January 12th, 2021


Movie Critique - Meet John Doe

For review of all movies starring Barbara Stanwyck, go here.

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: A dark movie with shades and shades of optimism infused every which way the plot takes a turn, uplifting at the end, delivering a very powerful and profound message. 

Meet John Doe is a 1941 American comedy drama film starring Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, James Gleason, Gene Lockhart and Walter Brennan in the lead cast. Directed and produced by Frank Capra, adapted from the 1922 story A Reputation by Richard Edward Connell which was published in Century Magazine. The film was made for Warner Bros., the first of the two Capra made for the studio.

Ann Mitchell (portrayed by Barbara Stanwyck), soon to being laid off newspaper reporter, prints an article about a fictional John Doe who threatens to commit suicide on Christmas Eve protesting societies ills and evils. Unexpectedly the article creates a sensation and it lands on Mitchell and her editor Henry Cornell's (portrayed by James Gleason) shoulder to prove that the story is true and there is a real John Doe. They end up hiring John Willoughby (portrayed by Gary Cooper), a former basketball player down on his luck, to pose as the fictional John Doe. Before either of them know, Mitchell and her John Doe become a national sensation, developing into a grassroots movement with the slogan "Be a better neighbor", and more political drama surround it. 

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