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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for Capra and Cooper fans alike
Gary Cooper stars (with Barbara Stanwyck) as a journalist who invents the character John Doe, a man about to commit suicide on Christmas Eve, in a letter published by his former newspaper employers in one of Frank Capra's classic b/w morality tales made in 1941.
This is both classic Cooper, perhaps the best loved actor of his generation and classic Capra who made...
Published on 21 Oct 2001 by Mr. N. Carnegie

versus
75 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware which DVD edition you buy.
If you choose to buy this fim, and I recommend you do [the scene,in pouring rain, of a crowd becoming a mob, is particularly chilling], then be careful. Amazon do not differentiate between the different available editions and lump all customer reviews together.
DO NOT BUY the Delta Edition, with the title in Yellow and the garish blurred coloured picture of the 2...
Published on 26 Oct 2007 by Seethru


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75 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware which DVD edition you buy., 26 Oct 2007
By 
This review is from: Gary Cooper- Meet John Doe [DVD] [1941] (DVD)
If you choose to buy this fim, and I recommend you do [the scene,in pouring rain, of a crowd becoming a mob, is particularly chilling], then be careful. Amazon do not differentiate between the different available editions and lump all customer reviews together.
DO NOT BUY the Delta Edition, with the title in Yellow and the garish blurred coloured picture of the 2 stars. This is a shocking production, worse than a pirate edition, made from a dirty, poorly preserved original, and duped onto DVD in the cheapest, grainiest manner possible. It may have been copied onto DVD from an old VHS original, it looks so bad. Another edition, with the title in Red, is a restored version, and so much better, with some glimpse of the sharpness of the original photography.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for Capra and Cooper fans alike, 21 Oct 2001
By 
Mr. N. Carnegie (Kirkcaldy, Scotland, UK.) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Gary Cooper stars (with Barbara Stanwyck) as a journalist who invents the character John Doe, a man about to commit suicide on Christmas Eve, in a letter published by his former newspaper employers in one of Frank Capra's classic b/w morality tales made in 1941.
This is both classic Cooper, perhaps the best loved actor of his generation and classic Capra who made some of the best loved movies ever made, such as It's A Wonderful Life and Mr Smith Goes To Washington. This is in the same league and follows a similar ideology of faith in the human spirit and in the idea of ordinary people being able to do extraordinary things. Nobody made films like Frank Capra and when people say "they don't make films like that anymore" they are usually speaking about Capra movies. You don't need to know the plot of this movie, the story is in the telling as they say. If you love old movies, if you want to have your faith in human beings restored, buy and watch "Meet John Doe". Then buy all of Frank Capra's other movies. Sentiment without sentimentality, only the hardest of hearts will fail to be melted by "Meet John Doe".
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last. A restored version of this Capra classic!, 27 Oct 2001
By A Customer
I have been a fan of Frank Capra since first seeing "It's A Wonderful Life" on TV some years ago. I have an enormous collection of Capra related memorabillia and there are things on this DVD that even I didn't know! The film itself has been significantly restored compared to the terrible versions that are available in the U.S. plus there are extra features here that put much more expensive discs to shame (including an excellent audio commentary from a film histoian that includes excerpts of Capra himself.) Top marks to the people at Laureate for creating an excellent DVD. I notice that this is an NTSC disc which means American Capra fans can take advantage of this terrific release too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film review only., 20 Nov 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The third film in Capra's unofficial trilogy is darkly wonderful.

After doing Mr Deeds Goes To Town and Mr Smith Goes To Washington for Columbia, Capra quit and made this third film about an average Joe thrust into a powerful world where exploitation is high on the agenda, but in true Capra style the story unfolds to a customary flip flop triumph.

Ann Mitchell is a struggling journalist who gets fired from her newspaper job by new editor Henry Connell, by way of venting her frustrations she writes in her stinging last article about a man called John Doe who is tired of being pushed around and held back by the big bosses, she finishes the piece by claiming that Doe will commit suicide on Christmas Eve by leaping off the roof of city hall, the public react to the letter with tremendous heart and Doe becomes a champion of the people.

After Connell gets interested in the letter Ann has to confess that she made it up, they hatch a plan to turn a real unemployed drop out into John Doe so as to continue the story and sell more papers, and of course Ann gets to keep her job. This brings in ex minor league pitcher Long John Willoughby, who is down on his luck and very short of cash, and this is when the story shifts from amiable comedy on to a much darker path, the result making for a riveting watch.

