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on November 3, 2014
Jefferson Smith: "Get up there with that lady that's up on top of this Capitol dome, that lady that stands for liberty. Take a look at this country through her eyes if you really want to see something. And you won't just see scenery; you'll see the whole parade of what Man's carved out for himself, after centuries of fighting." Another great film from 1939, this Frank Capra classic is one of the greatest political dramas ever made...ranking #26 on AFI's "100 Years, 100 Films", with Jefferson Smith ranking the #11 hero on AFI's "!00 Years, 100 Heroes". Jean Arthur got lead billing as she was the biggest star at the time; but this is a Jimmy Stewart film and it made a big star our of him. Naive and idealistic Jefferson Smith (Stewart) is appointed on a lark by the spineless governor of his state. He is reunited with the state's senior senator--presidential hopeful and childhood hero, Senator Joseph Paine (Claude Rains) In Washington, however, Smith discovers many of the shortcomings of the political process as his earnest goal of a national boys' camp leads to a conflict with the state political boss, Jim Taylor (Edward Arnold). He is ably assisted by his secretary, Clarissa Saunders (Arthur). Capra's previous films, such as "Mr Deeds Goes to Town" and "You Cant Take it With You", had emphasized the decency of the common man; however this film is more pessimistic as the decent common man is surrounded by a venal, petty and thuggish group of crooked politicians. Nevertheless, Smith’s filibuster and the tacit encouragement of the Senate President (Harry Carrey) are both emblematic of the director's belief in the difference that one individual can make. This theme would be expanded further in "It's a Wonderful Life" and other films. In addition to the actors named, look for a star-studded array of the best character actors of the era. Outstanding cinema!
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on June 13, 2015
MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON [1939] [75th Anniversary Special] [Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray + UltraViolet] Fully Restored and Mastered in 4K!

An idealistic newly-appointed senator Jefferson Smith [James Stewart] heads to Washington, where he single-handedly battles ruthless politicians out to destroy him. Celebrate the 75th Anniversary Special of this beloved and influence classic and now fully restored in 4K, plus with this collectable Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook, complete with rare behind-the-scenes photos and an all-new essay about the making of the film. Winner of the 1939 Academy Award® for Best Writing [Original Story]. ‘Mr. Smith Goes To Washington’ is a timeless and stirring ode to the power of democracy.

FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ was nominated for 11 Academy Awards® but only won one and they are as follows: Won: Best Writing, Original Story for Lewis R. Foster. Nominated: Outstanding Production Columbia Pictures for Frank Capra. Nominated: Best Director for Frank Capra. Nominated: Best Actor for James Stewart. Nominated: Best Writing, Screenplay for Sidney Buchman. Nominated: Best Supporting Actor for Harry Carey. Nominated: Best Supporting Actor for Claude Rains. Nominated: Best Art Direction for Lionel Banks. Nominated: Best Film Editing for Gene Havlick and Al Clark. Nominated: Best Music, Scoring for Dimitri Tiomkin. Nominated: Best Sound Recording for John P. Livadary. Jimmy Stewart won the 1939 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor. Among unbilled veteran character actors seen in the film are Guy Kibbee's brother, Milton Kibbee, who has a bit as a reporter, Lafe McKee and Matt McHugh of the McHugh acting family. In 1989, the Library of Congress added the movie to the United States National Film Registry, for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Cast: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold, Guy Kibbee, Thomas Mitchell, Eugene Pallette, Beulah Bondi, H.B. Warner, Harry Carey, Astrid Allwyn, Ruth Donnelly, Grant Mitchell, Porter Hall, Pierre Watkin, Charles Lane, William Demarest, Dick Elliott, H.V. Kaltenborn, Dub Taylor and The Hopper Boys: Billy Watson, Delmar Watson, John Russell, Harry Watson, Gary Watson, Baby Dumpling (Larry Simms)

Director: Frank Capra

Producer: Frank Capra

Screenplay: Sidney Buchman

Composer: Dimitri Tiomkin

Cinematography: Joseph Walker, A.S.C.

