Classic Film Guide

Meet John Doe (1941)

An outstanding political film by director Frank Capra featuring great acting by Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, and Edward Arnold. Cooper is a common man, exploited by a newspaper writer (Stanwyck; writer Jean Arthur exploited Cooper in an earlier Capra film) and its owner (Arnold), who becomes the voice of the people railing against the status quo. Walter Brennan plays a friend of Cooper's. James Gleason plays Stanwyck's editor. When Cooper's influence becomes a nationwide movement, Arnold seeks the power himself, leading Stanwyck to regret what they've done. Other actors in supporting roles include Spring Byington and Gene Lockhart. Nominated for a Best Writing, Original Story Oscar. #49 on AFI's 100 Most Inspiring Movies list.

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