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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
3 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Frank Capra

Written By:
Lewis R. Foster, Sidney Buchman

Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold, Guy Kibbee, Thomas Mitchell, Eugene Pallette, Beulah Bondi, H.B. Warner, Harry Carey

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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
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Movie Review by Movie Addict
August 14th, 2007

Favorite Movie Quote: "Either I'm dead right, or I'm crazy!"

Frank Capra made some great films in his career (You Can't Take It With You, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, It Happened One Night), and he made some near-great films (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It's a Wonderful Life, Lost Horizon, Lady For a Day). Not bad for a Sicilian boy! Maybe he and my grandfather came over on the same ship as they only lived 38 Km from each other.

This film which starred Jean Arthur and James Stewart may be a little corny for many people's tastes, but it is my favorite Stewart film. I like movies with a political theme, and this one is timeless. The same things that happen in this film are likely happening right now in Washington.

Stewart gives an outstanding performance as Jefferson Smith and makes an unlikely candidate for public office; much the same as Robin Williams in Man of the Year. He got one of his five Oscar nominations for this role, and the New York Film Critics considered him the best of the year.

This was a year in which Clark Gable was up for an Oscar in Gone With the Wind, Laurence Olivier for Wuthering Heights, Mickey Rooney for Babes in Arms, and the Oscar winner was Rober Donat in Goodbye Mr. Chips. Presitigious company, indeed! Lewis R. Foster won an Oscar for his story, Capra was nominated for best Director, losing to Victor Fleming for Gone With the Wind, and he lost Best Picture to David O. Selznick for the same film.

Two supporting actors, who gave marvelous performances in this film also got Oscar nominations: Claude Rains as Sen. Joseph Harrison Paine and Harry Carey as President of the Senate. Who could forget that smile during the filibuster.

One of the greatest films ever made in Hollywood. A real David vs. Goliath story that will warm your heart and get your blood pumping. This is a classic from the day when movies stood on the strength of the actors and the script, and not on CGI, sex, or violence.

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