IMDb > Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington -- James Stewart takes on the powers-that-be in our nation's capitol in Frank Capra's timeless classic. Nominated for eleven 1939 Oscars(r), including best picture.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington -- 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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Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Sidney Buchman (screen play)
Lewis R. Foster (story)
View company contact information for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 October 1939 (USA) See more »
Capra at his greatest! See more »
A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
an honest film See more (248 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jean Arthur ... Saunders

James Stewart ... Jefferson Smith

Claude Rains ... Senator Joseph Paine

Edward Arnold ... Jim Taylor

Guy Kibbee ... Governor Hopper

Thomas Mitchell ... Diz Moore

Eugene Pallette ... Chick McGann

Beulah Bondi ... Ma Smith

H.B. Warner ... Senate Majority Leader

Harry Carey ... President of the Senate

Astrid Allwyn ... Susan Paine

Ruth Donnelly ... Mrs. Hopper

Grant Mitchell ... Senator MacPherson

Porter Hall ... Senator Monroe
H.V. Kaltenborn ... Himself

Charles Lane ... Nosey

Pierre Watkin ... Senate Minority Leader
Dick Elliott ... Carl Cook

William Demarest ... Bill Griffith
Billy Watson ... Hopper Boy
Delmar Watson ... Hopper Boy
Harry Watson ... Hopper Boy

John Russell ... Hopper Boy (as John Russell)

Larry Simms ... Hopper Boy (as Baby Dumpling)
Garry Watson ... Hopper Boy (as Gary Watson)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Erville Alderson ... Handwriting Expert (uncredited)
Harry Anderson ... Hoodlum (uncredited)

Stanley Andrews ... Senator Hodges (uncredited)
William Arnold ... Reporter (uncredited)

Sam Ash ... Senator Lancaster (uncredited)

Edwin August ... Senator (uncredited)
Frank Austin ... Inventor at Smith's Office Door (uncredited)
Harry A. Bailey ... Senator Hammett (uncredited)
Tommy Baker ... Boy Ranger (uncredited)
Kathryn Bates ... Committeewoman (uncredited)

Brooks Benedict ... Senate Clerk (uncredited)
Wilson Benge ... Hopper's Butler (uncredited)

Edward Biby ... Foreign Diplomat (uncredited)
Wade Boteler ... Family Man (uncredited)

Harry C. Bradley ... Arthur Kim (uncredited)

Lynton Brent ... Photographer (uncredited)
Ed Brewer ... Senate Reporter (uncredited)

Al Bridge ... Senator Dwight (uncredited)

Harlan Briggs ... Mr. Edwards - Howling Citizen (uncredited)

Tommy Bupp ... Boy Cheering for Smith in Meeting (uncredited)

Harry Burkhardt ... Senate Reporter (uncredited)
Frederick Burton ... Senator Dearhorn (uncredited)

Georgia Caine ... Third Radio Speaker (uncredited)
Ken Carpenter ... Announcer (uncredited)

Jack Carson ... Sweeney Farrell - Newsman (uncredited)
Burr Caruth ... Townsend (uncredited)
Maurice Cass ... Handwriting Expert (uncredited)
Allan Cavan ... Ragner - Newsman (uncredited)
Eddy Chandler ... Reporter (uncredited)

George Chandler ... Reporter (uncredited)

Davison Clark ... Committeeman (uncredited)
Dora Clement ... Mrs. McGann (uncredited)
Richard Clucas ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Shirley Coates ... Assistant Bartender (uncredited)

Edmund Cobb ... Senator Gower (uncredited)
Eddie Coke ... Photographer (uncredited)

Dorothy Comingore ... Woman at Station (uncredited)

Chester Conklin ... Man in Press Section of Senate Gallery (uncredited)
Hal Cooke ... Reporter (uncredited)
George Cooper ... Waiter (uncredited)
Georgie Cooper ... Committeewoman (uncredited)
Jack Cooper ... Photographer (uncredited)
Nick Copeland ... Senate Reporter (uncredited)

Anne Cornwall ... Senate Reporter (uncredited)

Gino Corrado ... Barber (uncredited)

Maurice Costello ... Diggs - Newsman (uncredited)
Alec Craig ... Speaker (uncredited)
Beatrice Curtis ... Paine's Secretary (uncredited)
Lew Davis ... Senate Clerk (uncredited)
Dulcie Day ... Senate Reporter (uncredited)
Wally Dean ... Paine's Friend (uncredited)

Vernon Dent ... Senate Reporter (uncredited)
Harry Depp ... Hat Salesman / Secretary (uncredited)

