Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

1939 political comedy-drama about one man's effect on American politics. Written by Sidney Buchman and Lewis R. Foster, it won the 1940 Academy Award for Best Original Story (Foster). Starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur.

When the idealistic young Jefferson Smith (Stewart) winds up appointed to the United States Senate, he gains the mentorship of Senator Joseph Paine (Claude Rains). However, Paine isn't as noble as his reputation would indicate, and he becomes involved in a scheme to discredit Smith, who wants to build a boys' campsite where a more lucrative project could go. Determined to stand up against Paine and his corrupt peers, Smith takes his case to the Senate floor.

Winner of Best Original Story (Lewis R. Foster), 1940 Academy Awards.
1939Rating: G129 minsUSA
DramaClassic
Director:
Frank Capra ('It's a Wonderful Life', 'It Happened One Night', 'Arsenic and Old Lace')
Writer:
Sidney BuchmanLewis R. Foster
Cast:
Jean ArthurJames StewartClaude RainsEdward ArnoldGuy KibbeeThomas MitchellEugene PalletteBeulah Bondi

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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / Reviews

Variety

Variety

One of the finest and consistently interesting dramas of the season.

Full review
Time Out

Time Out

Quintessential Capra - popular wish-fulfilment served up with such fast-talking comic panache that you don't have time to question its cornball idealism.

Full review
The New York Times

The New York Times

Mr. Smith is one of the best shows of the year. More fun, even, than the Senate itself.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

Demonstrating that the greatest political evil is indifference, this appeal to a world on the verge of war has lost none of its relevance 60 years on.

Full review