Rewatched Jun 01, 2012
Silent J’s review:
The first time I saw this was back when I was 11. I did'nt understand most terms, like filibuster, and since I did'nt care much about politics then, I did'nt care for the political aspects of the story and found it boring. Today, nearly 6 years afterwards, my Government teacher thought the class would get a better understanding of what we learned over the year before exams if we watched this film. Not only do I understand what they're talking about more after taking a Government class, but I realize now just how amazing this film is.
Frank Capra does a great job pouring such strong emotions and thought provoking topics into a well told story, but it's a phenomenal performance by James Stewart that makes this so amazing. His naiveness, kindness, honest and innocence wins your sympathy and then he breaks your heart as he is broken by lies, corruption and greed. It is a truly powerful and heartwrenching performance. His nice guy personality is transformed into a broken and nearly defeated man throughout the film and Stewart displays so much depth and emotion into his performance that you can't help but feel heartbroken seeing a guy like the fall so low. The ending is pretty much a love it or hate it thing. I liked the ending and I thought it was both uplifting and depressing. While some aspects of that ending seem schmaltzy, there was so much I loved about the film that I'm starting to like the ending the more I think of it.
Lies and corruption still run rampant in our political system and this films seems just as, if not more, relevent today as it did over 70 years ago. You'll laugh, you'll cry, it will send chills down your spine, you'll feel inspired, and you might just love it.