Meet John Doe (1941)
An outstanding political film by director Frank Capra featuring great acting by Gary Cooper Barbara Stanwyck and Edward Arnold. Cooper is a common man exploited by a newspaper writer (Stanwyck; writer Jean Arthur exploited Cooper in an earlier Capra film) and its owner (Arnold) who becomes the voice of the people railing against the status quo. Walter Brennan plays a friend of Cooper’s. James Gleason plays Stanwyck’s editor. When Cooper’s influence becomes a nationwide movement Arnold seeks the power himself leading Stanwyck to regret what they’ve done. Other actors in supporting roles include Spring Byington and Gene Lockhart. Nominated for a Best Writing Original Story Oscar. #49 on AFI’s 100 Most Inspiring Movies list.