Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

come ON, man

Title: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Year: 1939
Length: 129 minutes
Director: Frank Capra
Writer: Sidney Buchman, story by Lewis R. Foster
Starring: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Claude Rains
Music: Dimitri Tiomkin
Distinctions: Oscar for Best Story; Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Stewart), Best Supporting Actor (Rains), Best Supporting Actor (Harry Carey), Best Score, Best Art Direction, Best Editing and Best Sound Recording; currently #111 on IMDb’s Top 250

My reaction
Synopsis: a boyscout leader appointed to the senate stands up to corruption
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), a couple days ago
Concept: Good.
Story: Great.
Characters: Great.
Dialog: Great.
Pacing: Great.
Cinematography: Good.
Special effects/design: Great.
Acting: Great. To say that to say that Stewart’s performance carries this movie would be an understatement would be an understatement.
Music: Indifferent. Corny and way over-the-top.
Subjective Rating: 8/10 (Great). The ending is very abrupt. And it’s a bit depressing to compare the Washington in the film to modern day politics. (I mean, really, a senator’s career being threatened by it being known that he did something in the interest of a business? Talk about suspension of disbelief…) But this is probably the ultimate Jimmy Stewart movie. He is constantly – every second he’s on screen – giving what’s probably the best performance of his career.
Objective Rating: 9/10 3.6/4 (Great).


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