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Meet John Doe DVD Q's


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OK, after watching the guest programmer's choice of Meet John Doe, I figured I should have it in my library for loan. Capra never fails, does he?

There are several DVDs that come up when I search: all different release years, different covers, several grouped with other films.


How do I know which version to buy?


I realize none will be letterboxed, the film was made in a full screen format. But I want a nice crisp picture, I don't want some old grainy duped version. Was the film ever "restored", is there a better release over another?

PS I am not really interested in any "extras", just a good clear version of the film.

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The main problem with MEET JOHN DOE is that the original negative has not survived.??In December of 1945, Frank Capra and Robert Riskin sold all the rights to Goodwill Pictures.??They did not store the negative well, and over the years it deteriorated and was eventually junked.


In the mid-1970s, the American Film Institute undertook a partial restoration of MEET JOHN DOE, using what remained of Goodwill's 35mm nitrate prints and a studio print from Warner Brothers.??From these, the AFI made a fresh duplicate negative, which is now housed in the Library of Congress.


About five years ago, Sanctuary Digital Entertainment in the UK released a digitally-restored version of MEET JOHN DOE with a lot of extras.??The picture quality is the best I've seen, bar none, and it's a Region 0 disc that will play anywhere.??Sadly, it is now out of print, but it occasionally turns up on eBay, plus it can be had from third-party sellers on Amazon UK.??Used copies start at 17.99 GBP (that's about $26.41 American).??Yes, it's a bit pricey, but if you love this film as I do, it's worth it.


Click here for more information.??Good luck!

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Thanks again, Dan. I know I'd buy the best version if possible, even to replace a poor one, for these favorite films. And DVD manufacturers are obviously including some re-selling possibilities when they box up so many "anniversary" and "special edition" versions. I think they'd be wise to always consider remastering as opening up new revenue sources.

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Hi, TikiSoo -- I have the Marengo Films DVD release of Meet John Doe.


It's the DVD shown and written about in this review at DVD Talk:




Here are some screencaps from the DVD:
















As you can see, the image lacks clarity. There's a haze over it. This is common with

public domain DVDs. But I will say that the print is rather clean and the audio is also quite

good. So, for a PD DVD, it's on the good side.

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