Video Resolution: 1080p [Black-and-White]

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1

Audio: English: 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, French [European] 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono, German: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono, Italian: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono, Portuguese [Brazil]: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono, Spanish [Castilian]: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono and Spanish [Latin American]: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese Traditional, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese [Brazil], Portuguese [Portugal], Spanish and Thai

Running Time: 129 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 1

Studio: SONY Pictures Home Entertainment

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ [1939] is producer/director Frank Capra's classic comedy-drama, and considered by many to be his greatest achievement in film (and reminiscent of his earlier film, ‘Mr. Deeds Goes To Town’ [1936]. In fact, the film project by Columbia Pictures was first announced as Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington starring Gary Cooper, in a role similar to his previous Longfellow Deeds character.

Frank Capra's classic comedy-drama established James Stewart as a lead actor in one of his finest (and most archetypal) roles. The film opens as a succession of reporters shout into telephones announcing the death of Senator Samuel Foley. Senator Joseph Paine [Claude Rains], the state's senior senator, puts in a call to Governor Hubert "Happy" Hopper [Guy Kibbee] reporting the news.

Hubert "Happy" Hopper then calls powerful media magnate Jim Taylor [Edward Arnold], who controls the state and along with the lawmakers. Jim Taylor orders Hubert "Happy" Hopper to appoint an interim senator to fill out Senator Samuel Foley's term; Jim Taylor has proposed a pork barrel bill to finance an unneeded dam at Willet Creek, so he warns Hubert "Happy" Hopper he wants a senator who "can't ask any questions or talk out of turn." After having a number of his appointees rejected, at the suggestion of his children Hubert "Happy" Hopper nominates local hero Jefferson Smith [James Stewart], leader of the state's Boy Rangers group.

Jefferson Smith is an innocent, wide-eyed idealist who quotes Jefferson and Lincoln and idolises Senator Joseph Paine, who had known his crusading editor father. In Washington, after a humiliating introduction to the press corps, Jefferson Smith threatens to resign, but Senator Joseph Paine encourages him to stay and work on a bill for a national boy's camp. With the help of his cynical secretary Clarissa Sanders [Jean Arthur], Jefferson Smith prepares to introduce his boy's camp bill to the Senate. But when he proposes to build the camp on the Willets Creek site, Jim Taylor and Senator Joseph Paine force him to drop the measure. Jefferson Smith discovers Jim Taylor and Senator Joseph Paine want the Willets Creek site for graft and he attempts to expose them, but Senator Joseph Paine deflects Jefferson Smith's charges by accusing Smith of stealing money from the boy rangers.

Defeated, Jefferson Smith is ready to depart Washington, but Clarissa Sanders, whose patriotic zeal has been renewed by Jefferson Smith, exhorts him to stay and fight. Jefferson Smith returns to the Senate chamber and, while Jim Taylor musters the media forces in his state to destroy him, Jefferson Smith engages in a climactic filibuster to speak his piece: "I've got a few things I want to say to this body. I tried to say them once before and I got stopped colder than a mackerel. Well, I'd like to get them said this time, sir. And as a matter of fact, I'm not gonna leave this body until I do get them said."

Jefferson Smith, of course, stands his ground, so the two men set about ruining him. This eventually leads to an unforgettable filibuster scene that solidified James Stewart’s persona and the first persona of his multi-dimensional career, anyway, as a common man with bottomless reserves of backbone and dignity. (James Stewart, in a move worthy of an Oscar, had a doctor administer dichloride of mercury near his vocal chords to give his voice the exhausted rasp he was looking for at the close of Jefferson Smith’s filibuster.)

Though it’s now universally revered as an ode to democratic ideals, Frank Capra’s ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ [1939] was originally denounced by many Washington power-brokers. That may come as a bit of a shock if you haven’t seen this classic picture for several years. Jimmy Stewart’s lead performance made him a star, and is justly remembered as the key component of a beautifully constructed narrative. But Frank Capra, for all his flag-waving and sometimes naive moralizing saved a great deal of bite for the hallowed halls of American government.

Frank Capra nearly cast Gary Cooper, but finally settled on James Stewart. “I knew he would make a hell of a Mr. Smith,” he said. “He looked like the country kid, the idealist. It was very close to him.” James Stewart knew this was the role of a lifetime, one that could place him near the top of the Hollywood heap. Jean Arthur later remembered his mood at the time: “He was so serious when he was working on that picture; he used to get up at five o’clock in the morning and drive himself to the studio. He was so terrified something was going to happen to him, he wouldn’t go faster.”

