Meet John Doe

( 1 )

Overview

This Image Entertainment release claims that it was mastered from an original 35 mm nitrate source, and it does have marginally more detail than the best competing version of the film, which was allowed to fall into the public domain in 1969. Meet John Doe is one of Frank Capra's most personal works, and deserves to be preserved at least as much as It's a Wonderful Life or It Happened One Night, the director's two most widely known, crowd-pleasing pictures, but based on this DVD, it still has a little way to go. ...
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014381944921 This item is brand new. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Thank you for supporting our small, family-owned business!

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Overview

This Image Entertainment release claims that it was mastered from an original 35 mm nitrate source, and it does have marginally more detail than the best competing version of the film, which was allowed to fall into the public domain in 1969. Meet John Doe is one of Frank Capra's most personal works, and deserves to be preserved at least as much as It's a Wonderful Life or It Happened One Night, the director's two most widely known, crowd-pleasing pictures, but based on this DVD, it still has a little way to go. The picture looks detailed but still slightly soft compared with the best transfers of black-and-white movies from this period. Additionally, there are signs of damaged frames that have been removed or repaired, and these seem to be the same damaged frames that show up on some of the competing versions, leading one to believe that they were in the original negative. One also gets the feeling that Image Entertainment had less than complete confidence in the depth of quality of this release. The company logo doesn't pop up ahead of the movie, and they've broken the 123-minute movie into just seven chapters -- even Madacy's release of the movie, costing less than a third as much and not looking much poorer, has a better breakdown of the movie and also offers a few extras, albeit silly ones. The Image Entertainment transfer is better in terms of sound, which is louder, and its picture is also more consistent, but not always vastly better -- some shots are an improvement and others are very similar in quality, and the second half of the film doesn't look as good as the first. The notes are reasonably detailed, though this movie is so complex that an audio track would have been justified.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Meet John Doe is the Frank Capra movie that spoke most directly to the mood of the United States at the time that it was made. It's a fundamentally pessimistic film, without a positive resolution, and also an astonishingly mature movie -- virtually groundbreaking as a "message" movie aimed at a mainstream audience. Appearing in 1940, it closed out a decade that had been dominated by despair, disillusionment, dislocation (economic and personal), and desperation, a period characterized by a reliance on often inept government officials or duplicitous would-be leaders. All of these elements are present in Meet John Doe from its opening scene (a mass layoff at a newspaper), and they get addressed over and over again as the plot unfolds. The movie also had the courage to put some very attractive stars -- Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck -- in some very unattractive roles, as two people putting over a huge fraud on a public that trusts them. It wasn't considered a very successful film in its own time, being a little too dark and mature amid the ominous reality of the European war being waged at the time, but it is probably the best of Capra's "message" pictures and his best slice-of-life drama other than It Happened One Night. One scene, in which Cooper's Long John Willoughby tries to address the crowd and is cut off, was mimicked (some would say perverted) in real life during the 1980 presidential campaign, when Ronald Reagan defiantly resisted being cut off during the New Hampshire debates. It was life imitating art, and Reagan played it even better than Cooper did in the movie.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/13/2001
  • UPC: 014381944921
  • Original Release: 1941
  • Rating:

