Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
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Directed by: Frank Capra
Starring: James Stewart, Claude Rains, Jean Arthur, Thomas Mitchell
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington ranked # 29 on the American Film Institute's Top 100 American Films list.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a 1939 film which tells the story of an idealistic young man who is sent to Washington to fill the unexpired term of a deceased Senator. There, he is taken under the wing of a corrupt senator whom he naively admires because he was his late father's best and oldest friend. As time goes on, however, the young Mr. Smith becomes increasingly dismayed by the
corruption he finds in the halls of government.
The film stars Claude Rains as the senior senator and James Stewart as the new recruit. Also appearing are Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, Guy Kibbee, Charles Lane, and Thomas Mitchell.
In the spring of 2005, media attention over the "nuclear option" focused extra attention on what was already the melodramatic climax of the film, when Smith launches a lengthy and defiant filibuster.
The film has been deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.
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