dude, you should check it out again, there are loads of little things which i've been picking up recently. actually, it's been the most fun picking out their influences from the movies of the thirties, forties and fifties.
for example the newspaper gal setting up barnes for a fall is obviously mr. deeds goes to town, but...
the character of amy archer is based more on rosalind russell's character from 'his girl friday' hence her being a 'fast talking' career gal - howard hawks famously sped up all the dialogue in his movie. also the bit where she barks out answers to a crossword devisor is taken from this movie.
in the sweet smell of success, burt lancaster's character is called j.j. hunsecker - not only an inspiration for mussburger (although obviously his name goes to hudsucker - who's middle initial, by the way, is j.) but also for j. jonah jameson in spider-man, which was invented about six or seven years later.
'sure sure' is a line used by clark gable's editor in 'it happened one night' as is such and such '...is the bunk' which is a phrase used by a heavy working for claudette colbert's dad.
there are countless other references, a couple of which escape me right now. oh yeah...
the movie starting with norville up on the top of a building about to jump off is from another movie with gary cooper in it, but i can't for the life of me remember what it is.
and of course the super-natural aspect of it is very capra-esque, like the snow.
almost forgot this one...what was the name of that early paul newman character? hud? could this explain why the board chant 'long live the hud?' - even after hudsucker has thrown himself out of the window?
here's another little tidbit - according to joel silver, uncredited producer on the movie, ethan coen wanted to play tim robbin's part, tested for it, failed, and sulked to the extent that he mouthed tim's lines as he was acting them on set!
oh yeah, i recently found out that sam raimi was the second unit director on the film, but i didn't find out by checking the credits. watch the scene where norville's taking the blue letter up to mussburger, and the receptionist, on seeing it, screams. the camera crashes in on her screaming face, and then on norville's panicked mug. knowing that sam had a hand in writing it, i said to mum 'if sam raimi didn't direct that shot, i'll eat my shoe.' anyone who's seen the evil dead movies will realise this is sam's speciality shot.