On 17th October, 1939, the picture was previewed at Washington’s Constitution Hall. The preview was a major production featuring searchlights and a National Guard band playing patriotic tunes; The Washington Times-Herald even put out a special edition covering the event. Four thousand guests attended, 45 Senators among them. About two-thirds of the way through the film, the grumbling began, with people walking out. Some politicians were so enraged by how “they” were being portrayed in the film, they actually shouted at the screen. At a party afterward, a drunken newspaper editor took a wild swing at Frank Capra for including a drunken reporter as one of the characters!

The wonderfully-acted, absorbing and human film was popular at the box-office and critically successful too. However, the film caused some controversy and pressure was brought to bear to hinder its release (two months after the outbreak of WWII in Europe), due to the fact that Capra's film was propagandistic, depicted political corruption, and appeared to paint an anti-democratic picture of the US government and its inner workings. But the film also called for faith in traditional American values of patriotism and faith in the people, and provided an educational lesson in how bills are passed through Congress.

Blu-ray Video Quality – SONY has done a beautiful 4K remastering of ‘Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.’ The film has a nice crisp and sharp look to it. It’s not overly sharp and some of the close ups, do have a nice intended softness to them because of the lighting. Fabric, patterns and surfaces all display a wonderful amount of detail. This 75 year old classic has found a fountain of youth in this luscious and gorgeous transfer. Blacks are deep and rich in appearance here. No disguising or masking of detail. No crushing noticed. Detail on dark items is still pretty solid. Flesh tones have a nice consistent tone to them. Facial features are adequate and pretty impressive.

Blu-ray Video Quality – The excellent English 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio was harvested primarily from Frank Capra's personal nitrate print, which was struck from the original camera negative in 1939. The result is a soundtrack which is crystal-clear and free of age-related anomalies. There are some impressive and impactful effects captured here such as the gavel hitting and some of the crowd cheering and horns honking. Some sound effects leave a little to be desired, but due to the age of this track and keeping it intact there isn’t much more you can do here. The whole presentation really engaged and impressed me. The music score by the great Dimitri Tiomkin is given as pleasing a soundstage as possible.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Beautiful Designed 26 page Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook.

Audio Commentary: Commentary by Frank Capra, Jr.: With is audio commentary we get a nice introduction by Frank Capra, Jr. and informs us that when he was four and half years old, that he also had a little brother slightly younger named Johnny and remembers one big night when his Father was at an International Press Preview of ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ at Columbia Pictures, but sadly Frank Capra had to be called away as his son Johnny was in hospital having his tonsils out, but sadly passed away and of course the whole family was devastated, but Frank Capra felt it was best to get back to work, as life has to carry on. On his search for a project, he came across a draft for a film on Fredrick Chopin, but Columbia Pictures felt it was too expensive and it was musical, but luckily Frank came across a two page synopsis entitled “The Gentleman From Montana” which Frank thought was fantastic and eventually got turned into the classic film ‘Mr. Smith Goes To Washington,’ about an naïve senator who goes to Washington and immediately thought of the actor Jimmy Stewart, plus all the other actors and of course the rest is history. We find out Frank Capra hated screen tests and preferred to talk to the actors personally and was very instinctual whether that person would be good for the film. When you see Jinny Stewart visiting all the monument buildings in Washington, it was all filmed without a permit and when the guards thought they had gone in one direction, they then quickly rushed in the opposite direction, got everything out of the van quickly, done a quick set up, shot the footage and then went onto another location in Washington and despite the restrictions, Frank Capra, Jr. feels the images you see, turned out superbly and the shot of the Liberty Bell, of course inspired to be named for Frank Capra’s Film Company. When the film was eventually shown to all the Washington Senators of the time, they hated it and felt the film was an insult on the integrity and reputation, but of course the public loved the film, but even more insult was to follow when the film was shown to the Senator from Montana and his family, they walked out in disgust. As to the music score, Frank Capra, Jr. informs us that Frank Capra wanted Dimitri Tiomkin, a Russian immigrant, which he also worked on the Frank Capra film ‘Lost Horizon.’ But the musical score for ‘Mr. Smith Goes To Washington’ he wanted a 100% Americana flavour. But also very important, we get informed that when we see an actor shed tears, Frank Capra wanted the audience to shed tears. But as we get near to the end of the film, Frank Capra, Jr. reads out a telegram that was sent from a correspondence in France before the Germans in World War II banned American Films, wrote, “Cheers and accumulation! On the speech by the young senator on man’s right and dignity, it was as though the joys, suffering, love, hatred, hopes and wishes of an entire people who value freedom above everything, found expression for the last time.” Which about sums up what I felt about this film, how Frank Capra produced something really superb and honest, that lasts for a generation in bringing joy and happiness for all who view Frank Capra films. But this again is a fantastic audio commentary by the superb Frank Capra, Jr. and makes you even more appreciate Frank Capra’s films. By the way I meant to mention earlier, that all interior shots in the film, especially the Senate Chamber and the actual desks, were actually reconstructed in the Columbia Pictures film lot. So to sum up, this is a totally awesome audio commentary and Frank Capra, Jr. informs us of a lot more other interesting facts on the making of ‘Mr. Smith Goes To Washington’ and get a definite 5 star rating and is a definite must view audio.

