Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Since last July, I've seen six movies featuring James Stewart. Those are his collaborations with Frank Capra (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It's a Wonderful Life, You Can't Take It With You) snd Alfred Hitchcock (Rear Window, Vertigo), as well as his Oscar-winning performance (The Philadelphia Story).

Naive and idealistic Jefferson Smith (Stewart) 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 (Claude Rains). 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's political boss, Jim Taylor (Edward Arnold). Taylor first tries to corrupt Smith and then later attepmts to destroy Smith through a scandal.

It's safe to say that this is my favorite performance of Stewart's. He shows optimism even when the worst is happening. And the famed filibuster scene showed the height of his power as an actor.

My Rating: *****


  1. I love Stewart in this role. My all time favorite of his is Harvey (if you've never seen it sky rocket it to the top of your list - high recommendation). Nice review :)

  2. Nice review. I second Univarn's recommendation!


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