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Stephen G. Marshall

Capra, Frank (18 May 1897–03 September 1991), filmmaker, was born in Bisacquino, Sicily, the son of Salvatore Capra and Rosaria Nicolosi, farmers. The family immigrated to the United States, settling on a farm outside Los Angeles, when Capra was six years old. Capra was the only of his parents’ fourteen children to attend college; he obtained a scholarship and graduated from Throop College of Technology (later California Institute of Technology) in 1918 with a degree in chemical engineering....

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de Rochemont, Louis (13 January 1899–23 December 1978), film producer, was born Louis Clark de Rochemont in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the son of Louis L. G. de Rochemont, an attorney, and Sarah Wilson Miller. As a boy of twelve, de Rochemont made his own film camera with the help of a local machine shop and used it to film “newsreels” in neighboring towns, which he then sold to local movie houses to show. De Rochemont attended the Naval Aviation School of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Naval Cadet School of Harvard University. He served for a year with British Military Intelligence through a program of the U.S. Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1917, reaching the rank of lieutenant by the time he resigned in 1923. He remained in the naval reserve for another ten years. While he served in the navy, de Rochemont’s interest in film continued. During his tour of duty abroad, he independently filmed the 1922 opening of King Tutankamen’s tomb and, in the same year, Kemal Ataturk’s capture of Smyrna, which led to the foundation of the Turkish Republic....

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Flaherty, Robert Joseph (16 February 1884–23 July 1951), filmmaker, was born in Iron Mountain, Michigan, the son of mining authority Robert Henry Flaherty and Susan Klöckner. After sporadic early education in Minnesota, Michigan, and Ontario, followed by an unsuccessful period at Upper Canada College in Toronto, Canada, in 1898, Flaherty attended the Michigan College of Mines in 1902. There he met the daughter of mineralogist and geologist Lucius L. Hubbard, Frances Hubbard, whom he married in 1914. The couple had three children....

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Ford, John (01 February 1895–31 August 1973), motion picture director, was born Sean Aloysius O’Fearna in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, the son of Sean O’Fearna, a seaman and saloon keeper, and Barbara “Abbey” Curran. Both parents had emigrated to the United States from Galway, Ireland, and later changed their family name to O’Feeney....

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Johnson, Osa (14 March 1894–07 January 1953), author, lecturer, and film producer, was born Osa Helen Leighty in Chanute, Kansas, the daughter of William Sherman Leighty, a railroad engineer, and Ruby Isabel Holman. In 1910 she left high school to marry Martin Johnson, whom she had met eleven years earlier when he visited Chanute as an eighteen-year-old itinerant photographer. In the meantime he had visited Europe alone and traveled with ...

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Lorentz, Pare (11 December 1905–04 March 1992), documentary filmmaker, was born Leonard MacTaggart Lorentz in Clarksburg, West Virginia, the son of Alma MacTaggart Ruttencutter and Pare Hanson Lorentz, a printer. After studying at West Virginia Wesleyan College and the University of West Virginia, Lorentz moved to New York City in 1924, where he found employment as editor for the ...

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Maysles, David Carl (10 January 1932–03 January 1987), documentary filmmaker, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Philip Maysles, a postal clerk, and Ethel Epstein, a grammar school teacher. Maysles spent his childhood in Dorchester, a working-class, predominantly Irish-Catholic Boston neighborhood. Both his parents had immigrated to the United States from Russia as young children and were devoted to American ideals of upward mobility. His mother had been one of the “Saturday Evening Girls,” a group of immigrant children given a classical education in the arts, sponsored by a Boston philanthropist. Ethel Maysles’s devotion to the arts exerted a lifelong influence on her two sons and a daughter. In 1939 the Maysles family moved to Brookline, a middle-class Boston suburb, where Ethel Maysles became the first Jewish teacher in the community’s public schools....

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Van Dyke, Willard (05 December 1906–23 January 1986), documentary filmmaker, was born Willard Ames Van Dyke in Denver, Colorado, the son of Louis Van Dyke and Pearl Ames. He first became interested in film as a boy when he worked as an extra on the silent version of ...