Watch the full film on the
Welcome to Fandor. Watch thousands of award-winning films online. ×

Meet John Doe1941

  • 4.4
Written by a discharged journalist as a publicity stunt and as a parting shot at the paper’s new editor, a letter unexpectedly fires the imagination of the Bulletin’s readers and the wider American public. The author, Ann Mitchell (Barbara Stanwyck), who has fabricated the letter in her final column, is rehired, and now needs to find someone to play the part of the fictional “John Doe.” Gary Cooper is perfectly cast as Long John Willoughby, an injured and penniless former baseball pitcher lured into impersonating “John Doe” with the promise of medical treatment. But as he becomes an increasingly culpable pawn in an ever more treacherous game, just how can “John Doe” redeem himself? The film explores a recurring notion in Frank Capra’s work that of the universal everyman exploited by a corrupt and powerful establishment, the film’s reflections on corporate control of both the media and of ordinary people’s lives is still a resonant social commentary as ever.

Copy embed code

×

What makes this film worth watching? See All Reviews

3 members like this review

This movie was so good I'm ashamed to say I haven't seen it until now. Cooper and Stanwyck of course give brilliant performances. The supporting characters played by Walter Brennan, James Gleason, and Edward Arnold are equally superb. The heart of this movie though is the message it conveys. The only thing in America that can save America is in fact the only thing worth saving in America: its people.

107966.small
top reviewer
Cast & Crew
Starring
Directed By
Produced By
Cinematography
Genres Festivals & Awards Related Articles

Member Reviews (9)

107966.small
top reviewer

This movie was so good I'm ashamed to say I haven't seen it until now. Cooper and Stanwyck of course give brilliant performances. The supporting characters played by Walter Brennan, James Gleason, and Edward Arnold are equally superb. The heart of this movie though is the message it conveys. The only thing in America that can save America is in fact the only thing worth saving in America: its people.

3 members like this review
117475.small
top reviewer

it's great corny & terrible all rolled into one_Cooper is magic & Stanwyck is perfect_the meanies are ugly & mean_but it's totally worth it

1 member likes this review
161260.small
top reviewer

TO me this is sort of the thinking man's It's a Wonderful Life. Here it is about finding a purpose and making waves. I suppose it is a mash up of In Dubious Battle and Wonderful Life. I love the lighting, Barbara Stanwick, and the ending. A must see.

2dc7ffe1fff7a9eb079182bd85d2bc77?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0066
top reviewer

Outstanding and so, so relevant to today's times. The message in this film, to the people, should resonate and be told to the people again today - and they should wake up to it all...and sadly, look behind the curtain for the truth. Capra at his best.

C6eae3b6e9c7e8730d7c144bb1cfc60e?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2ffemale%2favatar f 0031
top reviewer

Babara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper in a Frank Capra movie...what else do you need on a summer's evening especially in a presidential election year? Need an explanation of how the Koch brothers planned their take over of the United States via the Tea Party, Christian far-right fringe, Sheldon Andelson, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and other strange bedfellows? This film is it.

A classic tale of the triumph of the good little guy which affirms the inherent goodness of "the people". Wonderful performances by Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Brennan, Edward Arnold and the rest of the cast. A warm story with universal appeal

VERY APPROPRIATE FOR EVEN TODAY, EXCELLENT!

I always wonder what it was like to have lived in the era of such a film. Frank Capra was always good at taking a simple theme and bringing attention to it with an "oh yeah, I get it". I wonder in those days if these themes were not so simple. If this film was a grand political statement that shaped society today. I can see from what we have in 2012 that it's the manipulation of masses that is more prevalent than the empowerment of the common man. So watch this film. Reflect. Ask yourself what you can do to make the world a better place. Hopefully your answer is not to jump off a building.

What a great film - and very timely given all the concerns today, from both the right and the left, about the factors in our government and economy that favor the big industrial and political machines over the everyday "John Doe."