Harry Cohn had a dictum in that he would only allow his directors to print any one of their takes, thereby saving the studio a great deal of money. Frank Capra found a loophole in getting round this. At the end of each take, instead of shouting "Cut" he would shout "Do it again", and the actors would launch immediately into an unbroken repetition of the scene.
Bess Flowers was an extra in this movie. Nicknamed "Queen of the Hollywood Extras" Flowers appeared in over 700 movies of which 21 were Oscar noms for Best Picture of which 5 won. This makes her a record holder for an actor appearing in Best Picture winning films.
From the start, Frank Capra was convinced that Gary Cooper would be perfect for the part of Longfellow Deeds. Production had to wait six months for Cooper to become available, incurring costs of $100,000 for the delay in filming.
The tender scene in which Babe (Jean Arthur) recites a poem that Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper) wrote for her was almost deleted because Frank Capra thought it was too sappy. Jean Arthur had been working very hard on that scene and convinced Capra to at least film it, which he did. The bit of Deeds tripping over the garbage cans was added to provide comic relief to break the sentimental mood.
Carole Lombard was originally down to play the female lead but she backed out three days before production began to go work on My Man Godfrey (1936). Shooting had to begin without a female lead in place.
Jean Arthur was so overcome with stage fright, that she often vomited before scenes and would run back to her dressing room after each take to have a good cry. Yet she was totally cool on camera. Gary Cooper was one of the few actors who could make her feel comfortable on the set.
The scene in which Deeds meets several famous writers and columnists at a New York restaurant, and finds them to be witty but also sarcastic and rude, is a reference to the Algonquin Round Table, with the character Bill Morrow being loosely based on Alexander Woollcott.
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.
Gary Cooper's relaxed acting style mirrored his off-stage approach to the work. Although the film marked a major step in his career, between scenes he would often lie down on the floor, pull his hat over his eyes and grab a quick nap in the midst of all the commotion of filmmaking.
At the beginning of the film when the lawyers go to the house where Deeds lives, the housekeeper opens the door to let them in and leaves the door open. The next scene where Deeds comes home, the dog jumps up on a closed door which had never been closed.