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Mr Smith Goes To Washington (1939)

Mr Smith Goes To Washington (1939)


Jean Arthur
James Stewart
Harry Carey
Claude Rains

Directed by Frank Capra

Distributed by Columbia Pictures

Mr Smith goes to Washington is a movie that teaches you the power of being resilient.

Frank Capra and James Stewart who also worked together in the 1946 movie Its A Wonderful Life, pulled out a perfect combination of acting and directing that will make you the viewer want to be like Mr. Smith.

In a world where politics is a dirty game of, “if you can’t beat them, join them.” Mr Smith (James Stewart) was faced with the task of being the odd one out as he wanted to stand for what he believed in.

Frank Capra and his crew had their work cut out for them to ensure authenticity; an elaborate set was created, consisting of the Senate committee rooms, cloak rooms. The thing that really stands out is the reproduction of the Senate Chamber on the Columbia lot.

The movie plot is about a Naive and idealistic gentleman, Jefferson Smith (James Stewart). Smith is the leader of the Boy Rangers and due to a gap in the senate he was appointed by the governor of his state.

In the senate he met a friend of his father who he looked up to, Senator Joseph Paine.

In Washington, Smith discovers the many tricks and shortcomings of politics. His goal to build a national boys' camp leads to a conflict with the state political boss, Jim Taylor and his childhood hero, Senator Joseph Paine.

After the powers that be tried to requite Smith, he turned them down, and by so doing Mr Taylor concocted a scandal that ruined Smith’s name.

The whole movie is then based on how he tries to defend his name.

The movie did stand high on drama with a few comic relief moments here and there, but the story is what makes you respect and love this classic. We are used to movies that depict the good guy wining at the end, but in this movie a bit of reality are exposed, to triumph in any battle you must be ready to go the extra mile and do what has not been done before.

In 1977 Frank Capra Jr. remade the film with another name Billy Jack Goes to Washington starring Tom Laughlin. In 1992 Eddie Murphy starred in a movie loosely based on Mr. Smith goes to Washington called The Distinguished Gentleman.

The film also influenced many other films including Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde and Evan Almighty.

This classic is very readily available nowadays and I ask you to go see it.


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