MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN (1936) B/W 120m dir: Frank Capra
w/Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, Lionel Stander, George Bancroft, Douglas Dumbrille, Raymond Walburn, Margaret Matzenauer, H.B. Warner, Warren Hymer, Muriel Evans
Durable comedy masterpiece about country boy Longfellow Deeds (Cooper),who travels to the Big City to settle his uncle's estate, and some New York City con artists who do their best to fleece him. A "pixilated" screwball classic.
From The Movie Guide: "Capra directs flawlessy as he captures the prosaic character of Longfellow Deeds; Cooper is tailor-made for the role, natural and authentic. Both he and Arthur remained favorites of Capra, who would use Cooper again in MEET JOHN DOE , Arthur in YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, and MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON. Capra never had any doubt about casting Cooper for the role of Longfellow Deeds --- his first and only choice --- but he was in a quandry over the female lead until he spotted Arthur in a minor western. The director was at his high-water mark at Columbia, allowed by Columbia studio chief Harry Cohn to function as he pleased without front office interference. Capra insisted that only Cooper play the lead in the film, causing production to be delayed for six months while Cooper fulfilled other duties and costing Columbia $100,000. Cohn did not want any more postponements so he okayed Arthur and the production got under way. Arthur literally shook with nerves before each scene, believing she could not pull it off. Yet she was an original in front of the cameras."