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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

512 customer reviews

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(Dec 09, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

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 American senator who heads to Washington D.C. and suddenly finds himself single-handedly battling ruthless politicians out to destroy him. Receiving a total of eleven 1939 Oscar(r) nominations (including Best Picture and Best Director), and winning one (Best Writing, Original Story), MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON is considered one of Capra's, Stewart's and Columbia's finest films.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold, Astrid Allwyn
  • Directors: Frank Capra, Frank Capra
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Portuguese, Korean, English, Japanese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 9, 2008
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (512 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001GLX6UI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,893 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Toshifumi Fujiwara on December 9, 2000
Format: DVD
MR.SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON is one of the greatest classic of american cinema. Jimmy Stewart is wonderful, Capra's direction is so great. The sory may sound a bit naive, but the emotion of the film so great can overcome this very naiveness and turns into a powerful, truthful idealism. Hollywood then could do that, not today, and I really don't understand why.
I just would like to add one fact to praise this DVD, and encourage everybody who visits this page to buy it, even if they have seen the movie; in many cases, great polular classics are oftenly viewed on poor prints and video masters, because of the very popularity of the film, the prints and negatives tend to get damged. overused, often replaced with inferior film elements. Thus, a great classic for everybody becomes a great film that one's grandpa talked about, and would really look that old.
That is why a special notice should be given to this DVD, because The Library of Congress did a wonderful job rescuing and restoring the film. The trasnfer is from their restored print, which they worked out of the original camera negative. Some parts of the negative were also damged, but they succeeded in replacing them with film elements that are not apparently inferior. The result is, a sharper, detailed look that we have been unable to see for over 4 or 5 decades.
These film archive people are doing a wonderful and important job. Restoring a film is not an easy job, and certainly is not cheap. That why these DVDs are so important, so that you can understand the importance of what they are doing.
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103 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on March 22, 2000
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a timeless, brilliant parable of Good Vs. Evil, played out in the U.S. Senate. Good is represented by Jimmy Stewart, in the film he SHOULD have won an Oscar for (MGM, trying to bolster 'Goodbye, Mr. Chips' at the box office, influenced it's Academy members to award Robert Donat with the statue; the following year, Stewart appeared in 'The Philadelphia Story', for MGM, and won Best Actor!). He is magnificent as Jefferson Smith, an idealistic youth leader, who is offered up as an innocent and gullible replacement for a Senate vacancy. Evil is personified by Claude Rains, as the suave and corrupt senior Senator, and Edward Arnold, brilliant as a ruthless party boss.
In many ways, 'Smith' is cut from the same cloth as Capra's earlier masterpiece, 'Mr. Deeds Goes to Town', and both films costar the radiant Jean Arthur, here cast as Smith's secretary. She is an old hand at understanding political wheelings and dealings, and at first, she considers her new boss a total idiot! But Smith's integrity wins her over, and with the help of reporter Thomas Mitchell (1939's busiest actor!), the three manage to outlast the forces of Evil, in the most rousing filabuster Hollywood has ever filmed!
Two supporting characters deserve special attention; Harry Carey, one of Hollywood's most beloved Western stars, plays a warm, sympathetic Vice President, in a small but very crucial role; and Beulah Bondi is terrific as Stewart's mother (she would play his mother again in the Capra/Stewart classic 'It's A Wonderful Life').
The new DVD edition offers the insights of Frank Capra, Jr., son of the legendary filmmaker, as well as trailers, vintage material, and a whole lot more!
If you've seen 'Mr.
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Format: DVD
There are films that are purely formulaic and consequently redundant, and then there are select classics that seem to be inspired by the same formula but in a way that make them feel fresh every time you see them. Such is the case with legendary director Frank Capra's political 1939 masterwork, as he and veteran screenwriter Sidney Buchman tell the story of the underdog who must face seemingly impenetrable obstacles to achieve a greater good. Capra made his reputation on films which conveyed such unbridled idealism like his most famous work, 1946's It's A Wonderful Life, but I would argue that this one has a broader sense of resonance since it deals unflinchingly with the corrupted American political structure, a situation that has unfortunately changed little in the nearly seventy years since the film's original release.

A young James Stewart is perfectly cast as Jefferson Smith, the naïve leader of a local Boy Scouts-type organization, who is swept into office as his state's junior senator by the all-powerful political machine headed by a Boss Tweed-like figure, media mogul Jim Taylor. In awe of the senior senator, Joseph Paine, Smith follows Paine's advice to push a bill for a national boys' camp back in the home state. A problem arises in the fact that the camp is to be built on the Willets Dam site which Taylor and Paine plan to use for graft. Along the way, Smith wins the support of his initially cynical secretary, Clarissa Saunders, who becomes inspired by Smith's integrity and encourages him to push the bill. This leads to his tenacious efforts to pass the bill, going as far as staging a 23-hour filibuster on the U.S. Senate floor.
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