Joe Devlin ... Waiter (uncredited)
Clyde Dilson ... Reporter (uncredited)

John Dilson ... Secretary (uncredited)
Neal Dodd ... Senate Chaplain (uncredited)

Ann Doran ... Paine's Secretary (uncredited)

Lester Dorr ... Taylor's Stooge (uncredited)
Robert Dudley ... Reporter (uncredited)

Edward Earle ... Reporter (uncredited)

Helen Jerome Eddy ... Paine's Secretary (uncredited)

Jack Egan ... Reporter (uncredited)
Douglas Evans ... Francis Scott Key (uncredited)
Eddie Fetherston ... Senate Reporter (uncredited)
Mabel Forrest ... Senate Reporter (uncredited)

Byron Foulger ... Hopper's Secretary (uncredited)
Gladys Gale ... Committeewoman (uncredited)
Jack Gardner ... Reporter (uncredited)

Frances Gifford ... Hopper Girl (uncredited)
June Gittelson ... Woman at Station (uncredited)
Gus Glassmire ... Angry committee member (uncredited)
Mary Gordon ... Woman (uncredited)
Jesse Graves ... Black Committeeman (uncredited)

Lorna Gray ... Woman at Station (uncredited)
Roger Haliday ... Senate Guard (uncredited)
Cliff Hall ... Senator in final scene (uncredited)
Wilfred Hari ... House Boy (uncredited)
Harry Hayden ... First Radio Announcer (uncredited)

Henry Hebert ... Senator (uncredited)

Louis Jean Heydt ... Soapbox Speaker (uncredited)

Fred Hoose ... Senator (uncredited)
Philip Hurlic ... Boy Ranger (uncredited)
Olaf Hytten ... Butler (uncredited)

John Ince ... Senator Fernwick (uncredited)

Lloyd Ingraham ... Committeeman (uncredited)

Mitchell Ingraham ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Frank Jaquet ... Senator Byron (uncredited)
Dick Jensen ... Hoodlum (uncredited)
John Lester Johnson ... Butler (uncredited)

Dickie Jones ... Pageboy Richard Jones (uncredited)
Eddie Kane ... Reporter (uncredited)

Robert Emmett Keane ... Editor (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Reporter (uncredited)
Milton Kibbee ... Senate Reporter (uncredited)
Joe King ... Summers - newsman (uncredited)
Richard Kipling ... Senator (uncredited)

Evalyn Knapp ... Reporter Asking 'What Do You Think of the Girls in This Town?' (uncredited)
Wright Kramer ... Senator Carlton (uncredited)

Paul Kruger ... Bodyguard (uncredited)

Bobby Larson ... Boy Ranger (uncredited)
Billy Lechner ... Boy Ranger (uncredited)
P.H. Levy ... Rabbi (uncredited)

Vera Lewis ... Mrs. Edwards (uncredited)
Jack Lindquist ... Chorus Member (uncredited)

George Lloyd ... Hoodlum (uncredited)
Arthur Loft ... Chief Clerk (uncredited)
Jane Loofbourrow ... Committeewoman (uncredited)
Jack Low ... Hoodlum (uncredited)
Jackie Lowe ... Boy Ranger (uncredited)
Jimmie Lucas ... Photographer (uncredited)

Wilfred Lucas ... Pompous Man (uncredited)
Stanley Mack ... Senator (uncredited)

Mary MacLaren ... Head Sister (uncredited)

Hank Mann ... Photographer (uncredited)
Margaret Mann ... Nun with Cheering Orphan Boys (uncredited)
Thomas Martin ... Reporter (uncredited)

Eric Mayne ... Man in Senate Building (uncredited)

Philo McCullough ... Senator Albert (uncredited)
Ralph McCullough ... Assistant Bartender (uncredited)
Matt McHugh ... Reporter (uncredited)
George McKay ... Reporter (uncredited)

Lafe McKee ... Civil War Veteran at Lincoln Memorial (uncredited)

Sammy McKim ... Boy Ranger (uncredited)

Frank McLure ... Senator (uncredited)
James McNamara ... Reporter (uncredited)
Robert Middlemass ... Second Radio Announcer (uncredited)
James Millican ... Senate Reporter (uncredited)

Howard M. Mitchell ... Shoe Salesman (uncredited)
Charles R. Moore ... Porter (uncredited)
Bert Moorhouse ... Man in Senate Building (uncredited)

