All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Romance, drama, laughter and heartbreak... created out of the very heart and soil of America!
Naive and idealistic Jefferson Smith, leader of the Boy Rangers, is appointed on a lark by the spineless governor of his state. He is reunited with the state's senior senator--presidential hopeful and childhood hero, Senator Joseph Paine. In Washington, however, Smith discovers many of the shortcomings of the political process as his earnest goal of a national boys' camp leads to a conflict with the state political boss, Jim Taylor. Taylor first tries to corrupt Smith and then later attempts to destroy Smith through a scandal.
Infused with patriotism, exhibiting excellent use of humour & starring James Stewart in the role that instantly propelled the then-young actor into the spotlight, Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is another quality product from the notable filmmaker that skilfully presents its support of democracy & is now counted amongst the great American films of its era.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington follows the political adventures of Jefferson Smith; leader of The Boy Rangers who is appointed by the State Governor to fill a vacancy in the US Senate after the untimely death of the previous Senator. Young, naive & idealistic, Smith discovers an entirely different world on his arrival to Washington & soon decides to stand up against corruption.
Directed by Frank…
In the middle of Mr Smith Goes to Washington, our overenthusiastic but lovable protagonist Jefferson Smith has this to say:
Liberty's too precious a thing to be buried in books, Miss Saunders. Men should hold it up in front of them every single day of their lives and say: I'm free to think and to speak. My ancestors couldn't, I can, and my children will. Boys ought to grow up remembering that.
That's beautiful. That piece of dialogue right there convinced me once and for all that Frank Capra's film had its heart in the right place. After that, I dropped all my doubts and allowed the film's over-optimistic but admirable sentiments to wash over me.
It's worth noting that…
As timely today as it was 75 years ago, Frank Capra's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" is an enchanting political fairy tale. Instead of knights jousting with dragons, the film finds idealistic senators taking on corruption in government. The film is painted in broad narrative and thematic strokes, but it is a pleasing, entertaining piece of work whose delights are many.
Jefferson Smith, appointed by his state's governor to serve in the US Senate, is the focus of the film. In Washington, Smith is floored by the American seat of power both in terms of the city's history and its obstinate governing bodies. The corruption is thick here and at home, and Smith soon finds himself fighting against the political…
Film #27 of Project 30
”Dad always used to say the only causes worth fighting for were the lost causes.”
In his first major cinematic role the mighty James Stewart uses his incredible talent to portray the passionate and idealistic Jefferson Smith whose innocence and determination enable him to stand up and fight the corruption, dishonesty and deceitfulness of the villainous senators, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is the typical Frank Capra movie, a heart-warming, idealistic and feel-good story filled with hope, faith and courage. It is an inspiring and cheerful celebration of bravery and character strength which at times becomes very affective and emotionally stimulating too, Jimmie Stewart’s performance is sensational and the film gives a pretty good –…
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington may have been filmed in black and white, but it very clearly plays in red, white, and blue. This story of a naïve young patriot who is brought to Washington to be a patsy for some corrupt senators should have been a very miserable experience for me, what with its loving tongue-bath to the glory of America, however, it never once felt like the jingoistic mess it could have been. A big part of this is because the film doesn't assault you with patriotic ideals so much as it expresses them in an endearing, “aw shucks” kind of way. To this end, James Stewart is perfect in the title role,…
During the acceptance speech for his AFI Lifetime Achievement award, Director Frank Capra took a moment to share some advice with the young filmmakers of the day. "Don't compromise," Mr. Capra cautioned, "believe in yourself; because only the valiant can create, only the daring should make films, and only the morally corageous are worthy of speaking to their fellow man for two hours and in the dark."
I can think of few directors who are so worthy of such a privilege, and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" is a prime example as to why. Frank Capra presents an unflinching look into political corruption at the national level, and through this dialectic analysis offers a true-blue American ideal in the form…
Disclaimer: This is the 4th installment in my ongoing examination of all 10 films nominated for Best Picture, or "Outstanding Production" as it was then known, during Hollywood's so-called golden year of 1939.
