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Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
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Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

4.8 6
Director: Frank Capra, Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft

Cast: Frank Capra, Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft


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Frank Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town has been given respectful, if not ideal treatment by Columbia-TriStar. The movie has been restored and looks sharper and brighter than the television editions that this reviewer recalls up through the 1970s, and superior to the past videotape releases. It showed up late on laserdisc, but the DVD also looks better than the 12


Frank Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town has been given respectful, if not ideal treatment by Columbia-TriStar. The movie has been restored and looks sharper and brighter than the television editions that this reviewer recalls up through the 1970s, and superior to the past videotape releases. It showed up late on laserdisc, but the DVD also looks better than the 12-inch release, and the sound is cleaner as well; even the tuba (which Gary Cooper's Deeds likes to play) has beautiful depth in the scenes where it is used. The producers have taken the trouble to record Frank Capra Jr. on the alternate soundtrack, in an unrehearsed discussion of the picture and his father. This may have been well-intended, but it falls flat; Capra doesn't have a lot to say about this movie beyond some recollections of his father and observations about Gary Cooper, as well as some accounts of the plot that don't do too much more than restate what viewers are seeing on the screen in the first place. The long patches of silence are unfortunate, as they miss the opportunity to discuss the actors (other than Cooper) in the movie. Moreover, little of what Capra says is shot-specific to what viewers are seeing onscreen. The other parts of the supplement are enjoyable and provide some framing of the film's history, but the narration is anemic enough to be a waste of time. Not that this detracts in any way from the movie -- it just means that the producers of the disc should have had a second narrator in there, discussing the film around Capra's reminiscences and filling in the blanks. The menu, which opens automatically, is simple to navigate and the audio commentary, for what it's worth, is easy to activate or de-activate.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
Frank Capra built his career around the themes that he explores in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. For the populist Capra, the battle lines are clearly drawn; he makes his points (sometimes heavy-handedly) by pitting small-town simplicity, selflessness, and idealism against big-city sophistication, greed, and cynicism. Capra raised the "little guy" to iconic status, stereotyping him as effortlessly as he stigmatized the corrupt city slicker. Gary Cooper's Longfellow Deeds often looks as if he is visiting from a different era, an errant knight guided by an anachronistic code of chivalry. He is not afraid to resort to violence if words don't get the job done, although his impassioned speeches tend to get him in more trouble than they get him out of. He is looking for a "damsel in distress," and he is guided by an archaic and romantic notion of "noblesse oblige." Jean Arthur makes her first of three Capra appearances as this damsel, the hard-nosed reporter who exposes Mr. Deeds to ridicule. Her nasally, pointed line delivery is sharp and precise, and Cooper's trademark laconic delivery is also perfect for the role. Playing the part as if born to it, Cooper is at the top of his game, imbuing Deeds with just the right blend of empathy and intelligence. Nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town won Capra his second of three Best Director trophies.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Dolby Digital Mono]

Special Features

Digitally remastered audio & video; Audio: English, Spanish; Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai; Production notes; Frank Capra, Jr. Remembers... "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town"; Frank Capra, Jr. audio commentary; Vintage advertising; Bonus theatrical trailers; Filmographies; Scene selections

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gary Cooper Longfellow Deeds
Jean Arthur Babe Bennett
George Bancroft MacWade
Lionel Stander Cornelius Cobb
Douglas Dumbrille John Cedar
H.B. Warner Judge Walker
Raymond Walburn Walter
Margaret Matzenauer Madame Pomponi
Warren Hymer Bodyguard
Muriel Evans Theresa
Ruth Donnelly Mabel Dawson
Spencer Charters Mal
Emma Dunn Mrs. Meredith
Wryley Birch Psychiatrist
Arthur Hoyt Budington
Jameson Thomas Mr. Semple
Walter Catlett Morrow
Margaret Seddon Jane Faulkner
Beatrice Blinn Actor
Beatrice Curtis Actor
Frank Hammond Actor
Vesey O'Davoren Actor
Charles Sullivan Actor
Florence Wix Actor
Stanley Andrews James Cedar
Irving Bacon Frank
Billy Bevan Cabby
George Cooper Bob
Cecil Cunningham Bit part
Mary Lou Dix Shop girl
Ann Doran Girl on the Bus
Jay Eaton Writer
Bess Flowers Bit part
Edward Gargan 2nd Bodyguard
Russell Hicks Dr. Malcolm
Harry Holden Guard
Paul Hurst 1st Deputy
Eddie Kane Henneberry
Edward Keane Board member
Edward J. Le Saint Dr. Fosdick
Edwin Maxwell Douglas
Margaret McWade Amy Faulkner
George Meeker Brookfield
James Millican Interne
Gene Morgan Waiter
Jack Mower Reporter
Franklin Pangborn Tailor
Barnett Parker Butler
John Picorri Board member
Paul Porcasi Italian
Lillian Ross Hat Check Girl
Christian Rub Swenson
Lee Shumway Bailiff
Dale Van Sickel Lawyer
Gustav von Seyffertitz Dr. Emil Von Hallor
Pierre Watkin Arthur Cedar
John Wray Farmer
Harry C. Bradley Anderson
George "Gabby" Hayes Farmers' Spokesman
Charles Lane Hallor
Dennis O'Keefe Reporter
Charles Wilson Court Clerk

Technical Credits
Frank Capra Director,Producer
Edward Bernds Sound Mixer
C.C. Coleman Asst. Director
Roy Davidson Special Effects
Stephen Goosson Art Director
Gene Havlick Editor
Howard Jackson Musical Direction/Supervision
Samuel Lange Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Riskin Screenwriter
Dimitri Tiomkin Score Composer
Joseph Walker Cinematographer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [1:04]
2. Semple Heir Search [3:23]
3. Longfellow Deeds [5:53]
4. A Lot of Friends [2:28]
5. 3 C's & Little B [1:50]
6. Babe Bennett [4:51]
7. Gentlemen From the Opera [3:41]
8. "Lamb Bites Wolf." [4:54]
9. Lady in Distress [5:04]
10. Literati [4:50]
11. Cinderella Man [1:47]
12. "Quite a Bender." [4:32]
13. A Date With Mary [3:20]
14. Nuisance Value [1:06]
15. "Swanee River" [4:56]
16. What's Eating Babe [2:54]
17. Echoes [6:05]
18. Longfellow Proposes [3:46]
19. Quitting [3:16]
20. The Truth [3:08]
21. End of His Rope [4:06]
22. Giving His Dough Away [4:34]
23. Insanity Warrant [4:14]
24. Sanity Hearing [7:23]
25. Pixilated [3:04]
26. Dr. Emil Von Hallor [7:15]
27. Deeds' Two Cents [9:40]
28. Case Dismissed [2:28]


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Mr. Deeds Goes to Town 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
frank capra, gary cooper, jean arthur. the result is magic! you can watch this film again and again ( I did). It never palls. Its fundamental values of decency and right vs wrong are as relevant today as when the film was made. A true classic.
John316 More than 1 year ago
My 14 year old son requested this DVD for his birthday. Our entire family loves this movie! It is refreshing to watch a movie where the focus on material possessions is in the right perspective. Gary Cooper inherits a large sum of money, but instead of spending it foolishly, he wants to help the town folk who need it more. It is based on the Great Depression. A great movie for the times we are in economically! I highly recommend this to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best movies ever made, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, is a classic. It is well-acted, has a great script, and is visually enjoying. Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur give great performances. There is real chemistry between the stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have seen this movie many times and each time I still laugh at the funny scenes and never grow tired of it. I highly recommend this to anyone who is either a classic movie buff or likes Gary Cooper.