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Meet John Doe (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) (1941)

Gary Cooper , Barbara Stanwyck , Frank Capra  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)

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Meet John Doe (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) + Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (Remastered) + Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
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Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan
  • Directors: Frank Capra
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Collector's Edition, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 30, 2010
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0043GAT5I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,456 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan. An opportunistic reporter tries saving her career by inventing a story about an anonymous man who wants to commit suicide over the state of modern society. With reader fervor growing to know more about John Doe," she's forced to produce a real man. 1941/b&w/123 min/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Available Print of Capra's Masterpiece December 31, 2010
By Jon Oye
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
That's right, Capra's masterpiece. More on that later.

Regarding the print, it isn't perfect in this 2010 VCI edition, but it's better than any previously released on DVD. There are still some skips, some lost frames and a few abrupt transitions, but the sound, as well as the darks, lights and mid tones, are more than acceptable--which is saying a lot, considering most public domain prints that have been paraded across the marketplace throughout the years have been decidedly UNacceptable.

1941 was a watershed year in American cinema. It was the year of the bold and groundbreaking "Citizen Kane," the breathtaking and heart wrenching "How Green Was My Valley," the grippingly patriotic "Sergeant York," the sobering, frightening fable, "The Devil and Daniel Webster," the pioneering noir classic by which all others are measured, "The Maltese Falcon," the brilliant and hilarious send-up of gangster films, "Ball of Fire," and the ultimate thinking man's comedy, "Sullivan's Travels." All are landmarks in the cinematic landscape, which hold up amazingly well today. But Frank Capra's fanfare for the common man, "Meet John Doe," also released that year, was arguably the greatest achievement in the careers of Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, character actor James Gleason, and Capra himself.

Gary Cooper was in three of the classics mentioned above, and few actors have ever had a better showing in any twelve-month stretch. Coop availed himself admirably enough as a real life hero forced to make a life changing decision in the Howard Hawks-directed "Sergeant York" to take home 1941's Academy Award for Best Actor. He displayed impressive comedic chops as a vulnerable and awkward academic with integrity in Hawks' "Ball of Fire" (which also co-starred Stanwyck).
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a very "important" movie a very very good movie and a vital part of the careers of the great Gary Cooper and Frank Capra ...and up till now its only been available in horrible public domain versions that were washed out and just plain awful looking.

VCI has done a respectable job presenting this classic film in a two disc offering...the first disc holds the movie and it looks so much better than previous editions I'm not going to moan about it not being perfect. I have listened to part of the commentary and found it interesting to a point and the Frank Capra inserts very nice. The second disc contains "extras" that are second rate compared to major studio releases but are still enlightening and heck...the whole thing is so bloody affordable!

If you've been burned by bad versions in the past...I doubt its going to be released any better than this...and this is pretty good!

Just to be sure I'm reviewing the 2 DVD VCI set of Meet John Doe which was released Nov 30th 2010.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Presentation Yet of a Great Capra Film December 9, 2010
In case this gets merged with other "Meet John Doe" reviews, I am discussing Meet John Doe (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition).

First, I'll discuss the film itself. I love Frank Capra movies. "It's a Wonderful Life" is my all-time favorite film. "Meet John Doe" is another Capra masterpiece. Gary Cooper is wonderful as "Long John" Willoughby, hired to act the part of John Doe, yet coming to believe in the movement he created. Edward Arnold as D.B. Norton continues his string of memorable Capra villains. The film is not neccessarily as uplifting as "It's a Wonderful Life," but it does have its moments. When the deception is revealed, his loyal followers turn on him. Things turn bleak for our hero and he, like George Bailey years later, finds himself contemplating suicide on Christmas Eve.

I have seen 3 or 4 different prints of this film over the last couple of years, via borrowed DVDs, download and on TV. This is, hands-down, the best looking print I've seen (I have not seen the Madacy version mentioned in other reviews). It's not quite on par with Paramount's "It's a Wonderful Life" restoration, but it is very good. The extras are a nice bonus. Ken Barnes' commentary is more detailed than several of the Frank Capra Jr. commentaries found on the Columbia Capra discs. The featurettes do not focus specifically on "Meet John Doe," but give nice overviews of the careers of Capra, Cooper, and Stanwyck. Also one of the few DVDs of this film to included subtitles, and you get english, german, french and spanish.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie... Lousey Transfer May 23, 2003
In itself "Meet John Doe" Is a warm, witty, and heartwarming story of two people who find paths cross because of a ruthless politician. This particular format from "Alpha Video Distributors" is the worst ever!! The picture looks as if if was transferred from a very bad copy of a copy of a copy of a video, with all the bad, scratches, no sharpness, washed out picture & jittery sound. I guess you get what you pay for! It's enough to make me not want to watch this dvd as it hurts my eyes and ears.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch it.
Interesting VERY old movie.
Published 1 month ago by Jim Daniel
5.0 out of 5 stars Stanwyck was in alot of movies that were only fair ...
Stanwyck was in alot of movies that were only fair, but she ALWAYS gave an outstanding performance! She is not only fabulous in this movie, but the movie itself is superb!
Published 2 months ago by kathleen burns
4.0 out of 5 stars Gary Cooper stars as the main character of this movie ...
Gary Cooper stars as the main character of this movie about a con perpetuated by a jaded newsreporter (Stanwick) and both her Editor and the big business Owner who create a... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Publius Fidesiuscultus
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Movie Ever Made
I saw this once when I was a kid. It was on really late at night. I stayed up until about 3am watching it. I was hypnotized by it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jonathan Scott
1.0 out of 5 stars Is This Really A Restored Print, Or Are You Kidding Me!
This review is strictly in regards to this supposedly "restored" DVD edition. Frank Capra is one of my favorite film directors from the golden age of American film. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Thomas H. Richard
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Classic Movie - Awful Picture Quality
This DVD is of such poor picture quality Amazon should pull it from the web site, A waste of money.
Published 4 months ago by L. Chauncey
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet John Doe
Old, but very good film, and relevant to things going on in our world at this time. P.S. black and white.
Published 5 months ago by Jackie
5.0 out of 5 stars A Buried Treasure Dug Up
First, if you're expecting something with all the pyrotechnics of modern movie industry films, including flashing booms of thunderous explosions, cars or trucks or buildings being... Read more
Published 5 months ago by American
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie has meaning today
Saw this Movie on cable and had to own it. The Tea Party movement is a real-life version of the movie Meet John Doe. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Gib
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic! This movie has all the elements of a modern day...
We get to see all the elements of any modern day movie here. We have the suppressed career woman trying to make it in a man's world, the poor beat-down nobody who becomes the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Norma Paisley
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