of American Film Genres (1988), Laurel & Hardy: A Bio-Bibliography (1990) . B or Comforting Thoughts About the Bison: A Critical Biography of Robert Benchley (1992) d Groucho and W.C. Fields: Huckster Comedians (1994). His essays, poems, and humor pieces have appeared in numerous publications.