Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  12 April 1936 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 14,443 users  
Reviews: 109 user | 47 critic

Longfellow Deeds, a simple-hearted Vermont tuba player, inherits a fortune and has to contend with opportunist city slickers.



(screen play), (story)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Raymond Walburn ...
Ruth Donnelly ...
Walter Catlett ...


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 A.L.Beneteau <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Rocking America with laughter!


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 April 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El secreto de vivir  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One way Frank Capra maintained control over his work was by refusing to shoot if any studio executives came on the set. Whenever Harry Cohn would come on set, Capra would call a half-hour coffee break. The lost time was so expensive, Cohn rarely showed his face. See more »


The position of Deeds' hands change during the board meeting, after the firetruck goes by. See more »


Morrow: Pal, look, how would you like to go on a real old-fashioned binge?
Longfellow Deeds: Binge?
Morrow: Yeah, I mean the real McCoy. Listen, you play saloon with me and I'll introduce you to every wit, nitwit, and half-wit in New York. We'll go on a twister that'll make Omar the soused philosopher of Persia look like an anemic on a goat's milk diet!
Longfellow Deeds: Well, I guess that oughtta be fun.
Morrow: Fun? Listen, I'll take you on a bender that will live in your memory as a thing of beauty and a joy forever!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Winthrop Oliver Warner (a studio musician) actually played the tuba for the film. See more »


Spoofed in Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941) See more »


Humoresque, Op. 101/7
(1894) (uncredited)
Music by Antonín Dvorák
Hummed by Gary Cooper
See more »

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User Reviews

This really is is what being human is all about !
8 January 2006 | by (Ile-de-France / Paris Region, France) – See all my reviews

Unvrivalled in the history of cinema and having just watched it again for the umpteenth time, I thought a short review on IMDb was necessary. I have watched the film regularly for the last twenty years and never tire of its humour, its tenderness, its wit, its romance, its general actors' performance and the originality of its subject matter. Never have tears and laughs been so much intermingled in the same film..I was gushing tears in the scene where Deeds hands a poem which Babe reads in the fog on her doorstep ... a few minutes later Deeds goes running off home, tripping up over a dustbin in the process and I was howling with laughter ... likewise the long passage in the courtroom when Deeds finally decides to "speak up" has me in fits of laughter over its finesse and wit. The final scene, where Deeds comes back to the almost empty courtroom to "collect" Babe who had been sitting by herself there once again started off my waterworks as he picks her up and tenderly embraces her all over the place. Indeed that final "kiss" is one of the photos featured on France's 3rd TV channel's "Cinéma-Club" on most Sunday nights.

They are truly indeed a BEAUTIFUL couple in all senses of the world. I will not go through the story of the film again as this has been more than amply related by others but suffice it to say I have never seen any other film made with quite this calibre and actors' performance. Ineed this is the type of film that could only be made once ! Each character is extremely well developed and each actor/actress has exactly the physique of the character they play - an absolutely perfect match, one of those "one-off" films where everything combines to make for the spectator's perfect pleasure.

What a shame that in the twenty first century we cannot produce films of this calibre using story line, actors' performance and plot alone - to obtain thrills from present-day audiences, large quantities of excessive noise, flashing lights and especially computer-generated imagery are necessary .... all this at the expense of plot and of the humour and witty lines. But, with modern technology being a double-edged knife, we should nevertheless thank God for it's enabling us to henceforth be able to appreciate these "golden oldies" for years to come !

26 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Cut Scene in all versions now ? ralfee
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