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.
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…
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 –…
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…
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…
In this movie classic, an idealistic boy scout leader (literally) becomes a senator in Washington, until his dreams and ideas are challenged by a corrupt system and he becomes the David against the oppressing political Goliath.
While this movie is idealistic, romanticized and brimming with sentimentalism, I can't help but feel that it is also more relevant than ever. Nowadays we see even more corruption, misappropriation, cheating, wealth divides and capitalism than ever, so to stand up for truth, justice and the "little guy" becomes even more important every day.
James Stewart gives an incredibly strong performance in this, one for the ages, but the ending feels a little too wrapped up and not quite the satisfying conclusion we'd expect…
With It's A Wonderful Life sentimentality, The West Wing's unwavering political idealism and a school-friendly primer on the United States' legislature, Mr Smith Goes to Washington is the perfect antidote to that House of Cards binge you're having.
Although, I'm pretty sure Mr Smith uses the same arcane piece of Senate procedure that Underwood did in season 2...
Watching on TCM Streaming
Suffering whiplash from what must be one of the most weirdly abrupt non-sensical happy endings ever.
If this film has anyone other Jimmy Stewart, and we're directed by anyone other than Frank Capra, it would feel naive and sentimental. I'm not saying it isn't those things, but thanks to those two men, and a wonderful performance from Jean Arthur as well, it never "feels" naive or sentimental. At least not too much.
wow... what a political drama it was? my fav james stewart stole the show...
Wouldn't it be great if we could just live in Frank Capra's world forever?
Even better on Blu-ray!
I am now 75% finished with my American Film Institute list! I finished it off with #26 - Mr. Smith Goes to Washington starring Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur. This 1939 Frank Capra film was one I had already seen, but was happy to watch again and hoped that I would still enjoy it as much as I remembered.
The film opens with the news that a senator has died, and the governor is tasked with appointing a new one. He is pressured by a corrupt political boss named Jim Taylor to pick someone on his payroll and the people of his state to pick a reformer candidate. Instead, he ends up choosing Jefferson Smith (Stewart) who is the head…
A lasting piece of Americana and a shinning example of Frank Capra's particular narrative aesthetic. It is fascinating to watch more then seven decades after its release because as much as it plays as a propaganda peice of its time period, there are universal themes of power and corruption that still speaks to the audience today. This film could have been made in any decade since its release and still be as relevant as it was in 1939. Jimmy Stewart is perfectly cast as the titlular hero, and I was particularly invested in Claude Rains performance as the compromising Senior Senator from Kansas, Joe Paine. Paine is not the outright villan in the story but definitely the most tragic character.…
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Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
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