Mr. Deeds Goes to Town ★★★★

Structurally similar to Frank Capra's superb portrait of courage Mr. Smith Goes to Washington but decidedly more focused on the central romance, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town is another one of Capra's rip-roaring paeans to the popular attraction of benevolence. And frankly, no one quite tells these sorts of tales as convincingly heartwarming and unhypocritical as Capra. Jean Arthur is revelatory and Gary Cooper has rarely been better. The first half leans way too much into the whimsy of Cooper's fish out of water elements, but maybe (as it's revealed in the climax) that's the point. The siren gag is ace.