Thank goodness it is goofy Gary Cooper and not square and sinister Jimmy Stewart in this one, because Gary Cooper isn't so desperate to be liked. Lionel Stander really steals the show here as the dutiful deliverer of quips. There is a really nice shot in the train to New York scene of Deeds, Deeds's tuba, and a bowl of fruit in front of a window-view of some beautiful rear projection - will stick with me
For a film more than 80 years old, it still manages to make you laugh out loud, sob and relate to the issues faced by everyman Deeds. Capra was pointing out the corruption and inhumanity of the modern, urban world... And not much has changed since. As said by Cassavetes, 'Maybe there wasn't really an America, there was only Capra'.
Another Capra classic, this time it's the tale of small-town good egg, Mr Deeds (played by Gary Cooper), who inherits a $20M fortune and soon finds himself surrounded by connivers and vultures. Jean Arthur is a reporter who gets close to him, and Lionel Stander stands out as a cynical tough guy who warms to our hero. The rousing finale is warming and delightful.
I really don't know what to say. Beauiful story, brilliant acting with such subtleness in expression and an accurate depiction of city life that still runs true today. I think the following sums it up for me: "He's got goodness, Mabel. Do you know what that is?... No, of course you don't. We've forgotten. We're too busy being smart alecks. Too busy in a crazy competition for nothing." That's city life.
If I had to thank Adam Sandler for anything, it would have to be making a shockingly bad remake of this movie. Otherwise, I would never have found out about "the original". There's nothing here in the way of cinema to blow you away, but it's a fun story and one of those movies that will leave you with a warm and fuzzy feel-good feeling.
Cinematography by Joseph Walker. "Desire" list: Gary Cooper, again and again (but Jean Arthur is so great!). " (...) There is no endowment in man or woman that is not tallied /in you,/There is no virtue, no beauty in man or woman, but as good /is in you,/No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is in you,/No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal pleasure waits /for you. (...)." (Walt Whitman)