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Meet John Doe

Meet John Doe(1941)

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  • Timeless Movie

    • Maria Ramos
    • 12/24/15

    I have seen this movie many times. But now with the political climate and the presidential candidates, I can see all the front runners in this movie, how timeless! Of course D.B. Norton is the big billionaire selling nonsense to the everyday John Doe. This is why this movie is a classic.

  • Excellent Up To The Last Moments !

    • DON RILEY
    • 12/23/15

    Gary Cooper is a character out of a Norman Rockwell painting, incarnate, here. I really loved Cooper in this role he was excellent. Actually I loved the film but it could not crescendo for some reason. It seemed to hit its peak prior to its ending. The ending was fine (in theory) but the film seemed to run out of steam., Even with Barbara Stanwyck's passionate overtures to the depressed and suicidal Cooper it just didn't seem to "hit the mark". In total is a good film but somewhere along the line it just was timed properly to achieve its potential.

  • In response to Mike 9/7/15

    • Tony
    • 12/4/15

    Excellent comment, Mike. Of course, MJD is a retelling of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ. Capra could not have had Cooper die, because Cooper, unlike Christ, could not have risen from the dead. Critics say the logic of the scenario dictates that if Cooper is to demonstrate that the JD movement was for real, he had to die (at the stroke of midnight on Christmas eve to fulfill the pledge he ostensibly made in Stanwyck's newspaper.) Thus, Cooper ascends to the summit of city hall, grabs the balustrade and is about to haul himself over the side, which would have sent him hurtling to his death. But no resurrection would have been possible. Capra could not have allowed that to happen and not only because you can't have Gary Cooper commit suicide. Such an ending would have utterly contradicted the meaning and sense of the movie. So, a resurrection does occur: the "little people" led by the soda jerk witness his readiness to die for the sake of a greater good to take on the sins of D. B. Norton and lay down his life for the sake of the nation's moral regeneration. Christianity exists thanks to the witness of the 12 apostles. As Benedict XVI has said it is impossible that the early Christians would have elevated Sunday to the same status (at least) of the Jewish Sabbath if they had not seen the risen Christ with their own eyes. As devout Jews, it would never have dawned on them to propose establishing a day of the week that would supersede Saturday in its divine significance. From that starting point, they went forth and taught all nations to the point where in 2015 AD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is worship in every country on earth. Hence the significance of the soda jerk and his posse of "little people." Meet John Doe comes to an utterly plausible and satisfactory conclusion.

  • Reply to Mike 9/7/15

    • Tony
    • 12/4/15

    Excellent comment, Mike. Of course, MJD is a retelling of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ. Capra could not have had Cooper die, because Cooper, unlike Christ, could not have risen from the dead. Critics say the logic of the scenario dictates that if Cooper is to demonstrate that the JD movement was for real, he had to die (at the stroke of midnight on Christmas eve to fulfill the pledge he ostensibly made in Stanwyck's newspaper.) Thus, Cooper ascends to the summit of city hall, grabs the balustrade and is about to haul himself over the side, which would have sent him hurtling to his death. But no resurrection would have been possible. Capra could not have allowed that to happen and not only because you can't have Gary Cooper commit suicide. Such an ending would have utterly contradicted the meaning and sense of the movie. So, a resurrection does occur: the "little people" led by the soda jerk witness his readiness to die for the sake of a greater good to take on the sins of D. B. Norton and lay down his life for the sake of the nation's moral regeneration. Christianity exists thanks to the witness of the 12 apostles. As Benedict XVI has said it is impossible that the early Christians would have elevated Sunday to the same status (at least) of the Jewish Sabbath if they had not seen the risen Christ with their own eyes. As devout Jews, it would never have dawned on them to propose establishing a day of the week that would supersede Saturday in its divine significance. From that starting point, they went forth and taught all nations to the point where in 2015 AD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is worship in every country on earth. Hence the significance of the soda jerk and his posse of "little people." Meet John Doe comes to an utterly plausible and satisfactory conclusion.

  • Capra corn, can of corn what's the difference

    • ojc
    • 12/4/15

    This is the movie where you can see the esteemed Frank Capra beginning to go a bit too far. Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Brennan are all fine. Ms. Stanwyck never looked better, she steals the picture in many ways. And one of my favorites Edward Arnold turns in a marvelous characterization as the scheming neo-Fascist millionaire political wheeler dealer. But the film just does not work. Quirky script. Most find fault with the ending but really the whole film just wobbles around. For example, John Doe's good neighbor speech is nothing but a re-hash of cliches and Mr. Deeds goes to Town populism. And the premise is bizarre. I know this film is set in the 1940's but honestly no private detective in America find out anything about the mysterious John Doe. He is a former baseball player, surely some scout or manager would recognize the very distinctive Gary Cooper once his face was featured everywhere. I know we are asked to have suspension of disbelief but here is the flaw in the film: Frank Capra is making a commentary on the real everyday America of 1940, not some re-imagined fantasy America. Anyway for all its faults the film is fun, heartwarming in parts, and makes a few good points about political extremism and corruption. And the stars are all very fine. Watch, enjoy, but for my money Mr. Deeds and Mr. Smith are far studies in American populism.

