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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

 -  Drama  -  19 October 1939 (USA)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 60,407 users  
Reviews: 226 user | 67 critic

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the US Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

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Writers:

(screen play), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

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Top 250 #117 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Guy Kibbee ...
Governor Hopper
...
...
Chick McGann
...
Ma Smith
...
Senate Majority Leader
...
President of the Senate
Astrid Allwyn ...
Susan Paine
Ruth Donnelly ...
Mrs. Hopper
...
Senator MacPherson
Porter Hall ...
Senator Monroe
Larry Simms ...
Hopper Boy (as Baby Dumpling)
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Storyline

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. Written by James Yu <jamestyu@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Entertainment As Powerful As the Strength of the People! As Great As the Genius of Capra! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bitterly denounced by Washington insiders angry at its allegations of corruption, yet banned by fascist states in Europe who were afraid it showed that democracy works. See more »

Goofs

When Smith arrives in Washington on the train, he's seen walking towards the exit with a porter behind him carrying his bags. The next shot shows the same porter coming into the station carrying someone else's bags. See more »

Quotes

Clarissa Saunders: How many times have you heard me say "I'm fed up with politics" and I... no, I let him talk me into staying. Secretary to a leader of little squirts! Why? Because I need the job and a new suit of clothes!
Diz Moore: Would you settle for a husband?
Clarissa Saunders: Mmm, I sure would!
[suddenly realizes he's referring to himself]
Clarissa Saunders: Heh?
Diz Moore: You know my old standing offer. Diz Moore, poet of Washington correspondence.
Clarissa Saunders: [smiling] Oh, that again.
Diz Moore: I'd cherish you - and I'd stay sober.
Clarissa Saunders: Oh, Diz, you're a wonderful egg. I don't know, maybe...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies: Against the Grain (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star-Spangled Banner
(1814) (uncredited)
Music by John Stafford Smith
In the score at the banquet
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Capra & Stewart Make It Work Very Well
27 September 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

Frank Capra and James Stewart were nearly unsurpassed at the task of taking the kind of story that is optimistic but that borders on being trite, and making it into a satisfying, worthwhile movie. In "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington", they accomplish this with a little help from Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, and Edward Arnold. It's not quite on the level of "It's a Wonderful Life", but it is as good as almost anything else of its kind.

Stewart's performance is important right from the beginning - hardly anyone else could have been believable as the earnest unknown who suddenly becomes an important political figure. Even his wide-eyed appreciation for what he sees in Washington comes across believably. As the story gets more complicated and his character is developed further, Stewart is even better.

The secondary characters are also important, because the story itself is a rather stylized, though still worthwhile, statement about politics. The characters are more believable than are many of the plot developments. Rains contributes a lot as Stewart's troubled colleague, and Jean Arthur is a natural for this kind of role. Arnold plays his devious character well. Capra holds it all together with his craftsmanship, keeping the story on track and getting the most out of the situation.


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Sentimentalist rubbish siluad2
Jefferson Smith: liberal or conservative gbromberg
Mr Smith punching people? luks-11
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