Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
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Loved this one. Very funny and also heart warming. Longfellow Deeds is such a great character.
Sometimes, the real world gets so dark, you need to watch a Frank Capra movie. In Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Gary Cooper plays a simple, small town guy who inherits a fortune from a distant relation. He's thrust into a world of cynical and greedy city slickers who either try to scam him, or think he's nuts for wanting to give away the money. At the same time, this fish out of water is quick to identify phonies. He's no rube, except when it comes to love (enter Jean Arthur as a Lois Lane type). Not surprisingly, the film is full of charm and takes aim at the hypocrisies of capitalistic/high society in a way that's remained current. It wants to revive your faith in your fellow man, and succeeds, give or take the era's dated take on physical violence (Deeds punches a lot of people, but that, of all things, isn't really much of an issue, while playing the tuba is). It's full of amusing little moments that feel true to life, which is necessary to keep the ideal from turning into a corny fable. Capra doesn't get enough credit as a behaviorist, but look at what he gets his actors to do here. MY only real complaint is that I wish the final scene had more meat to it. Cooper and Arthur deserved a little more to play there.
Amazing film, in my opinion it's Capra's best, after It's A Wonderful Life. Mr. Deeds is a great fast-paced romantic comedy with a lot of funny moments, but also a few emotional ones that made me teary-eyed. I especially love the 'echo'-scene and the scene in the courtroom. The film also has great acting (especially Gary Cooper) and a good message.
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In 11 official lists
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This movie ranks #5 in National Board of Review Award - Best Film
This movie ranks #30 in Leonard Maltin's 100 Must-See Films of the 20th Century
This movie ranks #33 in IMDb's 1930s Top 50
This movie ranks #68 in Academy Award - Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #70 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs
This movie ranks #83 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers
This movie ranks #85 in iCheckMovies's 1930s Top 100
This movie ranks #99 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #174 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #557 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
This movie ranks #574 in The New York Times's Book of Movies