Now we get into the real meat and potatoes of the Best Picture lineup of 1939 with Frank Capra's iconic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. There's arguably no other filmmaker before or since more adept at manipulating one's emotions then Frank Capra. The film ultimately boils down to a simple story of good versus evil as the eponymous Mr. Smith, an idealistic young Senator, tackles corruption within the U.S. Senate that threatens to destroy not only his reputation but also how he sees his own country. What…
A nice tale of honor, courage, and Americanism.
"It is an idea that is not just intriguing, but imperative: the idea that maybe that sort of goodness can and does exist, that a man or woman can shoulder the weight of his or her principles rather than step on them to elevate recognition of a personal brand. Sometimes, art is allowed to (and must) create the truths that we need when we can’t locate them in the non-fiction world. No one made this truth more believable than Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra."
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
For those who don't know, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is the story of a small town man who becomes a Senator and heads to DC with wide-eyes and high-hopes. Naturally there's nothing like seeing the inner workings of a committee, particularly the biggest committee in the land, to crush someone's innocence. As a result this transitions into a story about one man with honesty and idealism fighting against the corruption of the American government. Jimmy Stewart is so brilliant as the naive Mr. Smith. He is exactly the kind of actor you want when you are trying to portray a man who has an almost child-like outlook on life, but also holds within him the strength of character to…
“You’re not a Senator, you’re an honorary stooge."
It’s rare to find a film from 75 years ago that feels relevant still in today’s world, but Frank Capra’s 1939 “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is one of those films. Corruption in the Senate? Check. Corporate interests secretly working their own machinations behind the scenes to get their political puppets to do their bidding? Check. Cynical office staff who are only interested in making a buck? Check. Sad to say that the only thing that doesn’t feel modern is that a politician like James Stewart’s titular character could actually exist. Or at least survive in today’s political world. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue with…
Never have didactic, dialectical proofs of patriotism been so sincere or so convincing. The lofty ideal is constantly contrasted with the on-the-ground real, naive faith with weary cynicism, and somehow--almost miraculously--pragmatic cynicism is what starts to seem fake. After all, all those corrupt politicians and hateful journalists are living among buildings and monuments which have stood for generations, and Mr. Smith comes from a region where the peace and beauty of nature are free and evident for everyone to enjoy. (Note that Smith already knows the skills of the land [bird calls, Indian signs]--the film is his education in the skills of politics.) The American land itself bears the ideals of liberty and honest democratic government marked upon and within…
An absolute classic picture. The best performance of Jimmy Stewart's career and by far the most fully American movie ever made. For classic cinema, its an absolute must.
It would not be inappropriate to label Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington as a political fairy tale; a naive and idealistic look at the American political system. Yet doing so is a bit short-sighted, I think, given Capra's body of work. More on that in a moment.
For its merits as a film, Mr. Smith is one of the more accomplished films of Capra's career, with a strong ensemble and great dialogue throughout the picture. There aren't many locations in the film, with the bulk of the piece taking place in the Senate chamber once Mr. Smith's filibuster begins in earnest. Despite this, Capra doesn't let his camera become a static one, almost feverishly cutting to reaction shots…
AFI has it right: This is one of the best films of the 20th Century. Interesting to note how much Washington hated it when it came out even going so far as to call it "Un-American." Guess they didn't like being portrayed as compromised stooges.
And what is it about 1939?! Gone With The Wind, Wizard of Oz, Stagecoach, Love Affair, Wuthering Heights, Mr. Smith... what was in the water that year?
Tip: If you want to watch some great movies from this era, look for Jean Arthur in the cast. I just randomly watched 4 with her and they're all entertaining. This one, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can't Take It With You, The More The Merrier, and Only Angels Have Wings. All worth a watch.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!