American History Movies

If Only Mr. Smith Could Still Get to Washington

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So, the American government RIGHT?

Oy. What a mess. As someone who teaches all things U.S. politics and government I will at least say how good these crazy political times are for in class discussion and case studies on dysfunctional government. It is what it is though, so what can you do?

Well, Melissa Tagg and I decided we could watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a classic film from 1939 in which an idealistic young man named Jefferson Smith (played brilliantly by Jimmy Stewart) ends up in the Senate taking on complacency and corruption.

This Frank Capra picture features a similar theme to It’s A Wonderful Life, the idea that one person’s life can make a difference. Here’s our Classic Movie Gush this week about all things Jimmy Stewart, Jean Arthur, Harry Carey, Claude Rains, amazing set design and more.

Have you ever seen Mr. Smith Goes to Washington? Hard to believe this film was controversial back in the day.

Do you have a favorite “political” film? 

Classic Movie Gush is a regular feature in which we revisit/introduce classic movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Catch up on all the movies we’ve talked about by visiting the Official Classic Movie Gush Page.

By Clay Morgan

Clay Morgan is the author of Undead. Say hi on Twitter.