  • Meet John Doe

    • Mike
    • 9/7/15

    This is not so much of a review but an inquiry. I've noticed that the last few times this film has aired on TCM that it is a completely restored print of pristine quality. I have never seen this film look so good. The first time I saw this picture on tv was about 20 years ago. To say that it was of extremely poor quality would be a complement. There are two DVD versions of this film available that I know of. Each claims to be a remastered digital restoration. Neither comes close to the version you are airing. Why isn't your truly restored version of the film available on DVD? Is it another of those copyright battles that tied up another of Frank Capra's masterpieces, "Its a Wonderful Life"? This film belongs on DVD in a truly restored format.

  • Meet John Doe

    • Mike
    • 9/6/15

    I first saw this movie on a public television station. It aired at about one AM and the only reason I stayed up to watch it was because of Cooper and Stanwyck. Upon seeing this film, I could not understand why it had been buried for so long. Capra's forgotten masterpiece was envisioned as a retelling of the Christ story. Capra and his alter ego, screenwriter Robert Riskin had forgotten that crucifixions are not in keeping with the typical happy Hollywood ending that had become a Capra trademark. Legend has it that a preview card filled out by a anonymous movie goer gave Capra the idea for the ending he finally slapped on the picture. He went to his grave convinced that he had failed to find the proper ending for the work he had hoped to be his signature film. Either Capra was damned lucky or smarter than he let on. He had his crucifixion in the rally at the ballpark " The resurrection comes on the City Hall roof,"Christmas eve at midnight" and like the original crucifixion only a handful of witnesses are on hand to witness it. Was Capra embarrassed that he had revealed too much of his faith in a public medium? Was that the reason why he tried to alibi his ending? Who cares? This is one great film.

  • One of the Greats!

    • Alice
    • 8/6/14

    This is one of those films which exemplifies the word, classic. We can watch a true classic movie over and over and over again through the years, and learn something new each time we watch it. The true classic film is timeless. Love, love these films. Love you, TCM, for being around to show these films to us. Thank you.

  • Meet John Doe

    • Megan A
    • 12/3/12

    This is in my top 5 films of all times! I never tire of watching it! Priceless!

  • Meet John Doe

    • Dashiell Barnes
    • 9/24/12

    An underrated classic from Capra. Cooper & Stanwyck give good performances, as do Brennan & Arnold in the supporting roles. Even with fascism in the story, the plot is less compelling than Capra's other works & is slow at the times. A fine film to see from time-to-time. I give 3.5/5.

  • Grande filme de Frank Capra

    • Sonia
    • 11/8/10

    Este filme adorvel e ao mesmo tempo trata dos valores humanos numa poca em que as pessoas ficam mais fragilizadas no Natal. Eu recomendo que todos vejam.

  • Meet John Doe

    • James Higgins
    • 4/9/10

    Pure Capra, not his best, but it is still magnificent. It's a feel good film, as expected. What else can be said of Barbara Stanwyck. She is amazing as always, and gives such depth and range to her role. Gary Cooper is ideally cast. They make a great team and you can tell they have a good rapport. The supporting cast is wonderful, especially James Gleason, Walter Brennan and Edward Arnold. So well written, a wonderful and very memorable story.

  • A POLITICAL MESSAGE

    • mike nixon
    • 11/17/09

    Meet John Doe staring Garry Cooper is a strong message to Washington.. Maybe a few nuckle head politians can learn a little from the master GARY COOPER. Please show it more often...Thanks Mike N

  • my opinion

    • david lauck
    • 9/30/08

    ithink this is one of of the best movie that mr.cooper played in most of his movie,s he played such a kind gentle man it was also very funny in part,s the two older woman in the courtroom scene about being pixalated was hilarous a must see for all age,s david lauck

  • Gary Cooper

    • Marilyn
    • 6/1/08

    This is my favorite movie ever. I can't explain why it is, I just know that it is. I have yet to find one that I am so willing to watch over and over and over again, close together. I know people whom claim to be fans of Mr. Cooper, Ms. Stanwyck, and Mr. Capra but don't even know of this film's existence. That is a pity. This should be aired at least every Christmas, since the movie centers around the impending 'suicide' planned for Christmans Eve. It should be aired as much as they air 'It's A Wonderful Life'. I am saying AT LEAST, it should be aired so much more than that, throughout the year. A lot of the movie has relevence even today, just like most of Capra's work. That man knew what he was doing. He really did. There are a lot of funny moments in this movie. One of my favorite scenes is the 'baseball' scene. That was great.

  • WHY hasn't WB taken this out of public domain?

    • Dean
    • 5/8/08

    It really needs to be taken back by the studio, and released w/ Capra's other unreleased films, which unfortunately are all with Columbia/Sony. The print looks pretty decent on TCM, tho a tad soft. With all the crap that is released these days on dvd, i think it's high time that this title is given its due. The cast is just outstanding, politics aside. Brennan/Cooper are terrific, and Stanwyck as always is luminous.

  • Very Entertaining

    • Dan
    • 7/16/07

    Cooper and Stanwyck once again makes movie magic. This is one of the better films in 1941 and it entertains to the masses. A great way to spend time watching with a Tequilla sunrise and a loved one... .

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