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Meet John Doe Film Analysis - John Doe Played by Gary Cooper

Essay by   •  May 14, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  513 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,949 Views

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John Doe opens with some question as to why the employees are being fired from a newspaper company. The reporter Ann Mitchell is laid off by the managing editor Henry Connell. He tells her in order to receive her last check she must finish her last column. As she begins to part ways she comes up with the idea to fabricate a letter from an unemployed man that calls himself "John Doe". John Doe who declares he will commit suicide on the Christmas Eve in protest of social ills.

John Doe who is played by Gary Cooper one of the silver screen's best actors of that time, he delivers a monumental performance. The reporter is played by the beautiful Barbara Stanwynk. Edward Arnold, who plays D.B. Norton, is mastermind behind the John Doe movement and uses his power to manipulate the people for political gain. One of my favorite characters in the film "Colonel" played by Walter Brennan was the single most intellectual character throughout story. His famous quote was the "heelot" reference in which he deliberately warned his buddy John Doe of the people "who will inevitably rob you of your freedom the moment you take the possessions". On a bigger note I feel the colonel character was the manufacture of the various hidden message entitled by Frank Capra. And lastly Henry Connell played by James Gleason was the managing editor, who first approved the idea of the John Doe prints, but was quickly pushed aside by the deceiving D.B. Norton. The film "Meet John Doe" had many notable scenes. However the most notable to me has to be the scene in which Henry Connell the editor of the paper puts his career on the line and decides to tell John the "dark agenda" of Norton. Connell persuades John right before he is on his way to huge "John Doe" event. Connell, who is intoxicated and admits to being drunk, explains the hidden agenda behind the movement crafted by Norton. At this particular part of film Doe himself had begun to believe in himself and the phony persona created. So when the bad news from the Connell seems realistic, John feels used and hurt, as he felt the whole movement was legitimate and based solely on the "love thy neighbor" approach. Connell also tells John about the benefits Ann has received. This particular scene leads to the unraveling of the whole John Doe Movement and sets the stage for the meltdown.

The film Meet John Doe in 1941 was a comedy drama film directed and produced by Frank Capra. With the dilemma of WWII, the director created a dialogue that presents a message from till then. It is noted that Capra loved the "common man". His movies tended to place an average Joe against a powerful man of business or politics. From my perspective this film is forever timeless. In 1941 Meet John Doe became a box office hit and was nominated for an Academy Award for best original story. It was ranked #49 in AFI's 100 years...100 Cheers.

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