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Auction History Result

3x802 MEET JOHN DOE LC R40s Gary Cooper at bar listens to James Gleason, directed by Frank Capra!

Date Sold 1/15/2017
Sold For: Login or Register to see sold price.

An Undated (probably 1940s) Re-Release Theatrical Movie Lobby Card (LC; measures 11" x 14" [28 x 36 cm]) (Learn More)

Meet John Doe, the classic 1941 Frank Capra political populist romantic newspaper journalism mistaken identity melodrama (about a female reporter who writes a fictional story, which she presents as fact, about a man who is planning to commit suicide in protest of the world's treatment of downtrodden people; when the column is a giant hit, she must find a man to portray the writer and hires ex-baseball player Gary Cooper) starring Gary Cooper (in the title role as John Doe), Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan, Spring Byington, James Gleason, Gene Lockhart, Sterling Holloway, Irving Bacon, Regis Toomey, J. Farrell MacDonald, and Ann Doran. Note that in the original story this movie was based on (by Richard Connell and Robert Presnell), it concludes with John Doe standing on the roof, preparing to jump, and the Barbara Stanwyck character, Nan, tries to talk him out of doing it, and he is unshakable, and he says "I'll always love you, Nan" and she replies "I'll always love you, John". He then looks out at the crowd, which is singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and when the clock strikes midnight, Nan looks at where he was standing, and it is now empty, and she has "a look of pride and great joy". Frank Capra and screenwriter Robert Riskin did not want this ending, because it involved the character committing suicide, and they felt that the Catholic Church would strongly object to that, which might make the movie unable to get distribution. Capra filmed five different endings and previewed at least two of them. In one, they had the suicide take place, and ended with Walter Brennan holding John's dead body. In another, it ends at the John Doe Convention, with John Doe disgraced, and the editor saying "Well, boys, you can chalk another one up to the Pontius Pilates." Another had Nan talking John out of committing suicide. In another, John convinces the corrupt publisher to change his ways and join John in his crusade. But none of those four seemed right. At one of the previews where they showed one of the above endings, a viewer suggested ending it with the John Doe members telling John that they had never stopped believing in him, and Capra then filmed that ending, and this is the ending that is on the movie's final version!
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Important Added Info: Note that this is a Warner Bros. title where there are both "linen" and "flat" finish lobby cards, and in this case of this movie and a few other Warner Bros. titles of the very early 1940s, also inserts. Some people have suggested that both versions are from the very first release of the movie. One leading expert we know says that he believes that the "flat" finish lobby cards and insert are probably from a later 1941 release of this movie (probably when Capra re-shot the ending which is the ending people are familiar with). This would make the flat insert from the equivalent to a roadshow release. At this point, no one knows which of the above is correct, so please do not bid on this lobby card, unless you can accept the uncertainty about exactly when it was first used! Note that we have a scan of both the front and the back of this lobby card, which should greatly help you see what defects it has.

Condition: fair. There are pinholes and stains around the edges. There are scratches and pencil marks in the image. See our super-sized images to get a good sense of the condition of this card. Note that this lobby card is completely unrestored and there is not a single piece of tape on either the front or back!
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