Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

4.8 6
Director: Frank Capra

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

     
 

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When a car crash ends the life of a fabulously wealthy patron of the arts, the decedent's $20,000,000 fortune is inherited by one Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper) of Mandrake Falls, Vermont. Already a reasonably successful local businessman, Deeds doesn't really feel the need for anything extra in his life: he just wants enough time to practice his tuba and compose… See more details below

Overview

When a car crash ends the life of a fabulously wealthy patron of the arts, the decedent's $20,000,000 fortune is inherited by one Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper) of Mandrake Falls, Vermont. Already a reasonably successful local businessman, Deeds doesn't really feel the need for anything extra in his life: he just wants enough time to practice his tuba and compose greeting-card doggerel. When Deeds is convinced to move to New York, hard-boiled newspaper reporter Babe Bennett (Jean Arthur) is dispatched to get the inside scoop on "The Cinderella Man." Babe's stories of Deeds' eccentricities and no-nonsense dealings with phonies and poseurs provide excellent headline fodder; but she begins to regret her actions, having fallen in love with the big lug. Deeds ultimately sets up a foundation to dispense his fortune to the country's neediest souls, on the proviso that the recipients do their best to get back on their feet, a turn of events that leads his lawyer John Cedar (Douglas Dumbrille) to try to have him declared insane. By the end of the sanity hearing, the judge (H. B. Walker) declares: "Not only are you sane, but you're the sanest man who ever walked in this courtroom!" A joyously unadulterated hunk of Frank Capra-corn, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town was adapted by Robert Riskin from Clarence Buddington Kelland's short story "Opera Hat." In addition to the pleasure of watching the country bumpkin outwit city slickers, the movie is a film buff's dream, boasting one of the best character-actor casts ever assembled for a single film. Nominated for four Academy Awards, the film won Frank Capra his second Oscar (out of three) as Best Director.

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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:
05/21/2002
UPC:
0043396901438
Original Release:
1936
Rating:
NR
Source:
Sony Pictures

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

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