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Meet John Doe (1941)


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Release Date: Jan 1, 1941 Wide



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 4,440

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Movie Info

The first of director Frank Capra's independent productions (in partnership with Robert Riskin), Meet John Doe begins with the end of reporter Ann Mitchell's (Barbara Stanwyck) job. Fired as part of a downsizing move, she ends her last column with an imaginary letter written by "John Doe." Angered at the ill treatment of America's little people, the fabricated Doe announces that he's going to jump off City Hall on Christmas Eve. When the phony letter goes to press, it causes a public sensation.

Aug 30, 2005

Madacy Entertainment

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (2) | DVD (7)

[VIDEO ESSAY] Wikipedia lists "Meet John Doe" as an "American comedy film." How wrong they are.

August 10, 2014 Full Review Source:

Journalistic ethics are only a small aspect of the film, but the implications are long-ranging.

August 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Capra's films work because he believed with his whole heart in his cornball agendas.

January 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

It's pure Capra, run through with the tension between idealism and corruption...

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

...the political and social ramifications are just as topical today as they were seventy years ago.

December 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Além de trazer aquela que é provavelmente a pior cena dirigida por Capra em sua carreira (o monólogo de Regis Toomey na prefeitura), o filme é um água com açúcar repleto de diálogos patriotas/cristãos patéticos, artificiais e piegas.

May 2, 2009
Cinema em Cena

Capra's political parable is problematic parables, from his contradictory approach to the "little people" to the right-wing elements to the compromised ending, in which Cooper is stopped from committing suicide.

July 2, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

It was hard to stomach.

June 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Classic Capra and Cooper still makes statements.

November 1, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Frank Capra's most ambitious and disturbing film, Meet John Doe is possibly more relevant today than when it first appeared in 1941.

November 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

This vintage Capra film is the sort of sentimental thing that only he could get away with.

October 14, 2002
Lawrence Journal-World

Meet John Doe (1941) is a wonderful, but dark Frank Capra populist melodramatic tale about the common man. The sentimental film is often grouped

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films
Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films

Audience Reviews for Meet John Doe

Capra, with his immigrant's love of the American dream, can easily be criticized as sometimes syrupy but never as simplistic. Here he grapples with no less than updating the tale of the Christ, making a modern day fable (well, as modern as 1941) of one guy sacrificing himself for the greater whole of humanity.
Coop is great as the simple man drawn into corruption and seeking redemption. Walter Brennan shines as his friend, a crazy homeless guy and the sanest man in the film, James Gleason is perfect as the common sense common man, and Barbara Stanwyck lights the proceedings as the too smart regular gal, unaware that she needs saving as much as anyone.
Just fine, nuanced filmmaking!
August 18, 2014

Super Reviewer

Another Capra masterpiece that is still relevant today. Cooper and Brennan are great.
November 13, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

This is a remarkable movie, and a great performance from Stanwyck. I highly recommend this movie.
September 29, 2010

Super Reviewer

Fantastic! It started off as what I thought was going to be a screwball comedy but slowly shifted gears into a heartbreaking tale of beauty and political corruption. Gary Cooper's performance was a bit stiff and Barbara Stanwyck was as always amazing. The convention and final sequences had a look to them that was nothing short of chilling. The dialogue's a bit dated but the story is timeless. And again, Frank Capra succeeds in getting me all misty.
October 9, 2007

Super Reviewer

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