Meet John Doe

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Released 1941

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  • Meet John Doe: It Started As A Stunt

    Trailer

    Written by a discharged journalist as a publicity stunt, and as a parting shot at the paper’s new editor, the premise of the letter unexpectedly fires the imagination of the Bulletin’s readers and the wider American public. Its real author, Ann Mitchell (Barbara Stanwyck) who has fabricated the letter in her final column, is rehired, and now needs to find someone to play the part of the fictional “John Doe.” Gary Cooper is perfectly cast as Long John Willoughby, an injured and penniless former baseball pitcher lured into impersonating “John Doe” with the promise of medical treatment. In what would have undoubtedly been an Oscar winning performance, were it not for his own success that same year in Howard Hawk’s “Sergeant York,” Cooper excels himself here as Willoughby’s initial indifference to his undertaking turns to genuine concern at his role. But, as he becomes an increasingly culpable pawn in an ever more treacherous game, just how can “John Doe” redeem himself? The film explores a recurring notion in Capra’s work that of the universal everyman exploited by a corrupt and powerful establishment, the film’s reflections on corporate control of both the media, and of ordinary people’s lives is still a resonant social commentary as ever.moreless
  • Meet John Doe

    Trailer

    Written by a discharged journalist as a publicity stunt, and as a parting shot at the paper’s new editor, the premise of the letter unexpectedly fires the imagination of the Bulletin’s readers and the wider American public. Its real author, Ann Mitchell (Barbara Stanwyck) who has fabricated the letter in her final column, is rehired, and now needs to find someone to play the part of the fictional “John Doe.” Gary Cooper is perfectly cast as Long John Willoughby, an injured and penniless former baseball pitcher lured into impersonating “John Doe” with the promise of medical treatment. In what would have undoubtedly been an Oscar winning performance, were it not for his own success that same year in Howard Hawk’s “Sergeant York,” Cooper excels himself here as Willoughby’s initial indifference to his undertaking turns to genuine concern at his role. But, as he becomes an increasingly culpable pawn in an ever more treacherous game, just how can “John Doe” redeem himself? The film explores a recurring notion in Capra’s work that of the universal everyman exploited by a corrupt and powerful establishment, the film’s reflections on corporate control of both the media, and of ordinary people’s lives is still a resonant social commentary as ever.moreless
  • Meet John Doe

    Movie

    1/1/41

    Sacked by her newspaper, spunky scribe Ann Mitchell (Barbara Stanwyck) hatches a hoax to keep her job. In her final column, she pens a missive from "John Doe," a fictitious hobo planning to leap to his death from city hall. When the letter triggers a public flap, the paper -- looking to boost readership -- cons a suitable stooge (Gary Cooper) into posing as Doe. Little does he know the paper's owner plans to use him as a ticket to the presidency.moreless

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