Whilst not being up with the best Capra films in his armoury, it is, however, one of his smartest. The portrayal of the human spirit in many guises is stark and poignant, whilst thematically Capra got his point over about the unsavoury elements blossoming in America. The cast are nailed on watchable, Gary Cooper is John Doe, the right amount of sympathy and guts is garnered from his performance, and in one rousing speech he has the viewers in the palm of his hand. Barbara Stanwyck is Ann Mitchell and she delivers a great turn that calls for a number of emotions to be performed convincingly, while the support cast are all solid with the stand out a bizarrely unnerving Edward Arnold as D B. Norton; a man wishing to be a dictator if ever there was one. 10/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film review only., 20 Nov 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Meet John Doe [1941] [DVD] (DVD)
The third film in Capra's unofficial trilogy is darkly wonderful.

After doing Mr Deeds Goes To Town and Mr Smith Goes To Washington for Columbia, Capra quit and made this third film about an average Joe thrust into a powerful world where exploitation is high on the agenda, but in true Capra style the story unfolds to a customary flip flop triumph.

Ann Mitchell is a struggling journalist who gets fired from her newspaper job by new editor Henry Connell, by way of venting her frustrations she writes in her stinging last article about a man called John Doe who is tired of being pushed around and held back by the big bosses, she finishes the piece by claiming that Doe will commit suicide on Christmas Eve by leaping off the roof of city hall, the public react to the letter with tremendous heart and Doe becomes a champion of the people.

After Connell gets interested in the letter Ann has to confess that she made it up, they hatch a plan to turn a real unemployed drop out into John Doe so as to continue the story and sell more papers, and of course Ann gets to keep her job. This brings in ex minor league pitcher Long John Willoughby, who is down on his luck and very short of cash, and this is when the story shifts from amiable comedy on to a much darker path, the result making for a riveting watch.

Whilst not being up with the best Capra films in his armoury, it is, however, one of his smartest. The portrayal of the human spirit in many guises is stark and poignant, whilst thematically Capra got his point over about the unsavoury elements blossoming in America. The cast are nailed on watchable, Gary Cooper is John Doe, the right amount of sympathy and guts is garnered from his performance, and in one rousing speech he has the viewers in the palm of his hand. Barbara Stanwyck is Ann Mitchell and she delivers a great turn that calls for a number of emotions to be performed convincingly, while the support cast are all solid with the stand out a bizarrely unnerving Edward Arnold as D B. Norton; a man wishing to be a dictator if ever there was one. 10/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet John Doe, 28 Dec 2010
By 
J. M. C. Mascall "i-swinger" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Meet John Doe [1941] [DVD] (DVD)
Meet John Doe is another classic Frank Capra film with a Christmas edge and a life affirming, timeless message (the message here is of a simpler communal life hijacked by The System). As with other Capra films there are cringingly hard-to-watch scenes that are thoroughly naive but i'm sure it's these touches that make the final scenes so powerful.
Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck are flawless in their parts even if the script can get flabby. This is still an absolute delight 60 years on.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE the 2004 issue, 15 Dec 2009
By 
AlanMusicMan (North Cornwall) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Gary Cooper- Meet John Doe [DVD] [1941] (DVD)
I watched the trailer for this on LoveFilm and thought I would have a go at it. However, turns out that the trailer is taken from the 2008 remastered version, but what I got was the 2004 issue - which as previous reviewers have noted, is dreadful technical quality. Probably the worst technical quality feature film I have ever seen offered on a commercially produced DVD.

A shame, since the film itself is an interesting one. Though, I have to say that this is not Capra at his absolute best. I suppose it's possible that planning and pre-production work on his epic 8 hour WWII propaganda series "Why We Fight" (his next project and one that would last 3 years!) overshadowed this, but he is really not firing on all cylinders for this one. Everyone tries hard, but it doesn't ever catch fire.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Meet John Doe (1941) ... Frank Capra ... VCI Ent. (2010)", 11 Dec 2010
By 
J. Lovins "Mr. Jim" (Missouri-USA) - See all my reviews
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Meet John Doe (1941) ... Frank Capra ... VCI Ent. (2010)", December 11, 2010
By J. Lovins "Mr. Jim" (Missouri-USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER) (VINE VOICE) (REAL NAME)

This review is from: 'Meet John Doe - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition (DVD)
VCI Entertainment and Laureate Productions presents "MEET JOHN DOE" (2 May 1941) (123 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- Honesty and justice is the main course of this meal prepared by director Frank Capra --- A blow for humanity and right over wrong with the little guy getting his day in court brings out the "Americana" in all of us --- Capra was compared as a modern day Charles Dickens, looking beyond the exterior of people, going to the interior and the very heart and soul of people and the story that followed --- This film is an excellent example of what he could do and making all of us feel that we were part of the film.

