Great entertainment for squares! But so corny I could hardly stand it. I had to stop halfway through and get a pint of ice cream to make it bearable. Then it did start getting better, with some movie magic flourishes, and in the last scene Stanwyck pulls out all the stops. 3.5*
could've been great but spiraled out of control over the top, especially in the final scene which ends up completely smothering the radical elements earlier in the film (the planted cops starting riots, the subversive feminism, the mass media manipulation) which could never get through a major hollywood studio today. barbara stanwyck is great though
John Doe had me running loops around my head trying to parse its meta construct. As the bigwigs attempt to capitalise on the little man, is the film not another marketing tool for the unification of the masses. Sure the message is hope but I couldn't help siding with Brennan's skepticism, which in itself is a byproduct of too much apathy. Starts strong, weighed down by characters and seriousness.
I don't care if it is Capracorn it is awesome and we need John Doe and John Doe clubs now more than ever before since Reagan and Thatcher have spear headed movements of such selfishness, greed, nastiness, lack of concern for others and sheer down right rottenness we need John Doe and we need Capra.
It's a shame Capra never had the chance to adapt an Ayn Rand novel...just imagine Capra's take on 'Atlas Shrugged'. Capra's classic blend of Americana and socialism is on full view here in this '41 stable and its message is not mislaid by its schmaltzy 'everyman' story. Cooper and Stanwyck play to type and Arnold makes a good slimy politician. Nowhere near as dated as it should rightfully be though...alas.
MEET JOHN DOE starts off so well; with wit and charm and chutzpah. It descends into a series of more and more closely packed "inspirational" speeches which become increasingly tiresome. Even James Stewart wouldn't have been able to deliver round after round of these convincingly, and he's the master. The first half or so, though, is a gem.
As much as I like Capra and Cooper/Stanwyck as a pair, this was a bit of a drag. Started out well, then it started with all these allusions to Christ and his sacrifice. The blatant anti-fascist message is understandable for the historical context, but overall this film has too much heavy-handed moralising.