Gary Cooper is a male icon of the American film. Frank Capra was one of the premiere
directors of the 1930s and 1940s. This film followed their other collaboration, Mr.
Deeds Goes to Town.
Newspaper columnist Barbara Stanwyck, who has been laid off, is infuriated. She 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 her and decides to hire Cooper, a former baseball player and tramp, to play John
Doe. The Doe philosophy spreads across the country, developing into a political movement.
Complications and romance, of course, arise.
Post-film discussion led by Dr. Phil Bufithis, Professor Emeritus of English at
About the director.
About the film career of Gary Cooper.
Other background on the film.
A selection of reviews of the film.