This film has often been opined as the "perfect" film - it was to be the template for so many motion pictures: the witty and romantic clash of temperaments between a man and a woman mismatched in both personality and social position --- it remains as breezy and beguiling today as it was in the early 40s, became a box office hit and was nominated for an Academy Award for best original story (for Richard Connell and Robert Presnell Sr.).

VCI gives us a clean & clear copy so far up to date, with many bonus and extras in this special release --- Another excellent collaboration between actors Cooper and Stanwyck and the great director Frank Capra --- A treat for Cooper fans!

Under the production staff of:
Frank Capra [Director/Producer]
Richard Connell [Story]
Robert Presnell Sr. [Story]
Dimitri Tiomkin [Original Score]
George Barnes [Cinematographer]
Daniel Mandell [Film Editor]
Stephen Goosson [Art Director]

BIOS:
1. Frank Capra (aka: Francesco Rosario Capra) [Director]
Date of Birth: 18 May 1897 - Bisacquino, Sicily, Italy
Date of Death: 3 September 1991 - La Quinta, California

2. Gary Cooper (aka: Frank James Cooper)
Date of Birth: 7 May 1901 - Helena, Montana
Date of Death: 13 May 1961 - Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California

3. Barbara Stanwyck (aka: Ruby Catherine Stevens)
Date of Birth: 16 July 1907 - Brooklyn, New York
Date of Death: 20 January 1990 - Santa Monica, California

the cast includes:
Gary Cooper ... Long John Willoughby - 'John Doe'
Barbara Stanwyck ... Ann Mitchell
Edward Arnold ... D.B. Norton
Walter Brennan ... The Colonel
Spring Byington ... Mrs. Mitchell
James Gleason ... Henry Connell
Gene Lockhart ... Mayor Lovett

SPECIAL FEATURES [BONUS]:
1. Audio Commentary (with optional English subtitles) by Laureate's Ken Barnes with "archival contributions" from Frank Capra,
2. Three Featurettes:
"Meet Mr. Capra" (18 min)
"Meet Mr. Cooper" (16 min)
"Meet Miss Stanwyck" (14 min)
3. Vintage "Lux Theater" Radio Productions:
"Sorry Wrong Number" (starring Barbara Stanwyck & Burt Lancaster
"For Whom the Bell Tolls" (starring gary Cooper & Ingrid Bergman)
4. Before and After Comparison of the Digital Restoration
5. Extensive Cast and Crew Profiles
6. Production Background
7. Optional Subtitles: English, French, German & Spanish

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 4 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 123 min on 2 DVD'S ~ VCI Entertainment ~ (11/30/2010)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the Library of Congress restoration, 15 Dec 2013
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DVD certainly made from a good (European) print, but it is not a restored edition, so it is better to wait for the Library of Congress restoration (if it is available one day) .
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5.0 out of 5 stars MEET JOHN DOE THIS CHRISTMAS!, 9 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Meet John Doe [1941] [DVD] (DVD)
'JOHN DOE HAS ALREADY DIED FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY'.SO SAID BARBARA STANWYCK AS THE NEWSGIRL ANN MITCHELL ON CHRISTMAS EVE.SHE IS TALKING ABOUT THE EVERYMAN PATSY... LONG JOHN WILLOUGHBY A.K.A.JOHN DOE (GARY COOPER).THIS IS A TIMELESS CHRISTMAS MOVIE.THE POWER CRAZED D.B. NORTON (EDWARD ARNOLD)WANTS TO DO WHAT THE POWERS THAT BE ALWAYS DO ..THAT IS TAKE SOMETHING GOOD USE IS IT AS THE FRONT OF SOMETHING MUCH DARKER,AND IF THEY ARE UNABLE ...DESTROY IT!(FOR THOSE THAT LOVED IT!) AS WITH MANY A STORY THEY ARE TOLD AGAIN AND AGAIN ..MOST RECENTLY SWING VOTE WITH KEVIN COSTNER,BUR AS WITH SCROOGE WE ALL HAVE OUR FAVORITE AND THIS IS A GREAT CHRISTMAS EVE MOVIE.VIA AMAZON UK.PS TAKE NOTE ON WHAT COPY TO BUY!!!!!!!
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Gary Cooper- Meet John Doe [DVD] [1941]
Gary Cooper- Meet John Doe [DVD] [1941] by Frank Capra (DVD - 2004)
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