Special Feature: Frank Capra, Jr. Remembers . . . ‘Mr. Smith Goes To Washington’ [1999] [480i] [4:3] [11:50] With the start of this special feature, we get introduced to Frank Capra, Jr. [Producer] and informs us that this film was very ambitious film project, especially for Columbia Pictures, especially as it had a very limited budget. We hear that Frank Capra was attracted to this project because of its political stance and in 1938/39 it was the beginning of World War II, especially in Europe, and the film depicted freedom and democracy, as well as the most important political elements, but Frank Capra felt democracy was being taken away. Frank Capra respected and loved all actors, especially Jean Arthur, who was his favourite and he was the one that discovered her and knew Jean Arthur was going to be a big star. Frank Capra also felt the ending of the film was just right, especially showing the corrupt politician getting their comeuppance, and the film has eventually a happy ending, but there is a price to pay for the outcome. This is a really nice little feature and well worth a view.

Special Feature: Conversation with Frank Capra, Jr.: The Golden Years [2006] [1080i] [16:9] [17:52] Frank Capra, Jr. informs us that people and especially Frank Capra thought that 1939 was the greatest time for movies and especially ‘Mr. Smith Goes To Washington,’ as well as ‘Gone With The Wind’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ despite that at the time there was a depression in America especially. Frank Capra believed in the goodness of people, but he also believed that people could also be lead astray, and also films also show human emotions, that are still viewable today. After ‘Mr. Smith Goes To Washington,’ his latter films were not so successful, even though they had a lot of comedy and pathos. But Frank Capra is the only director who had a string of hits, compared to other directors of the time. Once again this is a very nice extra, so please give it a view.

Special Feature: Frank Capra: Collaboration [2006] [1080p] [16:9] [19:18] Here we get another intimate view on Frank Capra the director and to start off this special we get the contribution from Richard Peña [Associate Professor of Film at Columbia University] and tells us that Frank Capra and the American Cinema, was a very popular director, whereas the likes of Orson Welles and Chaplin, were also directors, but they also acted in their films. We also get other views from other contributors from the likes of Jeanine Basinger [Curator of the Frank Capra Archives at Wesleyan University]; Kenneth Bowser [Producer/Director] and Frank Capra, Jr. [Producer]. But as the title of this special, is the word “Collaboration” and you find out there were certain people that Frank Capra liked to have behind his team, and they were Robert Riskin, who shaped Frank Capra view of films, plus Joe Walker, a cameraman who was of the inner circle of Columbia Pictures, but when Joe Walker worked on Frank Capra’s first film, Joe Walker did not like what he filmed, because he felt Frank Capra was too opinionated, but when Joe Walker viewed the film, he realised Frank Capra was a brilliant director and knew what he was doing and stayed the course on Frank Capra’s roster. We also get informed that Frank Capra was hands on with all the actors that appeared in his films and in turn the actors really love Frank Capra, as he treated the actors with respect and of course as mentioned before, he really loved Jean Arthur as an actress and in turn got the best performance out of her. One really fascinating information we hear about and that is Frank Capra liked to go the Preview screenings and sit at the back of the cinema with a tape recorder and record the whole screening, including the audiences reaction to the film, especially where the laughter was or not or where they were reacting, so that he could make cuts to the film, so it would run smoother when it went on general release. So all in all, this is a fascinating look at Frank Capra and why he became the most popular director of the time and again this is a well worth view.

