Thursday, 17 December 2015

I've Just Seen: Meet John Doe (1941)

Meet John Doe (1941)

Director: Frank Capra

Capra is not a subtle director. He wears his political beliefs on his sleeve, with his support of the everyman against the harsh, uncaring systems of modern life. Meet John Doe looks at the media and politics, and how it demands a comprise of the people who engage in it. Though the story gets a touch preachy at some points, and is too neat in its narrative, the film is touching, propped up by Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck's performances.

The film shifts tone about halfway through, from comedy at the situation Cooper's John 'Doe' Willoughby finds himself in, to the very real pain of the people who believe in his story. Cooper is really good as John, an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances. Stanwyck (as usual) is great, as her journalistc holds ideals but is not above exploiting the public's sympathy for her owns gains.

Classic Capra: finding significance in the everyday.


  1. Ageree it's well-acted. The story has aged remarkably well. I don't think I've ever watched a bad Frank Capra film, at least not so far.

    1. I could imagine some would find his politics off-putting, but I don't, so I like the message of his films. He knows what emotions to narrow in on.