  • Source: Image Entertainment
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White / Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:01:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gary Cooper Long John Willoughby, John Doe
Barbara Stanwyck Ann Mitchell
Edward Arnold D.B. Norton
Walter Brennan The Colonel
Spring Byington Mrs. Mitchell
James Gleason Henry Connell
Gene Lockhart Mayor Lovett
Rod La Rocque Ted Sheldon
Irving Bacon Beany
Regis Toomey Bert Hansen
John Farrell MacDonald Sourpuss Smithers
Warren Hymer Angelface
Harry Holman Mayor Hawkins
Andrew Tombes Spencer
Pierre Watkin Hammett
Stanley Andrews Weston
Mitchell Lewis Bennett
Charles Wilson Charlie Dawson
Vaughan Glaser Governor
Sterling Holloway Dan
Mike J. Frankovich Radio Announcer
Knox Manning Radio Announcer at Convention
John B. Hughes Radio Announcers at Convention
Mary Benoit
Sidney Bracey
Fritzi Brunette
Glen Cavender
Jack Cheatham Policeman
Mildred Coles Secretary
Margaret Crane Mrs. Brewster
Carl Ekberg
Frank Fanning
Eddie Fetherstone Reporter
Jack Gardner Photographer
William Gould Sergeant
Mack Gray
The Hall Johnson Choir
Alfred Hall
Kenneth Harlan Publicity Man
James Harrison
Max Hoffman Jr.
Stuart Holmes
John Ince Doctor
Frank Jaquet
Eddie Kane Tycoon
Richard Kipling Police Commissioner
Melvin Lang
Al Lloyd
Alphonse Martell Foreign Dignitarie
Frank Mayo Attendant
Charles McAvoy
Larry McGrath
Joe McGuinn
Tom McGuire
Claire Meade
George Melford
Frank Meredith
Clark Morgan
Jack Mower
Forbes Murray Legislator
Wedgewood Nowell
Paul Panzer
Edward Peil Sr.
George Pembroke
Bob Perry
Elsa Peterson
Hal Price
Stanley Price
Jack Richardson
Henry Roquemore Chamber of Commerce Member
Thomas W. Ross
Cliff Saum
Wyndham Standing
Charles Trowbridge
Don Turner Guard
Fredrik Vogeding
Bessie Wade
Lillian West
Bernard Wheeler
Leo White
Ed Williams
Lotta Williams
Tom Wilson
Jack Wise
Mrs. Wilfred North
Isabelle La Mal
Earl Bunn
Howard Chase
Floyd Criswell Electrician
Evelyn Dockson
Sada Simmons
Don Roberts
Inez Gay
Sally Sage
Eddie Graham
Frank Austin Grubbel
Aldrich Bowker Pop Dwyer
Bennie Bartlett Red, Office Boy
Suzanne Carnahan Autograph hound
Lucia Carroll Herself
Edmund Cobb Policeman
Billy Curtis Midget
Harry Davenport Ex-owner of Bulletin
Vernon Dent Man
Ann Doran Mrs. Hansen
Edward Earle Radio MC
Sarah Edwards Mrs. Hawkins
Paul Everton GOP man
Johnny Fern Lady Midget
Pat Flaherty Mike
Bess Flowers Matie, Newspaper Secretary
William Forrest Governor's Associate
Charles French Fired reporter
John Hamilton Jim, Governor's Associate
Forrester Harvey Bum
Edward Hearn Mayor's secretary
Selmar Jackson Radio Announcer at Convention
Carlotta Jelm Ann's Sister
Edward Keane Relief Administrator
Hank Mann Ed, a Photographer
Lafe [Lafayette] McKee Mr. Delaney
James McNamara Sheriff
Edward McWade Joe, Newsman
James Millican Photographer
Frank Moran Bit part
Gene Morgan Mug
Garry Owen Sign Painter
Susan Peters Autograph Hound
Walter Soderling Barrington
Edwin Stanley Democrat
Emma Tansey Mrs. Delaney
Tina Thayer Ann's Sister
Cyril Thornton Butler
Guy Usher Bixler
Maris Wrixon Autograph hound
Technical Credits
Frank Capra Director, Producer
George Barnes Cinematographer
Arthur S. Black Jr. Asst. Director
Richard Connell Original Story, Screenwriter
Jack Cosgrove Special Effects
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Stephen Goosson Art Director
Dan Mandell Editor
Robert R. Presnell Sr. Original Story, Screenwriter
C.A. Riggs Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Riskin Screenwriter
Dimitri Tiomkin Score Composer
Natalie Visart Costumes/Costume Designer
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Scene Index

Chapter Listings
0. Chapter Listings
1. Feature Start [3:30]
2. Annie Writes The Letter [24:14]
3. Meet D.B Norton [15:42]
4. The Big Broadcast [15:35]
5. Local "John Doe Club" [40:16]
6. Convention Crucifixion [10:30]
7. Christmas Eve [12:25]
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Menu

Main
   Menu Group #1 with 7 chapter(s) covering 02:02:16
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    Every American should watch this movie.  As shown in this movie,

    Every American should watch this movie.  As shown in this movie,
    It's going to take caring about your neighbor  and following the truth
     that saves our country again. Also, it reveals how those who want to rule
    over others do it.  Gives us things to think about.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews