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Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

Gary Cooper , Jean Arthur , Frank Capra  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft, Lionel Stander, Douglass Dumbrille
  • Directors: Frank Capra
  • Writers: Clarence Budington Kelland, Robert Riskin
  • Producers: Frank Capra
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000031EGT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,402 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Retrospective Featurette: Frank Capra, Jr. Remembers ... Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
  • Vintage Advertising
  • Bonus Theatrical Trailers

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When a small-town idealist (Gary Cooper) goes to New York to collect a twenty million dollar inheritance, he finds romance with wisecracking journalist Jean Arthur, becomes the target of ruthless businessmen and relatives, and finally decides to give his fortune away because it's so much trouble. This milestone film is one of the most charming and best-loved romantic comedies ever made.

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town is Frank Capra's classic screwball comedy about a village innocent who inherits $20 million, only to discover it's more trouble than it's worth. The screwball in question is Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper), a small-town greeting-card poet and tuba player transplanted to the big city to administer his newly inherited wealth, where fast-pattering, wised-up cynics, sneering society denizens, and corrupt lawyers lord it over the ingenuous and straightforward. Deeds's idiosyncrasies are amply magnified in the tabloids by journalist "Babe" Bennett (Jean Arthur), dating Deeds as a cover, only to discover she's the sap when she falls irresistibly for him. But the damage has been done, when Babe's column is used by a pack of corrupt lawyers, Cedar, Cedar, Cedar & Budington, to prove Deeds mentally unfit. The miracle of this unforgettable comedy is how it embraces dark material, calling into question some common assumptions about capitalism while maintaining an approachable atmosphere of light comedy, and deceptively so. You'll be so pixilated by its charm, you won't rest until you've doodled your way to a rhyme for "Budington." --Jim Gay

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Longfellow's always been pixilated." December 8, 2008
It was in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town that Frank Capra perfected the blend of comedy and social commentary that would become his trademark. The screwball comedy was graceful rather than frantic and the social elements of Robert Riskin's fine screenplay are handled in an even-handed manner that earned Capra the second of his three Acadamy Awards for Best Director. Both Gary Cooper as the tuba playing no nonsense Longfellow Deeds and Jean Arthur as the reporter who exploits him until she falls for his goodness are wonderful in this true Capra classic.

Longfellow Deeds (Cooper) lives in the small town of Mandrake Falls where he makes a living writing greeting card poems and spends his free time playing the tuba. He is less than enthused when a bunch of big city attorneys show up at his door to tell him he has just inherited 20 million dollars from a relative he never met. The law firm of Cedar, Cedar, Cedar and Budington just want him to sign over his power of attorney and Deeds goes to the city with them mainly so he can get a look at Grant's Tomb.

Deeds is honest and good but no pushover and his initial reluctance about the situation proves wise as everyone wants to mooch off of Deeds and make a fool of him at the same time. Deeds gives as good as he gets and wins over the crusty Cornelius Cobb (Lionell Stander) to his way of doing things but can't get around the way a certain Louise Bennet is mocking his every escapade in the papers, making him look a fool and a country bumpkin.

But Deeds knows it doesn't matter when he meets the sweet Mary Dawson (Jean Arthur), a lady in distress who becomes his constant companion. Deeds no longer has to go off by himself like he did back home and talk to an imaginary girl because his dream girl has finally appeared for real.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny and sweet movie... July 12, 2002
By ehakus
When I heard that a remake was being made of this movie, I was totally outraged. Remakes are made for three reasons, in my opinion: a director sees a good concept that is carried out badly and wants to improve it, a director wants to honor a movie he likes, or HOLLYWOOD HAS NO NEW IDEAS SO DECIDES TO REMAKE A CLASSIC! Okay, this is somewhat off topic, but the point is that in the case of Mr. Deeds it has to be the third option because there is NO WAY the original can be improved upon.
This is how highly I rate this movie (also, if an improvement were to be made, it would not be made by casting Adam Sandler, of all people, as Mr. Deeds - the part is NOT AT ALL right for him).
Anyhow, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town is essentially the story of a small town boy (Gary Cooper) who inherits a fortune and then decides to give it away to the poor. He is charged with being insane as a result and is forced to prove his sanity in court (which he does in a priceless scene). Also, he meets a seemingly innocent girl (Jean Arthur) who is actually a reporter trying to get a story on him, which complicates matters to some extent.
This is one of Capra's masterpieces. It is a sweet and intelligent movie - one the whole family can watch and enjoy. So, instead of going to the theater to see the terrible remake, buy this classic today on DVD (or VHS)!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watchable, enjoyable, wonderful! February 15, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This Frank Capra movie stars Gary Cooper as a man who lives a simple, happy life in a small town until he is suddenly thrust into the spotlight when he inherits a huge estate during the great depression.
Jean Arthur is cast as a sharp, street savvy newspaper reporter who weasels her way into Cooper's life in order to get inside exclusives other reporters can only dream about.
Come join in the fun as Cooper takes on oily lawyers, greedy would-be co-inheritors, snooty high society, and, of course, the media in this grand adventure.
This movie is a wonderful romantic's totally watchable, and there no worries about language, violence, or innappropriate sexual scenes or inuendos. This movie is a real treat.
Five stars all the way!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Mr. Deeds goes to the movies" April 21, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
This is one damn good film! I just recently saw it and although I was already Gary Cooper's biggest fan this film made me appreciate him even more. The film did earn Capra his second of three Oscar wins (of which he won two years apart from each other: '34-"It Happened One Night", '36-"Mr. Deeds Goes to Town", '38-"You Can't Take It With You) the film should also have won Best Picture that year. ("The Great Zeigfeld"--the film that did get Best Picture--is a very boring film. Only Luise Rainer (best actress winner that year) did the film some justice. Jean Arthur (in "Deeds", not "Zeigfeld") gave one of her most memorable and best performances in the film as Cooper's love interest. Also, look for a young Gabbie Hayes. Even if you havn't seen this film, don't be afraid to buy it before you rent it. You won't regret it--Gary Cooper shines as the title character and Capra hands in yet another great American classic--right in the league of "It's a Wonderful Life", "It Happened One Night" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington".
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving Capresque flick December 1, 2002
By scottie
This is quite a moving tale a la american by the master of socio drama, Frank Capra in which he uses one of his fave actors Gary Cooper as the country man who inherits a fortune from a rich uncle and is double crossed in the city. I never enjoyed the first roles of Cooper in MOROCCO, yet it looks like he's been improving his acting over the years and his eyes seem to be brighter and emotional with Capra efforts. Jean Arthur is very good too with her sexy voice and tender love. The cast also includes H. B. Warner as the judge and Lionel Stander as Deeds gardian angel with that frog voice.
Maybe a bit overlong, however it's moving (not as much as It's a Wonderful Life"), , love triumphs at the end, with the Capraesque final act at the court.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An all-time favorite and truly timeless classic!
I should start with this review with a confession: I sometimes struggle to love and relate to many of the classic films that we're supposed to adore. Read more
Published 1 month ago by CHB74
5.0 out of 5 stars This show was fun to Watch
This show was fun to Watch. Gary Cooper fit the part perfectly. As usual he has a special presence on the screen. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great old Movie, get it you'll love it. JWH
Published 2 months ago by JWH
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 2 months ago by Virgil Gibson
4.0 out of 5 stars A major star and director emerging
There's a scene late in this movie where Cooper, as Deeds - a likeable but extremely naïve country bumpkin come to the big city - has discovered that the woman he loves (Jean... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Phil Berardelli
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic.
Better than the Sandler version.
Published 3 months ago by David Fernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good movie
Published 3 months ago by Sharyn L. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!
I love this story of how a few people made a difference in politics, which affected everyday people in our country. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Joanna K. Copass
5.0 out of 5 stars MR DEEDS GOES TO TOWN
Published 4 months ago by B. Pokladnik
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't pass up Gary Cooper or Jean Arthur!
The story is a little manipulative--but the acting and directing are really good. it is worth a good VHS copy--dvd 's don't last. love, maureen
Published 6 months ago by M. wheat
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