Rent Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

4.0 of 5 from 135 ratings
2h 5min
Rent Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
James Stewart, Jean Arthur and Claude Rains star in this award-winning 1939 classic about an idealistic, small-town politician who heads to Washington and suddenly finds himself single-handedly battling ruthless politicians out to destroy him.
Actors:
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Directors:
Producers:
Frank Capra
Writers:
Sidney Buchman, Lewis R. Foster
Others:
Al Clark, Dimitri Tiomkin, John Livadary, Lionel Banks, Gene Havlick
Studio:
Columbia Tristar
Genres:
Classics, Drama
Awards:

1940 Oscar Best Original Story

BBFC:
Release Date:
26/02/2001
Run Time:
125 minutes
Languages:
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles:
Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
B & W
Bonus:
  • Feature Length Commentary by Frank Capra Jr
  • Vintage Advertising Gallery
  • Filmographies
BBFC:
Release Date:
05/11/2018
Run Time:
129 minutes
Languages:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0, French Dolby Digital 1.0, German Dolby Digital 1.0, Italian Dolby Digital 1.0, Portuguese Dolby Digital 1.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0
Subtitles:
Chinese, English, English Hard of Hearing, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Colour:
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Commentary by Frank Capra Jr
  • Frank Capra's American Dream: Feature-Length Documentary Hosted by Ron Howard
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Rare International Trailer
  • Five Featurettes
BBFC:
Release Date:
Not released
Run Time:
129 minutes

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Reviews (2) of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

A Classic. - Mr. Smith Goes to Washington review by KG

Spoiler Alert
17/03/2020

A Most Excellent film.   The USA has changed in various ways since then, but clearly not in all !   Jimmy Stewart at his memorable early best.   Jean Arthur also fine ( and no surprise that she was able later to reach her magnificent best in Shane ).   

We did actually find the final 10 minutes to be quite confusing however.

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Contains big spoiler. - Mr. Smith Goes to Washington review by Steve Mason

Spoiler Alert
31/01/2021

Somewhere in this film marks the point where Capra's films stopped being comedies at all and the humour gets swallowed up in the moral darkness.  It kicks off with a traditional comic premise. James Stewart/Jefferson Smith is a fish out of water who is out of his depth... a scout leader promoted to be a US senator, who discovers that the whole barrel is rotten, and he has to fight for democracy and freedom.

 With the world at war between the free world and dictatorship, the Italian born Capra is sounding a grim warning to America. He shows us how politics and politicians are owned by graft. Industry magnate Jim Taylor (Edward Arnold) runs the once idealistic Joseph Paine (Claude Rains). Together they work to take the idealistic Smith down when he opposes Taylor's corrupt diversion of public money.

 Smith has the tough spad insider Saunders (Jean Arthur) on his side, as he filibusters while he waits and hopes for public opinion to turn towards him. But his enemies own the newspapers. As so often we recognise that the threat Capra presents is the reality, and the resolution is just the illusion of hope we all need to carry on. In an unlikely turn of fortune, Senator Paine's conscience finds its voice.

 This was a huge role in the career of James Stewart and established his persona as the conscience of the American silent majority, a presumed integrity. It's a beautiful looking film, with the then-novelty of deep focus photography. But mainly it is a warning to all that democracy and freedom are precarious and have to be continually fought for, or they will be lost.

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