Frank Capra: Lady for a Day

Frank Capra's successful, sentimental comedy Lady for a Day catapulted him into the top rank of Hollywood filmmakers. So sure was he of winning the best director Oscar that Capra rented a mansion in Beverly Hills, wrote thank-you notes and speeches, and bought an expensive tuxedo for the evening.

Soon enough, Oscar night arrived and host Will Rogers, arriving at the Best Director category, opened the envelope and began a rambling speech about a young man who had slowly risen from the bottom of the business. At last he made his much-anticipated announcement: "Come on up and get it, Frank!"

Capra stood triumphantly and made his way to the stage. As he reached the stairs, however, he was mortified to realize that the winner was in fact a different Frank: Cavalcade director Frank Lloyd!

[Capra was so embarrassed that he vowed never to attend the Oscars again -- a vow which he broke the following year, when It Happened One Night became the first film in history to win all five major Oscars.]

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