This timely and topical, yet definitive, book defines and celebrates the rich and varied history of populism as portrayed in American films, paying special attention to Frank Capra and those he influenced.
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.