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Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

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Release Date: Jan 1, 1936 Wide

audience

86

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 9,024

My Rating

Movie Info

When a car crash ends the life of a fabulously wealthy patron of the arts, the decedent's $20,000,000 fortune is inherited by one Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper) of Mandrake Falls, Vermont. Already a reasonably successful local businessman, Deeds doesn't really feel the need for anything extra in his life: he just wants enough time to practice his tuba and compose greeting-card doggerel. When Deeds is convinced to move to New York, hard-boiled newspaper reporter Babe Bennett (Jean Arthur) is

Feb 15, 2000

Columbia Pictures

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (1) | DVD (9)

Playing the part as if born to it, Cooper is at the top of his game, imbuing Deeds with just the right blend of empathy and intelligence.

July 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinemania

Mr. Deeds is really a very intelligent and beautiful affair, a film no less charming than Mr. Capra's It Happened One Night at the same time that it is definitely more profound.

January 18, 2013 Full Review Source: The Nation
The Nation

Snappy lines, stellar performances, Capra classic.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Capra advocates populism and egalitarianism, underlined by values of Christianity. For him, every person is "God's creation" in his/her own right, evert person possesses some talent and should do his/her best with that gift.

January 28, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

A wonderful Capra vehicle; Cooper is superb; Arthur luminous. A comic movie with heart and a point to make. True Capra-corn, and that is not a criticism. A fine example of populist art.

May 3, 2004
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Essential Capra and one of his best. Cooper and Arthur are luminous.

February 16, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

It's tough enough to film a credible morality play without being laughed out of town. It's altogether mind boggling to do so and provide a grade A romantic comedy to boot.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

The tedium of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town outweighs its message of freedom and charity.

May 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Comment (1)
Filmcritic.com

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) is another lighthearted classic Frank Capra screwball romantic-comedy regarding the broader philosophical themes of individual innocence

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

Here is a shamelessly simple story with a populist point of view, but it is handled with such charm and charisma and acted so well by Cooper and Arthur that it became another Frank Capra classic.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

An "everyman" inherits a fortune but is surprised by the culture of his upper class peers.
Frank Capra must have had the most simplistic ideas about wealth and morality. Between this film and You Can't Take It with You, Capra's economic philosophy must begin and end with "Money makes you bad." This is not to say that Capra believes money is corrupting force, but to say that Capra's films imply that anyone pursuing wealth must do so at the expense of his/her soul. But even Capra's construction of the "everyman" is problematic because Gary Cooper's character, while basically decent, is a bit of an asshole. He goes around punching people or threatening violence because he believes a good swift knock is the best way to clean someone's clock. Mr. Deeds might be a swell guy, but by golly, don't cross him.
Overall, Capra, one of Hollywood's classic filmmakers, is overrated
May 20, 2014
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Another inspiring tale from the master. Gary Cooper is brilliant.
November 13, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

God, I loved this movie! Not only is Mr. Deeds Goes to Town yet another of Frank Capra's best works but it manages to do what every other great Frank Capra movie does -- restores my faith in humanity, gets me teary-eyed and has me clapping at the end. Admittedly I was on the fence about Gary Cooper when this movie started but I loved the man by the end. The echo scene was hysterical and for as much as I started to roll my eyes at the beginning of the courtroom scene, I felt as bad doubting Capra as the characters in the movie did doubting Deeds. Unfortunately I couldn't stop thinking about the awful Adam Sandler remake the whole time but its probably for the best I saw that one first (I know, I know...) as I'd probably make it my life's mission to drop an anvil on his head. As for the Capra one, you cannot go wrong...!
June 15, 2011
mjgildea

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

    1. Longfellow Deeds: What puzzles me is, why people seem to get so much pleasure out of, out of hurting each other. Why don't they try liking each other once in a while.
    – Submitted by Jason S (8 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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Foreign Titles

  • Mr. Deeds geht in die Stadt (DE)
  • L'Extravagant Mr. Deeds (FR)
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