Mr. Deeds

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Mr Deeds
Mr deeds ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteven Brill
Produced bySid Ganis
Jack Giarraputo
Screenplay byTim Herlihy
Based onOpera Hat
by Clarence Budington Kelland
Music byTeddy Castellucci
CinematographyPeter Lyons Collister
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • June 28, 2002 (2002-06-28)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$50 million
Box office$171.3 million[1]

Mr. Deeds is a 2002 American comedy film directed by Steven Brill and starring Adam Sandler and Winona Ryder. The movie is a remake of the 1936 Frank Capra film Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, and also stars Peter Gallagher, John Turturro, Allen Covert and Steve Buscemi. The movie was produced by New Line Cinema and Happy Madison and was distributed by Columbia Pictures.


Multi-billionaire Preston Blake freezes to death while on a mountain climbing expedition. With no widow or legitimate children, it is initially unclear who would earn the right to Blake's massive fortune.

It is found that Blake has a living grandnephew named Longfellow Deeds (Adam Sandler), who runs a pizzeria in Mandrake Falls, New Hampshire and also writes greeting cards in the hopes that Hallmark may be interested in one. Deeds is contacted and flown to New York City by businessman Chuck Cedar (Peter Gallagher), who is temporarily in control of Blake Media. Deeds' unorthodox helicopter trip includes a stop at Wendy's for lunch as well as a singing of David Bowie's Space Oddity. Once Deeds arrives in New York, plans are made for him to sell his shares in the company to Cedar and return home $40 billion richer, but he must remain in New York for a few days while all the legal details are worked out.

The story is major news, and reporter Babe Bennett (Winona Ryder), who works for a tabloid show called Inside Access, has a co-worker pretend to steal her purse in sight of Deeds, because their research indicated that Deeds wanted to meet a girl by "rescuing" her, the same way his father had met his mother. Deeds does so, and beats up her "robber", and Babe goes out with him under the disguise of Pam Dawson, a school nurse from a made-up town called Winchestertonfieldville, Iowa (which later turns out to be a real town, which Babe is flabbergasted to find out).

Though Babe initially hopes to just get a good story on the new heir, she eventually falls for the unfailingly kind-hearted Deeds, and decides to tell him that she is not who she says she is, but Inside Access, in concert with Cedar (who was fed the truth by the fake robber and was smitten with Babe) reveals it to Deeds first. Heartbroken and upset, Deeds decides to return home to Mandrake Falls and makes plans to donate his $40 billion inheritance to the United Negro College Fund. After returning to Mandrake Falls, he learns from Crazy Eyes (Steve Buscemi) that Cedar intends to sell off the company, which will cause thousands of people to lose their jobs (Cedar had convinced Longfellow to sell his shares by lying that he will work commanding the company in honor of Preston's lifetime of work). Babe follows Deeds to Mandrake Falls to win him back, but after saving her life when she falls through the ice over a lake, he rejects her, saying he does not really know who she is.

At a shareholders meeting, Cedar has everyone convinced to sell the company, until Deeds (who has bought a single share) arrives and manages to convince everyone not to sell. But Cedar claims control of a majority of the shares and the sale is approved. Bennett arrives and reveals that, having studied Blake's personal journal after she stole it from Deeds earlier, she has determined that Emilio Lopez, Preston Blake's longtime butler, is Blake's illegitimate son and the true heir as a result of a younger Preston having an amorous affair with his maid in 1958 (at one point he had told Deeds that Blake treated him "like a son").

Emilio immediately takes control of Blake Media, starting by firing Cedar. Babe then reconciles with and kisses Deeds after professing her love for him. As they leave the meeting, Emilio thanks Deeds for his support and offers him a billion dollars, some of which Deeds spends on red Corvettes for everyone in Mandrake Falls. When he returns to the pizzeria with Babe, he learns that Hallmark is interested in buying one of his greeting cards: the one he wrote for Babe when he professed his love for her. They both share a kiss as the movie ends with Crazy Eyes crashing his Corvette and coming out unharmed.


