Skip to content
The Whitsell Auditorium and the Northwest Film Center Equipment Room are closed to the public in an effort to further stem the spread of COVID-19. All classes canceled until further notice. Stay connected to art, film, and more by signing up for our newsletter.

Directed by Frank Capra

United States 1932 75 mins. In English

Producer Harry Cohn made Columbia Pictures one of the key studios of the early 1930s, perhaps the greatest purveyor of screwball comedy, and he forged a long and wildly successful relationship with Frank Capra, still one of Hollywood’s most revered filmmakers. Before films like It Happened One Night and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Capra directed several films during the pre-code era, of which American Madness is perhaps the finest and most relevant to our times. In this breakneck bank crisis drama, a cowboy-esque CEO (Walter Huston) undergoes simultaneous personal and professional crises—and the latter threatens to topple his bank in one afternoon. Meanwhile, the general public, the bank’s board, and its employees all converge in a frenetic climax—only mildly touched by the endearing, populist “Capra-corn” we know and love.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.