|Painting of Mount San Jacinto near Palm Springs, California, by John Frost, 1926|
The movie director Frank Capra, however, came to work. He had read a short story, “Night Bus,” while he was in a Palm Springs barbershop, and he thought it would make a great movie.
|Capra lawn with its mountain view|
A plaque on La Quinta Resort’s Capra Lawn states that he became superstitious about La Quinta after this. After all, this was the first Oscar sweep of the five major categories (it would not happen again for forty years). He made the resort his writing retreat, returning for many winters with his wife Lucille. Among the movies he penned in these rooms are “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
|La Quinta guest rooms and porch|
Women Writing the West, has been visiting La Quinta for almost thirty years and happened upon the plaque and its story of Frank Capra. She is writing a novel set in the 1890s, and is currently Chair of WWW's WILLA Literary Awards. Her blog, Past and Present with Pamela, on the arts, history, and places to visit, includes film clips from “It Happened One Night” and more photos and facts about La Quinta.