Watched Frank Capra's 1939 Drama "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington"


"And you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any others."
--
James Stewart as Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington is a dramatic film about a young man appointed to the United States Senate as a pawn but in the process tries to fight the corruption that exists among his colleagues. It's #29 on the AFI 100.

The story starts when the governor of an unnamed state has to appoint a new Senator to replace recently deceased one. He is asked by his corrupt political boss to select someone that will do whatever he wants. Through an odd turn of events, he selects Jefferson Smith, head of the Boy Rangers, who has the wholesome image the public wants to see but is also naive so they can more easily manipulate him.

James Stewart plays Jeff Smith, the young, idealist protagonist of the story. He comes to Washington wide-eyed and hopeful with ideas for a national boys camp.
mr-smith-goes-to-washington-2-1 (dragged)

Claude Rains plays Joseph Paine, the popular Senator that Jeff looks up to and who used to be friends with his father, but whose political career is being heavily influenced by a wealthy and powerful man named James Taylor (not the singer).


Jean Arthur plays Clarissa Saunders, Jeff's chief of staff, who has a hard time accepting him because he is so naive.


This film is just as pertinent today as it was back when it was made. People still think politicians are crooked and are controlled by wealthy interest groups and that very few of them are on their side. I really enjoyed this movie because it's a story about a single person with a "can do" attitude facing insurmountable odds but still staying determined and never giving up.

I totally recommend this film. It was very entertaining and inspirational.

Related Item:
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
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