The Pursuit of Happiness
In the decade preceding the Second World War, America followed Adam Smith’s economic ideas into the abyss of The Great Depression. Factories went bankrupt, bank closed, millions of people lost their jobs, and most of society was in great distress. This distress produced a great number of works which reflected the public’s discontent with society. The Grapes of Wrath is a great example of those opuses which let oppressed people’s voices be noticed. Frank Capra, rather than simply criticize the cruel truth of society, brought forward his new movie, You Can’t Take it With You, in order to bring a sense of relief with his unique humor. The protagonists of You Can’t Take It With You have opportunities to make their dreams come true: The eccentric Professor Vanderhof’s good nature asserts itself and converts Anthony P. Kirby to do what he likes instead of lusting after money. The Vanderhof family lives together and enjoys life, unconcerned about being homeless. Capra’s romanticism, which is close to naiveté, tells people under the shadow of the Great Depression that “When God Closes A Door, He Leaves A Window Open.”
In 1947,Capra recycled his idealistic views in his first movie after the war, It’s a Wonderful Life,an optimistic view of Capra’s dream and morality. Americans had just experienced a world of suffering and were starting families and buying houses and trying to get back to normal..It’s a Wonderful Lifeis released to provide people with hopes; teaching people never compromise to the cruel reality, and boosting people’s courage and confidence.The movie was unsuccessful in its original release, but thirty years later, It’s a Wonderful Lifehad became a classic because it is so uplifting. Capra’s movies lead people to discover the strength from suffering, the opportunity from desperation, the beauty from ugliness and the legend from ordinary. The term Capra-esque means focusing on courage and the triumph of...
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