Mr. Deeds Goes to Town appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The 80-year-old movie barely showed its age via this excellent transfer.
Sharpness seemed quite good. A smidgen of softness crept into a couple of shots, but not in a major way. This left the movie as an accurate, distinctive presentation.
I saw no issues with jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. With natural grain, I didn’t suspect overuse of digital noise reduction, and print flaws never caused problems.
Blacks looked strong. The movie came with dark tones and solid contrast throughout the experience. Shadows seemed smooth and concise, without excessive thickness. I felt wholly pleased with this terrific image.
I don't expect a whole lot from an 80-year-old soundtrack, but the DTS-HD MA monaural audio worked pretty well. Dialogue seemed intelligible and showed good definition despite some inevitable thinness. Effects didn’t play a huge role, but they gave us reasonable accuracy.
Music favored the treble side of the coin, but the score had decent pep and fullness. Background noise wasn’t an issue – indeed, I felt like the source got a little too much tampering there, as the results seemed unnaturally quiet. Overall, though, the audio seemed satisfying.
As we move to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director’s son Frank Capra Jr. He provides a running, screen-specific look at the movie’s path to the screen, cast/crew, some production topics and thoughts about his dad.
Capra tends to be a spotty audio commentary participant, and this track reminds us of his negative tendencies. At times, Capra manages to produce a few interesting nuggets. However, these remain few and far between, so much of the movie passes without any information. That makes it a slow chat without much merit.
We hear more from Junior during Frank Capra Jr. Remembers... Mr. Deeds Go to Town. This 11-minute, 11-second piece looks at the project’s roots and development, script, story and characters, cast and performances, and the film’s reception/legacy. Capra offers a few decent notes but lacks much insight.
In addition to a theatrical re-release trailer, we find a vintage advertising gallery. It provides eight stills that show promo items from the 1930s. It’s a brief but enjoyable compilation.
This package also contains a book bound into the Blu-ray packaging. It presents photos, advertising and essays. The book adds a nice component to the package.
Though not one of Frank Capra’s strongest films, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town manages to deliver an entertaining piece. I could live without its rampant moralizing, but the experience boasts enough charm to overcome its deficits. The Blu-ray delivers optimal visuals along with reasonably good audio and mediocre supplements. Even with inconsistencies, Town ends up as a likable enough fable.