Thursday, May 20, 2010
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
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: *****