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Meet John Doe
Frank Capra movie, 1940.  I forget where I saw it recommended.  A farcical satire on politics & religion, rather daring in some aspects.

A newspaper publishes a smarmy fake letter to the editor, which becomes so popular that someone has to be hired to fill the role of the fictitious author.  No problem with that; there are plenty of unemployed men.  The man chosen (a disabled baseball player turned hobo) has a cynical buddy who keeps warning him not to get caught up in the fraud (which, in his opinion, is merely part of the fraud of prosperous respectability), but he gets caught up in it, and eventually about to be made a tool of some politicians who have dictatorial ambitions.  He gags on that, is ruined, and goes back to being a hobo.

There is no hero.  All the characters are weak, and the ones with the highest morale are morally the worst.  In 1940, that was a pretty plausible picture of the human race.

The smarmy letter and the movement that is built on it are parodies of Christianity.  The parallel is made explicit in a small hint near the end, but in a way that invites the safe interpretation that the movement is merely blasphemous --- not (God forbid) that actual churches are also fraudulent & politics-ridden.


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