Longfellow Deeds lives in a small town, leading a small town kind of life - including playing the tuba in the town band. When a relative dies and leaves Deeds a fortune, Longfellow picks up his tuba and moves to the big city where he becomes an instant target for everyone from the greedy opera committee to the sensationist daily newspaper. Deeds outwits them all until Babe Bennett comes along. Babe is a hot-shot reporter who figures the best way to get close to Deeds is to pose as a damsel in distress. When small-town boy meets big-city girl anything can, and does, happen. Written by
Columbia head Harry Cohn was set against Jean Arthur being cast as the female lead. Frank Capra was finally able to persuade him by insisting that Cohn listen to her voice not study her face. See more »
When Mr. Deeds is playing the tuba, the acting is out of synchronization with the sound. See more »
Of all Capra's films this is the one I like the best, partly, I think, because there has never been anybody in the history of cinema to match Gary Cooper at putting on the boyish charm. As Longfellow Deeds, a man who inherits a lot of money he does not need and therefore does not want, Cooper is just right, a hick, but not a fool, a gentle man but not one who will let the wool be pulled over his eyes. The films' pertinence arises from its' depiction of a rich man prepared to give his wealth away to benefit his fellow man. It was a fantasy then, and is as much a fantasy now, because we do not learn, least of all from pictures even as good as this one.
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