Gene Morgan ... Reporter (uncredited)
Robert Morgan ... Senate Clerk (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... Senator Fuller (uncredited)
William Newell ... Reporter (uncredited)
Ray Nichols ... Boy Ranger (uncredited)
Field Norton ... Pompous Man (uncredited)
Alex Novinsky ... Foreign Diplomat (uncredited)

Frank O'Connor ... Senator Alfred (uncredited)
Frank Otto ... Fisk (uncredited)
Joe Palma ... Hoodlum (uncredited)
Blanche Payson ... Committeewoman (uncredited)

Frank Puglia ... Handwriting Expert (uncredited)
Spencer Quinn ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Tom Quinn ... Senate Reporter (uncredited)
Ed Randolph ... Senate Reporter (uncredited)
Charles Regan ... Hoodlum (uncredited)
Jack Rice ... Lang (uncredited)
Jack Richardson ... Senator Manchester (uncredited)
Henry Roquemore ... Senator (uncredited)

Johnny Russell ... Otis Hopper (uncredited)

Walter Sande ... Newspaperman with Pipe (uncredited)

Russell Simpson ... Kenneth Allen (uncredited)
Walter Soderling ... Senator Pickett (uncredited)
Harry Stafford ... Senator Atwater (uncredited)

Wyndham Standing ... Senator Ashman (uncredited)
Paul Stanton ... Flood - Newsman (uncredited)

Larry Steers ... Committeeman (uncredited)
Count Stefenelli ... Foreign Diplomat (uncredited)

Robert Sterling ... Senate Reporter (uncredited)

Craig Stevens ... Senate Reporter (uncredited)

Landers Stevens ... Committeeman (uncredited)

Carl Stockdale ... Senator Burdette (uncredited)

Harry Strang ... Bodyguard (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Cab Driver (uncredited)

Ben Taggart ... Pompous Man (uncredited)
Emma Tansey ... Committeewoman (uncredited)

Dub Taylor ... Reporter (uncredited)
Ferris Taylor ... Senator Carlisle (uncredited)

Harry Tenbrook ... Bodyguard (uncredited)
Arthur Thalasso ... Doorman (uncredited)
Edward Thomas ... Butler (uncredited)

Frank M. Thomas ... Hendricks (uncredited)
Layne Tom Jr. ... Boy Ranger (uncredited)

Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ... Porter (uncredited)
Victor Travers ... Senator Grainger (uncredited)
Laura Treadwell ... Mrs. Taylor (uncredited)

John Tyrrell ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Frederick Vroom ... Paine's Friend (uncredited)
Bess Wade ... Committeewoman (uncredited)
David Wade ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Max Waizmann ... Photographer (uncredited)

Robert Walker ... Senator Holland (uncredited)
Myonne Walsh ... Jane Hopper (uncredited)
John Ward ... Photographer (uncredited)
Billy Wayne ... Reporter (uncredited)
Lloyd Whitlock ... Schultz - Newsman (uncredited)

Dave Willock ... Senate Guard (uncredited)
Florence Wix ... Committeewoman (uncredited)
Eleanor Wood ... Committeewoman (uncredited)
William Worthington ... Committeeman (uncredited)

Directed by
Frank Capra 
Writing credits
Sidney Buchman (screen play)

Lewis R. Foster (story)

Myles Connolly  contributor to screenplay construction and dialogue (uncredited)

Produced by
Frank Capra .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Dimitri Tiomkin (musical score by)
Cinematography by
Joseph Walker (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Al Clark 
Gene Havlick (film editor)
Art Direction by
Lionel Banks 
Costume Design by
Robert Kalloch (gowns) (as Kalloch)
Makeup Department
Faye Hanlin .... hair (uncredited)
Helen Hunt .... hair (uncredited)
William Knight .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Fred B. Phillips .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arthur S. Black Jr. .... assistant director (as Arthur S. Black)
Rex Bailey .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Richard McWhorter .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Charles Vidor .... second unit director (uncredited)
Art Department
Walter Holscher .... set designer (uncredited)
George Montgomery .... set dresser (uncredited)
Cary Odell .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Jack Wrenn .... prop master (uncredited)
Sound Department
Edward Bernds .... sound engineer (uncredited)
John P. Livadary .... supervising sound editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Fred Jackman Jr. .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Slavko Vorkapich .... montage effects
John Hoffman .... montage effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
George Hager .... head electrician (uncredited)
William Jolley .... assistant camera (uncredited)
George F. Kelley .... second operative camera (uncredited)
Al Layter .... assistant electrician (uncredited)
Irving Lippman .... photographer: production stills (uncredited)
Irving Lippman .... still photographer (uncredited)
James Lloyd .... head grip (uncredited)
Enzo A. Martinelli .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Adolph L. Schafer .... special portrait art (uncredited)
Victor Scheurich .... first operative camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Forrest T. Butler .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Ray Howell .... head of wardrobe (uncredited)
Roselle Novello .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
Music Department
Morris Stoloff .... musical director (as M.W. Stoloff)
R.H. Bassett .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Ben Oakland .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
James D. Preston .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Joseph Sistrom .... production assistant (uncredited)
Harold Winston .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" - USA (complete title)
See more »
129 min | West Germany:120 min (TV)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Brazil:Livre | Canada:G (Manitoba/Nova Scotia/Quebec) | Canada:F (Ontario) | Finland:S | Germany:0 | Iceland:L | South Korea:12 | Spain:T | UK:U | USA:Not Rated (DVD Rating) | USA:Approved (PCA #5370) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

