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Mr. Deeds Goes to Town Overview:

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) was a Comedy - Romance Film directed by Frank Capra and produced by Frank Capra.

The film was based on the serial story Opera Hat written by Clarence Budington Kelland published in American Magazine from April-Sept 1935.

Academy Awards 1936 --- Ceremony Number 9 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best ActorGary CooperNominated
Best DirectorFrank CapraWon
Best PictureColumbiaNominated
Best WritingRobert RiskinNominated
.

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Quotes from

Judge May: Mr. Deeds, there has been a great deal of damaging testimony against you. Your behavior, to say the least, has been most strange. But in the opinion of the court, you are not only sane, but you're the sanest man that ever walked into this courtroom!


Cornelius Cobb: You're wasting your time. He doesn't want any lawyers. He's sunk so low he doesn't want help from anybody. You can take a bow for that. As swell a guy as ever hit this town, and you crucified him for a couple of stinking headlines. You've done your bit. Stay out of his way.


Longfellow Deeds: About my playing the tuba. Seems like a lot of fuss has been made about that. If, if a man's crazy just because he plays the tuba, then somebody'd better look into it, because there are a lot of tuba players running around loose. 'Course, I don't see any harm in it. I play mine whenever I want to concentrate. That may sound funny to some people, but everybody does something silly when they're thinking. For instance, the judge here is, is an O-filler.
Judge May: A what?
Longfellow Deeds: An O-filler. You fill in all the spaces in the O's with your pencil. I was watching him.
[general laughter]
Longfellow Deeds: That may make you look a little crazy, Your Honor, just, just sitting around filling in O's, but I don't see anything wrong, 'cause that helps you think. Other people are doodlers.
Judge May: "Doodlers"?
Longfellow Deeds: Uh, that's a word we made up back home for people who make foolish designs on paper when they're thinking: it's called doodling. Almost everybody's a doodler; did you ever see a scratchpad in a telephone booth? People draw the most idiotic pictures when they're thinking. Uh, Dr. von Hallor here could probably think up a long name for it, because he doodles all the time.
[general laughter; he takes a sheet off the doctor's notepad]
Longfellow Deeds: Thank you. This is a piece of paper he was scribbling on. I can't figure it out - one minute it looks like a chimpanzee, and the next minute it looks like a picture of Mr. Cedar. You look at it, Judge. Exhibit A for the defense. Looks kind of stupid, doesn't it, Your Honor? But I guess that's all right; if Dr. von Hallor has to, uh, doodle to help him think, that's his business. Everybody does something different: some people are, are ear-pullers; some are nail-biters; that, uh, Mr. Semple over there is a nose-twitcher.
[general laughter]
Longfellow Deeds: And the lady next to him is a knuckle-cracker.
[general laughter]
Longfellow Deeds: So you see, everybody does silly things to help them think. Well, I play the tuba.


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Facts about

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.
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.
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.
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Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) Fri. 08 Feb. 04:00 PM EST

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