"Movies... For Free!", showcasing classic movies that have fallen out of copyright and are available freely from the public domain (with streaming video!)...
Meet John Doe, 1941.
Directed by Frank Capra.
Starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck.
Meet John Doe is a comedy drama from legendary director Frank Capra, who reteams with Gary Cooper after their successful 1936 collaboration Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (for which Capra was named Best Director and Cooper nominated for Best Actor at the 9th Academy Awards). Barbara Stanwyck stars as news reporter Ann Mitchell who, after being laid off from her job as a columnist at The New Bulletin, pens a fake letter from "John Doe" that causes quite a sensation upon publication. Forced to rehire Mitchell, the newspaper employs derelict John Willoughby (Cooper) to portray Doe, with media magnate D.B. Norton (Edward Arnold) using him as a pawn to further his own political ideology.
Often overlooked in favour of Capra's other classic movies, Meet John Doe received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Story (Richard Connell and Robert Presnell, Sr.), and is also notable for leading to a dispute between Capra and screenwriter Robert Riskin (who had penned previous hits Lady for a Day, It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and You Can't Take it With You), with Riskin accusing Capra of taking credit for his work and refusing to (willingly) work with the director again.
Almost seventy years after its production the film's themes and moral values remain highly relevant, and in 2005 it was named #49 on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers: America's Most Inspiring Movies.
Embed courtesy of Internet Archive.
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