Screenwriter Robert Riskin introduced the word “doodle” to the English language in this delightfully addled comedy about a small-town poet forced to move to the big city when he inherits a fortune. In his favorite of the 12 films he wrote for Frank Capra, Riskin found the perfect blend of romance, comedy and populist sentiment. It was also the film in which Capra found his social voice, introducing to his work the theme of the little guy vs. the establishment. Moreover, MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN introduced Capra to two actors who would become essential to his career—Jean Arthur, who was cast after Capra happened to step into a projection room at Columbia and saw her on the screen, and Gary Cooper. The role of Longfellow Deeds gave Cooper a new screen persona. The onetime screen sophisticate suddenly emerged as the perfect all-American homespun hero. This was a quality film in every department, from the script and performances to Joseph Walker’s creamy cinematography, particularly in the famous scene in which Cooper plays the tuba, which appears even more lustrous in this world premiere restoration.
Fully restored from the original negative and presented in collaboration with Sony Pictures.
Dir. Frank Capra