One reason Frank Capra made this film was to help him get over the loss of his infant son, who had died following complications from a tonsillectomy. Initially Capra wanted to make a film about Frédéric Chopin, but Columbia head Harry Cohn nixed that on the grounds that it would be too expensive. Capra and Cohn were constantly at loggerheads over budgets, despite Capra being Columbia's most successful director with--at the time--two Oscars under his belt.See more »
Factual errors: Under the Standing Rules of the Senate governing debate, Senator Paine would not technically have been allowed to attack Senator Smith's character and accuse him of graft. The rule states: "No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator."See more »
[after all the other Senators walk out]
Jefferson Smith:Oh, Mr. President, we seem to be alone. I, I'm not complaining for a social reason; it's just, I think it'd be a pity if these gentlemen missed any of this, and...
[Clarissa starts waving from the visitors gallery, and making hand signals]
Jefferson Smith:And, uh...
[he grabs the rule book]
Jefferson Smith:I, I call the chair's attention to... to, uh... Rule 5 of the Standing Rules of the Senate, Section... Section 3. "If it shall be found that a quorum is not present, a majority of the Senators present" - and that looks like me - uh, uh, "may direct the Sergeant-at-Arms to request, and if necessary compel, the attendance of the absent Senators." Well, Mr. President, I so direct.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Neighbours: Episode #1.6203" (2011)See more »
When Johnny Comes Marching HomeSee more »


What was the original ending?
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40 out of 50 people found the following review useful.
an honest film, 18 May 2004
Author: Jenny Crosby (Jennydavis131) from Portland, Oregon

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a wonderful film about a man Jeff Smith (James Stewart) who believes that children are the future and should be able to enjoy the outdoors, while taking in knowledge of their great Country. When a senator dies in Smith's state, the governor is forced into an awkward position of electing the new senator. While the governor is sitting down to dinner, his young children propose the idea of Jeff Smith who is head of the Boy Rangers and prints a weekly newspaper for the local children. Mr. Smith is elected into office in the funniest way, a coin toss.

When Mr. Smith arrives in Washington with his colleague Mr. Pain, (Claude Rains) he is amazed by all the greatness that Washington possesses. After being sworn into the Senate Mr. Smith comes up with idea to propose a Bill that would let boys come together and enjoy the wilderness, and the perfect spot would be in his home town next to a creek. What he doesn't know is that his colleague Mr. Pain has his own plans with that same land. The film then releases the full fury of what corrupt politicians can do to a truthful man.

The plot of the film will grab the viewer within the first five minutes and will not let go until the astonishing end. Even though this type of thing is implausible it's still very funny and unique in its own way.

The acting was superb! James Stewart will always represent the good guy trying to make his way through life in an honorable way. Claude Rains character was perfect for him, a good man gone bad by the power of politics. Jean Arthur's character was something that isn't normally seen in the movies. She played an ambitious woman trying to get to the top without anyone's help, but is still the great old fashioned woman she was born to be. James Stewart and Jean Arthur were very charismatic together. There could not have been a better pair.

The lighting in the film was great in two scenes when Mr. Smith is at the Washington memorial the light shines on sentences of the constitution that added a lot to the emotion of the character and helped set the tone for the scene.

This is a classic film that should be recognized and cherished forever. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a great film for the whole family, the film is not only captivating and genuine but there is also a moral in the story. Definitely a ten out of ten, and should be part of your home video library.

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This is the kind of movie... comicstu
The ending seems mighty abrupt wehavecats
Sentimentalist rubbish siluad2
Film cuts pshu4
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