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Meet John Doe (Special Edition) [DVD] [NTSC]

4.0 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

Price: £13.86
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Product details

  • Actors: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan, Spring Byington
  • Directors: Frank Capra
  • Writers: Robert Riskin, Myles Connolly, Richard Connell, Robert Presnell Sr.
  • Producers: Frank Capra, Robert Riskin
  • Format: NTSC
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Sanctuary
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Oct. 2001
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NW5Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,451 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

In protest at the corruption and hypocrisy he sees all around him, an unemployed man calling himself "John Doe" has written to the New Bulletin newspaper pledging to throw himself from the top of City Hall on Christmas Eve.

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 Hawks' "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?

With a supporting cast that includes Edward Arnold as ruthless newspaper tycoon and political aspirant D.B. Norton; James Gleason as the archetypal editor; and the inimitable Walter Brennan as Willoughby's best friend, this is classic Frank Capra.

Based upon Richard Connell's 1922 short-story, "A Reputation," "Meet John Doe" is often held to be part of a thematic trilogy that includes "Mister Deeds Goes To Town" and "Mister Smith Goes To Washington." As it 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 as resonant a social commentary as ever.

"Meet John Doe" is presented here in its original aspect ratio and is Frank Capra's 1941 theatrical release version running at 123 minutes.

DVD Special Features:

Audio commentary (with optional English subtitles) by Laureate's Ken Barnes with archive contributions from Frank Capra.
The digital restoration of "Meet John Doe" (A before and after comparison)
Three Original Featurettes: Meet Mr. Capra, Meet Mr. Cooper, Meet Miss Stanwyck
2 Vintage "Lux Theatre" radio productions of "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and "Sorry Wrong Number" starring Gary Cooper & Ingrid Bergman, and Barbara Stanwyck & Burt Lancaster
Extensive Cast and Crew Profiles
Production Background
Black and White
1.33:1 Original "Academy Frame" Aspect Ratio
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Language: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, German

Review

############################################################################################################################################################################################################################################################### --New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD features the late actress Barbara Stanwyck and Cary Cooper, she is a journalist who looses her job under the newspapers new management but she is not prepared to take the sacking lying douwn so she fights for her job.
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This disc is awful quality, unclear fuzzy images make it uncomfortable viewing. I am hoping the new copy, of course not from this release dvd company, is a clear print and I can finally get to see Meet John Doe.
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By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Nov. 2011
Format: 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.
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By AlanMusicMan TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Dec. 2009
Format: 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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