Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Movie review: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

Watch Mr. Deeds Goes To Town on Amazon streaming

Longfellow Deeds lives happily in the small town of Mandrake Falls, Vermont. He owns a tallow factory and plays the tuba in the town band. Living up to his first name, he's also a poet, and makes money from writing greeting cards.

His life changes when a distant uncle dies, leaving his entire $20 million fortune to Longfellow. It comes with a mansion, staff, and collection of lawyers who are sure they can continue to govern Longfellow's new fortune while he bumbles his way through high society.

They don't count on Mr. Deeds' astute business sense, his somewhat unusual manners and his conscience. And Deeds doesn't count on the press, never suspecting that his new ladyfriend is in fact a star reporter, setting him up to play the fool.

Before long, Mr. Deeds is sure he can't trust anyone. Will his real friends convince him otherwise?


Before It's a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra told this story of a man at the end of his rope, rescued by the love of family and friends. Gary Cooper is good as Longfellow Deeds, though he doesn't quite have the bitter, frustrated pathos. Deeds is a happy, easygoing man, secure with his place in the world.

It was pretty good, although I thought Cooper was a little harder to like than James Stewart. I just wish everyone could see the world the way Frank Capra tried to get us to see it.

This was one of the AFI's 100 Years 100 Cheers for my 101 Things in 1001 Days project.


  1. I am sooo with you on Gary Cooper. I recently rewatched Pride of the Yankees and he even kinda left me cold there. I am a fan of Capra's and I love Barbara Stanwyck, and yet this is a movie I never go out of my way to watch because Cooper is so remote, he doesn't really ever touch my heart.

    1. I think Pride of the Yankees is one of the 100 Cheers movies. I'll have to check. I notice Capra's work are on that list a lot.