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Meet John Doe (1941)


Meet John Doe is a 1941 comedy drama film directed and produced by Frank Capra and starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. The film, about a "grassroots" political campaign, created unwittingly by a newspaper columnist and pursued by a wealthy businessman, became a box office hit and was nominated for an Academy Award for best original story (for Richard Connell and Robert Presnell Sr.).

Infuriated at being laid off from her job as a newspaper columnist from The New Bulletin, Ann Mitchell (Barbara Stanwyck) prints a fake letter from the unemployed "John Doe," threatening suicide in protest of society's ills. When the note causes a sensation, the newspaper is forced to rehire Mitchell. After reviewing a number of derelicts who have shown up at the paper claiming to have penned the original suicide letter, Ann and Henry Connell (James Gleason) decide to hire John Willoughby (Gary Cooper), a former baseball player and tramp who is in need of money to repair his injured arm, to play John Doe.

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