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Jean Arthur, James Stewart and Claude Rains star in Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, the award-winning 1939 classic about an idealistic, small town senator who heads to Washington and suddenly finds himself single-handedly battling ruthless politicians out to destroy him. When Frank Capra decided to film the novel “The Gentleman From Montana”, he ran into an obstacle Director Rouben Mamoulian owned the rights to the story. Unwilling to sell, Mamoulian eventually traded the material to Columbia on the condition that he be allowed to direct Golden Boy. As Capra began working on the film, now called Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, it was suggested that Gary Copper, the star of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, take the lead. Capra selected Jimmy Stewart instead and the film solidified Stewart’s movie career, garnering him his first Academy Award® nomination. Receiving a total of eleven 1939 Oscar® nominations (including Best Picture and Best Director), and winning one (Best Motion Picture Story), Mr. Smith Goes To Washington is considered one of Capra’s, Stewart’s and Columbia’s finest films. It also marked the end of an era. It was Capra’s final film for the studio.

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One thought to “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)”

  • Defenders

    This is a great family movie. It teaches the great value of personal integrity and honesty, a lesson dearly needed in the world today!

    Released in 1939, yet this film’s message is a timeless reminder of how fragile liberty is and how vital it is. The main character, Jeff Smith takes on crony capitalism, his own party, political machines, and corrupt politicians to expose the truth and fight for the individual liberties that continue to erode today.


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