Jan 1, 2024

Meet John Doe

A Film by Frank Capra

New Books Network 2024

Have you seen that other Capra film in which the protagonist in a moment of crisis, attempts suicide on Christmas Eve? Join Mike and Dan for a conversation about Meet John Doe (1941), a film Frank Capra made five years before It’s a Wonderful Life and which shares that film’s celebration of the common man—the John Doe—living and working and dying across the country. We know we’d all be better off—and the country would be in better shape—if we acted like the people in the John Doe Clubs, so why don’t we? How many of your neighbors do you know on a first-name basis? When’s the last time you reached out to someone you don’t know very well but you know needs a hand? Capra’s film may seem like a collection of platitudes, but it’s a cross between A Christmas Carol and Lord of the Flies and is absolutely prophetic of a film that would follow it thirty-five years later about another media-created sensation who’s mad as hell and not going to take it any more!

The University of Mississippi Press has published many volumes of interviews of notable directors; you can find the edition on Frank Capra here. And—did you know that Capra wrote a novel in 1966, not published until 2018? Neither did we. You can find Cry Wilderness here.

Follow us on X or Letterboxd. Incredible bumper music by John Deley.

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Two friends with strong opinions watch films separately then discuss them on the show for the first time. Can their friendship survive? Join Mike and Dan as they discuss one film each episode--and in only fifteen minutes, give or take a few. There are no long pauses, pontifications, or politics--just two guys who want to share their enthusiasm for great movies. On Twitter. On Letterboxd. Email: fifteenminutefilm@gmail.com.

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