Special Feature: Conversation with Frank Capra, Jr.: A Family History [2006] [1080i] [16:9] [25:55] Once again Frank Capra, Jr. gives us more personal view on the life and times of his father Frank Capra and that the start of this special we find out his father emigrated to America and he was only six years old in 1903, plus he also had a sister who was younger than him, and a couple of older sisters and an older brother and no one could speak any English, as the family originally came from Sicily in Italy and eventually ended up in California, where they lived with a Community of Italians, until his Father got killed and they lost their home. But when Frank Capra made his first film, he took his Mother to the Premiere, but after the screening Frank asked his Mother what she thought of the film, she said, “it was okay, but when you going to get a proper job.” But when he was down on his luck, he met this Shakespearian actor, who wanted to make a silent film, but the actor didn’t know he was not a director. Anyway the film was made and the Executives loved the film, but sadly it was not a success and came clean and informed the actor he was not a famous director, but he told Frank Capra he knew his secret, despite this they went onto to make about 10 more films. Eventually he got a great break and ended up at Columbia Pictures and it was the start of his prolific career in the movie business, as he learnt all aspects of the film industry. But as Frank Capra, Jr. grew up in the shadow of his Father’s career and especially able to visit the film sets, especially for ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ and the day he viewed the film being shot, it was the hottest day of the year, even though when you view the film, you think it is the height of winter, especially with the heavy snowfall and he thought it was a totally magical experience and his Father gave his some words of wisdom, he says, “ what I produce is magic.” Once again this is another fascinating view pf the life and times of Frank Capra and well worth a view.

Special Feature: The Frank Capra I Knew by Jeanine Basinger [2006] [1080p] [16:9] [13:04] Jeanine Basinger first met Frank Capra in the 1960s and it was at an event at Yale University where Jeanine Basinger was student, and Frank Capra was invited to do a presentation and from then onwards they both became very close and good friends. But at the presentation was also Jean Arthur as a guest, who sadly was very reclusive and not very comfortable with crowds, but when she saw Frank, she was really relaxed and enjoyed the presentation. Because Jeanine Basinger was the Trustee of the American Film Institute and was also on the Committee and also helped to select Frank Capra for a Lifetime Award, and so Frank Capra asked Jeanine Basinger to become his curator of his papers and also became involved in the life and times of Frank Capra and was also up close and personal to all of Frank Capra’s family. One fascinating fact is that Frank Capra saved all the correspondence he received and especially from his loyal fans, who he totally appreciated, as without them, his films would not of gained the success they did. When America entered World War II, Frank Capra realised there was no American Administration, so Frank took control, as he thought he was totally ideal for the job and a good job he did, as it would not be as it is today. Jeanine Basinger pulls out all the stops informing us why Frank Capra was such a success and says that he came along in history at the right moment, especially when there was an emerging art form in the film industry, and was on hand for creative storytelling, sensitive entertainment art form, but was very scientific, as well as very technical and grounded in machines and the cutting process and again Frank Capra was the ideal man, especially being around at the right place at the right time to be a star, as he had a very sharp and analytical brain. So all in all Jeanine Basinger is totally delightful and makes you feel that Frank Capra was a totally fascinating intelligent man and someone you felt you would have loved to have been a good friend to know personally, and especially knowing Frank Capra the brilliant filmmaker.

Special Feature-Length Documentary: Frank Capra’s American Dream which is Hosted and Narrated by Ron Howard [1997] [1080p] [4:3] [109 minutes] This beloved film artist was driven as much by self-doubt as by his belief in the power of the “little man.” Documentary focusing on the life and film production of Frank Capra revealing an artist whose arrogant manner won the loyalty of several collaborators, producing films that conveyed an enduring vision of what America aspired to be.