  • Adam Sandler as Longfellow Deeds, Preston Blake's nephew, a friendly, helpful owner of a small-town pizzeria who also writes greeting cards who inherited a billion-dollar empire from his late Uncle.
  • Winona Ryder as Babe Bennett, a reporter for the tabloid TV show Inside Access, who disguises herself as Pam Dawson, a school nurse, to get close to and gather information on Deeds
  • John Turturro as Emilio Lopez, Preston Blake's long-serving butler and illegitimate son (therefore Deeds' cousin and the true heir to Blake Media). He has a habit of sneaking up on people unexpectedly, and he also has a foot fetish.
  • Allen Covert as Marty, a junior reporter for Inside Access, infatuated with and a cohort of Babe, appearing in several disguises to spy on Deeds
  • Peter Gallagher as Chuck Cedar, the CEO for Blake Media, and Preston Blake's longtime number two. He plots to seize control of Blake Media so he can make a huge profit selling it.
  • Jared Harris as Mac McGrath, the head of Inside Access who reports on Deeds' antics in New York.
  • Erick Avari as Cecil Anderson, the General Counsel for Blake Media
  • Rob Schneider (uncredited, in two brief scenes) as Nazo, a food delivery man, the same character in another Sandler film, Big Daddy
  • Peter Dante as Murph, one of Deeds' friends who works at his pizzeria
  • Conchata Ferrell as Jan, a close friend of Deeds who works in the pizzeria and is a retired rodeo clown
  • Harve Presnell as Preston Blake, the billionaire founder and Chairman of Blake Media who dies at the beginning of the film
  • Steve Buscemi as Crazy Eyes, a citizen of Mandrake Falls and one of Deeds' customers; he suffers from severe amblyopia
  • Brandon Molale as Kevin Ward, the New York Jets quarterback
  • Blake Clark as Buddy Ward, Kevin Ward's father
  • John McEnroe as himself
  • Radio Man as himself; a homeless man who lives in Central Park
  • Jennifer Tisdale as a Card Reader
  • Al Sharpton as himself
  • J.B. Smoove as Reuben
  • Walter Williamson? as Kurt
  • Roark Critchlow as William
  • Billy St. John as George
  • George Wallace as UNCF administrator
  • Aloma Wright as Coretta Keeling
  • Nancy Arsenault as French investor
  • Barbara Arsenault as French investor


The producers were looking for a small, "old-fashioned, New England-type" town close to New York, when they serendipitously discovered New Milford, Connecticut, and, upon having lunch there at "The Bistro Cafe", decided the town would be the perfect choice to portray the fictional home-town of Deeds, Mandrake Falls, New Hampshire, and the cafe was a great location to use as "'Deeds' Pizza" restaurant.[2] Some scenes were also shot in Carmel, New York. In the DVD audio commentary, director Steven Brill explained that the New York City scenes were filmed in entirely pre- September 11th. No changes were made during post-production of the film. The twin towers of the World Trade Center can be seen in several shots of New York City. The Blake Media Hotel scenes were shot in Beverly Hills, California. In the scene where Longfellow Deeds and Chuck Cedar playing tennis at the tennis court was filmed at Staten Island, New York.


Critical response [edit]

The film received mainly negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 22% based on reviews from 155 critics, with an average rating score of 4 out of 10. Its consensus states: "This update of Capra doesn't hold a candle to the original, and even on its own merits, Mr. Deeds is still indifferently acted and stale".[3]

Mr. Deeds received three Razzie Award nominations including Worst Actor (Adam Sandler), Worst Actress (Winona Ryder) and Worst Remake or Sequel.

Box office[edit]

Though critically panned, the film was a major financial success. Box office:

  • United States: US$126,293,453
  • International: US$44,976,084
  • Gross worldwide: US$171,269,537[1]



1."Where Are You Going"Dave Matthews Band3:52
3."Let My Love Open the Door"Pete Townshend2:44
4."Sweetest Thing"U23:03
5."Wrong Impression"Natalie Imbruglia4:15
6."Happy in the Meantime"Lit 
7."Island in the Sun"Weezer3:20
8."Friends & Family"Trik Turner 
9."Space Oddity"Adam Sandler & David Bowie5:15
10."Falling"Ben Kweller 
11."Go to Town"Counting Crows 
12."I've Seen All Good People"Yes3:21


  1. ^ a b Mr Deeds at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ per DVD 'extras' featurette
  3. ^ "Mr. Deeds".

External links[edit]