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Mr. Smith Goes To Washington 1939

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4.7 out of 5 stars (43) IMDb 8.3/10

Frank Capra's classic comedy-drama established James Stewart as a lead actor in one of his finest (and most archetypal) roles. The film opens as a succession of reporters shout into telephones announcing the death of Senator Samuel Foley. Senator Joseph Paine (Claude Rains), the state's senior senator, puts in a call to Governor Hubert Happy Hopper (Guy Kibbee) reporting the news.

Starring:
Jean Arthur, James Stewart
Runtime:
2 hours, 10 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Frank Capra
Starring Jean Arthur, James Stewart
Supporting actors Claude Rains, Edward Arnold, Guy Kibbee, Thomas Mitchell, Eugene Pallette, Beulah Bondi, H.B. Warner, Harry Carey, Astrid Allwyn, Ruth Donnelly, Grant Mitchell, Porter Hall, Larry Simms, H.V. Kaltenborn, Pierre Watkin, Charles Lane, William Demarest, Dick Elliott
Studio Sony Pictures International
BBFC rating Universal, suitable for all
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
James Stewart plays a decent, honest guy who is pressed into service as a replacement for a dead politician. He is, it is assumed, a gullible nonentity who will dance to whatever tune the political machine demands. Stewart, of course, soon loses his naivety and stands up for himself and the people he represents.
Frank Capra's compelling attack on corruption and the abuse of political power was based on a novel, 'The Gentleman from Montana', and was made at a time (1939) when democracy and freedom of expression were under attack in Europe. Capra was clearly impressed by the symbolism of Washington - numerous scenes in the film portray the statues, memorials, the Capitol, images of revolution, independence and the myths / legends of 1776, the signing of the constitution, even a child quoting Lincoln's 'Gettysburg Address' and its allusion to emancipation.
But Capra was also aware that Washington is a compromise city with a counterfeit history - the US capital was moved from Philadelphia, and Washington (little more than a swamp) was chosen as the site for the new capital as a compromise to appease northern and southern political blocs. Capra, throughout the film, plays with this contrast between image and substance, between the solidity of the institutions and the fragility of the liberties they are supposed to uphold.
Capra has ideals and values - decency, honesty, humanity, politeness, compassion, truth, respect. He doesn't analyse these as cold philosophical or political themes - he dramatises them for the ordinary people who flocked to see his films. The portrayal can be sentimental, simple, simplistic even, aimed at emotional rather than cerebral appeal, but his ideals and values are no less genuine and no less valid for that.
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Format: Blu-ray
MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON [1939] [75th Anniversary Special] [Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray + UltraViolet] [US Import] Fully Restored and Mastered in 4K!

An idealistic newly-appointed senator Jefferson Smith [James Stewart] heads to Washington, where he single-handedly battles ruthless politicians out to destroy him. Celebrate the 75th Anniversary Special of this beloved and influence classic and now fully restored in 4K, plus with this collectable Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook, complete with rare behind-the-scenes photos and an all-new essay about the making of the film. Winner of the 1939 Academy Award® for Best Writing [Original Story]. ‘Mr. Smith Goes To Washington’ is a timeless and stirring ode to the power of democracy.

FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ was nominated for 11 Academy Awards® but only won one and they are as follows: Won: Best Writing, Original Story for Lewis R. Foster. Nominated: Outstanding Production Columbia Pictures for Frank Capra. Nominated: Best Director for Frank Capra. Nominated: Best Actor for James Stewart. Nominated: Best Writing, Screenplay for Sidney Buchman. Nominated: Best Supporting Actor for Harry Carey. Nominated: Best Supporting Actor for Claude Rains. Nominated: Best Art Direction for Lionel Banks. Nominated: Best Film Editing for Gene Havlick and Al Clark. Nominated: Best Music, Scoring for Dimitri Tiomkin. Nominated: Best Sound Recording for John P. Livadary. Jimmy Stewart won the 1939 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor. Among unbilled veteran character actors seen in the film are Guy Kibbee's brother, Milton Kibbee, who has a bit as a reporter, Lafe McKee and Matt McHugh of the McHugh acting family.
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Format: DVD
Mr Smith Goes To Washington is one of the all time greats of American cinema. Funny, heartfelt and critical of American democracy this is one of the greatest movies made about politics and the common man.
When a Senator dies the people of a small state in America decide to send the naive Mr Smith to congress in the hope that he will be an easy puppet for big business in the area. Jimmy Stewart's Oscar nominated portrayal as Mr Smith is both eloquent and passionate as he tries to fight the corruption in American politics. In the famous 'fillibuster' scene and the ultimate finale director Frank Capra shows the audience what it is to be a true hero against impossible odds as Mr Smith fights on with the cause he so dearly cherishes.
With a fine central performance from Stewart, and an excellent supporting cast of some of Hollywoods most recognisable faces, this is a must for fans of such movies as Mr Deeds Goes To Town, It's A Wonderful Life and It Happened One Night.
A film for all Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart fans, this is a true American classic and ranks as one of the greatest movies of all time.
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Format: DVD
If you like James Stewart this is a must. His picturing of a dedicated politician is classic and it becomes a dream come true of how you wish a politician actually would be.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Always remember this film of James Stewarts marathon speaking in White House as landmark film. Once seen never forgotten. I believe it still rankles some senators to this day. Which shows it really showed some truths that are, and always will be valid
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