Before the special starts, we get a very prophetic comment from John Cassavetes, when he says, “Maybe there really wasn’t an America, maybe it was only Frank Capra.” From then onwards Ron Howard introduces himself facing the camera and takes centre stage on the awesome career of the artist director Frank Capra. Here we find out the man was quintessential in bringing to the silver screen the “American Dream,” especially with his hugely successful films between the 1930s and the 1940s, in painting a portrait of America that was decent, honest and willing to stand up and fight for what it believed in. But we also find out that Frank Capra was very brash, cocky and arrogant, but he was equally generous, deeply sentimental, and was racked with self-doubt and for a quarter of a century in his adopted country, was a perfect reflection on each other. But of course Ron Howard does not stand centre stage, as we get other contributions from the likes of Martin Scorsese [Director]; John Milius [Writer/Director]; Robert Altman [Director]; Michael Keaton [Actor]; Richard Dreyfuss [Actor]; Angela Lansbury [Actress]; Garry Marshall [Writer/Director]; Marshall Herskovitz [Director]; Bill Duke [Actor/Director]; Richard Schickel [Film Critic]; Oliver Stone [Writer/Director]; Frank Capra, Jr. [Producer]; Tom Capra [Producer]; Joseph McBride [Frank Capra Biographer]; Bob Thomas [Harry Cohn Biographer]; Allen Daviau [Cinematographer]; Jeanine Basinger [Curator of Capra Archives, Wesleyan University]; Andre De Toth [Director]; Edward Bernds [Sound Technician/Director]; Peter Falk [Actor]; Fay Ray [Actress]; Amy Heckerling [Writer/Director]; Edward Zwick [Director]; Arthur Hiller [Director] and Jayne Wyatt [Actress]. With all these contributors with this special documentary, they tell us why they loved Frank Capra the director.

As we delve deeper into the life and times of Frank Capra, we find out that in his early days he was determined to get a proper education, plus he did loads of part time jobs to make money and that way he met characters on his journey into life, that were eventually portrayed in his films, that also helped to determine his career in the movie business. But with a stroke of luck met someone that kicked start his career as a director, where he also learned all aspect of how the film industry worked and especially editing film, that eventually helped him get a job with Columbia Pictures., where it brought him a glittering career and deservedly won him several Academy Awards® but some of films were not a success and he used to get very depressed. But after a lean period, he started to get greater fame in films that the American public loved, especially in directing ‘Mr. Smith Goes To Washington’ but after this film he felt it was time to move on and went into partnership with directors George Stevens and William Weiller and created a new company entitled “Liberty Films” and their first project was ‘It’s A Wonderful Life,’ which was started in May 1946, and of course was a critical success and won Five Academy Awards® but despite these plaudits, it was not a financial success with the public at large, and faded away, but of course it gained cult classic success over many years it was broadcast on American Television, especially every year at Christmas time. But despite this, his fortunes went into decline and went out of favour with the general public and even more humiliation had to sell “Liberty Films” to Paramount Pictures, but at the same time he was accused of being a communist sympathiser, but was never charged. But eventually he got signed up with Paramount Pictures as a contract director and his first film was ‘Riding High’ which was followed by ‘Here Comes The Groom.’ Eventually Frank Capra was exhausted, especially with World War II and losing “Liberty Films” decided to take some time off and to become a gentleman farmer, bit over time got bored and eventually found a job at NBC Television and worked on a TV programme entitled ‘MEMO – The Magnificent’ which was a cartoon series about the Bell Telephone system, as he loved educating people. But eventually made his way back to directing films and his first venture was ‘A Hole In The Head’ starring Frank Sinatra, but felt frustrated and tried once again to make a success in films, and did a modern remake of his original ‘Lady For A day’ which was entitled ‘Pocketful of Miracles’ and a really terrible experience, that was produced by Glenn Ford, who totally interfered in the making of the film, which in turned negative for him and got very depressed and eventually turned his back on the film industry he so loved and turned to become an author and produced his autobiography entitled “Frank Capra – The Name Above The Title,” which in turn made him even more popular with the public and was invited to all the Universities in the United States of America and the best thing to ever happen to him, as the students loved his films and wanted to hear all about his experiences in directing films. But despite his renewed success, he sadly passed away in his sleep on the 3rd September, 1991 at the age of 94 and was buried next to his wife Lou in California. So to sum up, this is a totally fascinating and insightful special documentary and especially hearing all about the life and times of Frank Capra, who was a very intelligent and fascinating person and can sum up that this is a very professional uplifting produced documentary and a definite watch and gests a 5 star rating from me.

