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Friday, August 13, 2010



Directed by: Frank Capra

Starring: James Stewart, Claude Rains, Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, Thomas Mitchell

Analysis: It's rare that a movie has the ability to absolutely blow you away. In my life, I've seen over 1100 films, and up to this point, I'd only given twenty-five an "A+" grade. I can happily say that Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is the twenty-sixth. Everything just clicks with this one, from the Oscar-winning screenplay to the utterly brilliant acting by Mr. Jimmy Stewart as the titular character.

Thrust into the spotlight as an honorary appointed senator, Jefferson Smith starts his political career sitting back, watching everything unfold under the lights of the capital of the greatest country in the world. A patriot of the first order, Mr. Smith finally decides to get his feet wet and creates a bill to open a national boys' camp in his home state. However, the location of his proposed camp falls on the same land as a proposed dam supported by his state's fellow senator and the extremely powerful lobbyist who's been running the show from behind the scenes for two decades. Appalled, Smith takes a stand and filibusters the Senate, using his every last bit of strength, energy and tenacity to turn the other senators to his side while outing the crooked politicians from his very own, beloved state.

The story is simple, yet the actual screenplay is extremely complex yet very easy to follow. Even back in 1940, against a lot of political opposition, the film went on the win the Oscar for Best Original Story. However, the real star, Jimmy Stewart, is absolutely breathtaking as the lead that made him a certified movie star. I've always been a fan of Mr. Stewart, but this only increased my admiration for the man. You can see the metamorphosis from the down-home, Southern man full of aspiration to the man angered so much by the system that he finally decides to take a stand for his own sense of morality. Yes, the supporting characters play their parts to a tee, but Stewart takes the cake this time around. Watching him is a true delight. I just wish I could be more like Mr. Jefferson Smith.

Movie Review Summary:
Score: 9.5/10
Grade: A+

Should You Watch It? YES

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