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Meet John Doe (1941)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 3 May 1941 (USA)
A man needing money agrees to impersonate a nonexistent person who said he'd be committing suicide as a protest, and a political movement begins.

Director:

Writers:

(based on a story by), (based on a story by) (as Robert Presnell) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Drama

A modern-day version of the 1941 classic Frank Capra-directed film.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... John Doe
... Ann Mitchell
... D.B. Norton
... The 'Colonel'
... Mrs. Mitchell
... Henry
... Mayor Lovett
... Ted Sheldon
... Beany
... Bert
... 'Sourpuss'
... Angelface
... Mayor Hawkins
... Spencer
... Hammett
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Storyline

As a parting shot, fired reporter Ann Mitchell prints a fake letter from unemployed "John Doe," who threatens suicide in protest of social ills. The paper is forced to rehire Ann and hires John Willoughby to impersonate "Doe." Ann and her bosses cynically milk the story for all it's worth, until the made-up "John Doe" philosophy starts a whole political movement. At last everyone, even Ann, takes her creation seriously...but publisher D.B. Norton has a secret plan. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

ALL AMERICA WANTS TO MEET THE "MR. DEEDS" OF 1941! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 May 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frank Capra's 'Meet John Doe'  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contrary to popular belief, there is no "longer" version of this film. The film has always run 123 minutes. However, the original publicity erroneously stated it was 132 minutes; the publicist accidentally flipped the last two numbers. For years, historians assumed that all reissue prints had been cut by 9 minutes, until an original fine grain master was uncovered, and also turned out to run 123 minutes. This is the only running time for the film. See more »

Goofs

When the Governor sits, the ear piece of his glasses changes position between shots. See more »

Quotes

Long John Willoughby: [gets carried away spanking his own knees as he describes his dream to Ann]
Long John Willoughby: So I came down and I whacked you a good one, see? Then he whacked you, and I whacked you another one, and we both started whackin' you like...
Long John Willoughby: [stops abruptly when he realizes Beany is standing right behind him]
Beany: Well if you're through whackin' her, c'mon let's get goin'.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 73 Questions: 73 Questions with Olivia Munn (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

ODE TO JOY
(uncredited)
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven (1824)
Lyrics by Friedrich Schiller (1785)
Performed by Hall Johnson Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wonderful!!!~
9 January 2000 | by See all my reviews

This is a great movie. Gary Cooper is wonderful as John. At first, he does it for the money, but then, he feels bad because some people really have faith in him, and trust him. He feels guilty about being a fake. My favorite part is when he says:

"The John Doe idea may be the answer though! It may be the one thing capable of saving this cockeyed world. Yet you sit back there on your fat hulks and tell me you'll kill it if you can't use it. Well you go ahead and try, you couldn't do it in a million years with all your radio stations and all your power. Because it's bigger than whether I'm a fake, it's bigger than your ambitions and it's bigger than all the bracelets and fur coats in the world!"

I also think Barbara Stanwyck gives a wonderful performance as Ann. I love it when he's standing on the building, threatening to jump, and she tells him that she loves him, and the world does too, and they'll forgive him for lying. I cried so much!

I first saw this movie on Christmas Eve and I loved it. I guarantee it will be a tradition for many Christmases to come!


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