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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

Louise "Babe" Bennett: [Taking Mr. Deeds to see Grant's Tomb] To most people, it's an awful let-down... To most people, it's a washout.
Longfellow Deeds: Well, that depends on what they see.
Louise "Babe" Bennett: Now what do you see?
Longfellow Deeds: Me? Oh I see a small Ohio farm boy becoming a great soldier. I see thousands of marching men. I see General Lee with a broken heart surrendering. And I can see the beginning of a new nation, like Abraham Lincoln said. And I can see that Ohio boy being inaugurated as President. Things like that can only happen in a country like America.


Longfellow Deeds: People here are funny. They work so hard at living they forget how to live. Last night, after I left you, I was walking along and - and lookin' at the tall buildings, and I got to thinking about what Thoreau said. 'They created a lot of grand palaces here, but they forgot to create the noblemen to put in them.' I'd rather have Mandrake Falls.


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

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.
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.
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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