Classic Movie Hub (CMH)


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 1, 1937 with Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur and Lionel Stander reprising their film roles.

Jean Arthur never saw the film until she and Frank Capra were guests at a 1972 film festival.

Russell Hicks is in studio records/casting call lists for the role of 'Dr. Malcolm,' but he did not appear or was not identifiable in this movie

Harry Cohn had a dictum in that he would only allow his directors to print any one of their takes, thereby saving the studio a great deal of money. Frank Capra found a loophole in getting round this. At the end of each take, instead of shouting "Cut" he would shout "Do it again", and the actors would launch immediately into an unbroken repetition of the scene.

Bess Flowers was an extra in this movie. Nicknamed "Queen of the Hollywood Extras" Flowers appeared in over 700 movies of which 21 were Oscar noms for Best Picture of which 5 won. This makes her a record holder for an actor appearing in Best Picture winning films.



Carole Lombard was originally down to play the female lead but she backed out three days before production began to go work on My Man Godfrey. Shooting had to begin without a female lead in place.

According to a Motion Picture Herald news item, the film was banned in Germany "on the ground that non-Aryan actors had participated" in the production.

Columbia and Frank Capra intended to make a sequel to this movie, starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur, entitled "Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington" , based on the story "The Gentleman from Wyoming" (alternately called "The Gentleman from Montana" by both contemporary and modern sources) by Lewis Foster. This story was instead turned into the 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, directed by Frank Capra and starring Arthur and James Stewart.

Columbia head Harry Cohn was set against Jean Arthur being cast as the female lead. Frank Capra was finally able to persuade him by insisting that Cohn listen to her voice not study her face.

First film for which Harry Cohn authorized Frank Capra to have his name above the title.

From the start, Frank Capra was convinced that Gary Cooper would be perfect for the part of Longfellow Deeds. Production had to wait six months for Cooper to become available, incurring costs of $100,000 for the delay in filming.

In the movie, Mr. Deeds couldn't find a word to rhyme with "Budington". This is the writer's middle name (Writers: Clarence Budington Kelland (story)).

Originally Frank Capra was going to make Lost Horizon after Broadway Bill but Ronald Colman couldn't get out of his other filming commitments. So Capra decided to make this film instead.

Screenwriter Robert Riskin considered this to be his favorite film.

The film cost over $800,000 which was a very high figure for 1936.

The scene in which Deeds meets several famous writers and columnists at a New York restaurant, and finds them to be witty but also sarcastic and rude, is a reference to the Algonquin Round Table, with the character Bill Morrow being loosely based on Alexander Woollcott.

The tender scene in which Babe (Jean Arthur) recites a poem that Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper) wrote for her was almost deleted because Frank Capra thought it was too sappy. Jean Arthur had been working very hard on that scene and convinced Capra to at least film it, which he did. The bit of Deeds tripping over the garbage cans was added to provide comic relief to break the sentimental mood.

This movie marks the entry of the verb doodle (in the sense of absent-minded scribbling) into the English language. The word was coined for the movie by screenwriter Robert Riskin.


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