Did Frank Capra Accidentally Try to Accept an Oscar He Didn’t Win?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Frank Capra accidentally tried to accept an Oscar that he didn’t win.

In 1933, Frank Capra directed Lady for a Day, a touching story about an old woman whose friends conspire to trick her visiting daughter (who she sent away to Europe when she was an infant and with whom she has only communicated with through letters) into thinking that her mother is a wealthy member of society and not the street vendor that she actually is.

Here’s Capra on the right, screenwriter of the film, Robert Riskin, on the left and May Robson, who played the title role, in the midddle.

The film was the first Columbia Pictures film to be nominated for an Academy Award and was the first film that Frank Capra was nominated for Best Director for, as well. Made with a bunch of no-names because no studio would lend their top talent to Columbia, the film was a surprise hit and Capra felt that their odds were strong that they would sweep the Oscars.

His confidence, as it turned out, led to a shocking gaffe…
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Did I Love Lucy Invent the Three-Camera Approach for TV Shows?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: I Love Lucy invented the “three camera” approach for TV shows.

I Love Lucy was a highly influential television series.

The show particularly impressed with its avant garde filming techniques, which helped revolutionize television (particularly the world of syndication). That said, because they are SO famous for their filming techniques, they often get over-credited in certain areas. One such area is the idea of using three cameras to film the show.
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Does John Patrick Shanley Really Have a Clause in His Contracts That You Can’t Change Any of His Screenplays?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: John Patrick Shanley has it written into his contract that no words in his screenplays can be changed.

John Patrick Shanley was a burgeoning young playwright in the 1980s when he burst on to the Hollywood scene with the screenplay to the smash hit (and Academy Award winning) film, Moonstruck, starring Cher.

The film won Shanley the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

More recently, in 2005, Shanley won the trifecta for American Drama Awards, when he was awarded the Drama Desk for Best Play, the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play, Doubt: A Parable.

Recently, the play was adapted into a critically acclaimed film starring Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman…

A legend has grown around Shanley when it came to the world of films and his screenplays.

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Did Burt Reynolds Turn Down Terms of Endearment for Stroker Ace?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Burt Reynolds turned down an Academy Award-winning acting role that was specifically written with him in mind so that he could do Stroker Ace.

Terms of Endearment was a 1975 novel by Larry McMurtry about the strained relationship of a mother and her grown daughter…

James L. Brooks made his film debut as a writer with the screenplay for the popular 1979 film, Starting Over, starring Burt Reynolds as a divorced man balancing his relationship with his new girlfriend and his ex-wife…

In 1983, Brooks made his film debut as a writer/director with the film adaptation of Terms of Endearment, starring Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger as the mother and daughter.

Brooks decided to add a new character to the film, a romantic interest for MacLaine’s character. The character, Garrettt Breedlove, was a retired astronaut who was a bit of an arrogant boozehound, but with a heart of gold.

Brooks wrote the character with Reynolds in mind, who was in his late 40s at the time.

However, Reynolds at the time had a lead role in an action-comedy called Stroker Ace, where he played a race car driver.
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