Theatrical Trailer [1939] [480i] [4:3] [1:42] With this particular trailer, you get an endorsement by the World Famous Commentator H.V. Kallenborn, who of course appears in the film when Mr. Smith does his filibuster in the Senate.

International Trailer [1939] [480i] [4:3] [3:55] This International Textless Trailer, includes rare footage that is not in the final release version, including that of Jefferson Smith in a parade in his hometown.

Finally, any serious collector or person that claims themselves as a “film buff” should have this film in their Blu-ray collection. There’s an absolute treasure trove and abundance of extras that chronicle the production of the film and life and career of its director. SONY has taken good care and presented absolute perfection in restoring this with and incredible presentation in both video and audio. It’s somewhat a relief to see a classic film like is getting the treatment it deserves. SONY, who should be applauded and has outdone themselves and produced one of THE BEST Blu-ray releases of the 21st Century. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 31, 2014
Frank Capra directed so many wonderful classic films over several decades, it might be difficult for most fans to pick his "best." But, with its timeless American values and skeptical look at political corruption in our nation's capital, just about everyone can relate to this movie. In fact, given the turbulent events in D.C. right now, in 2014, 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' clearly stands out, on its own and compared to all the other Capra classics. Yes, it's my top pick among Capra's broad cinematic repertoire.

Technically, I think this Blu-ray package is a masterful achievement. The film was cleaned up quite well, for its age, and presented in a beautiful, 4K-master production. It is worth every penny I paid for it, and certainly at the Amazon discount. The video and audio quality is top-notch, and the extras that the studio included in the "Mr. Smith' package are a great addition. I recommend this Blu-ray version without reservation. It deserves every one of the five stars I gave it.
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on December 22, 2015
No Matter how many times You have seen this movie-----this Blu Ray is worth the money. It has been totally restored using 4K mastering and the extras by themselves are worth the price of this package. The hour length documentary narrated by Ron Howard is tremendous. The other extras are some of the same from other versions of this great movie but even the quality of these look better. I am a Movie "buff" but even if you are not this is a MUST BUY. You can't go wrong on this one.
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on October 20, 2016
Mr. Smith, played by Jimmy Stewart, is a beautiful story of a real patriotic American, who loved his country, and had a vision of doing good for the people, and country. Unbeknown to him, the crafty greed of seasoned politicians, and their personal agenda, he faithfully goes to Washington to represent his faithful supporters. Where much to his dismay his eyes are opened to "dirty" politics. Crushed and ready to give up and go back home, this humble servant of the people, is encouraged by a young female journalist, who brings a romantic note to the story, encourages, and supports him to stand and fight for his beliefs, which he does. Every citizen, and especially children, should have the opportunity to see Mr. Smith goes to Washington. It is a great story of love of America, and its people
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on August 9, 2016
A truly timeless gem. It's as relevant today as it was in 1939. Every day, we read or hear about some Congress member or other high official involved in crime, bribery, graft and/or outright theft. We also hear about watchdog groups that try to expose these crooks but little or nothing is done to them. Only the higher-ups get into the papers for the sensationalism. Watergate, Iran/Contra et al, it never seems to end. And when there IS a truly slow newsday, the Newspapers, TV News and the Internet blow something out of proportion like a celebrity scandal or some relatively minor police action. This movie restores my faith in the common man; I always feel a sense of hope after watching this "honest man makes good" story. My wife feels the same way.
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on May 13, 2017
Thought this would be better quality since it is a Library of Congress archived movie, there were no fade-in/fade-out, but it is certainly not wide screen. Played well in my PC Tower and 27 inch monitor
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on September 3, 2016
We would do well to learn from “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington reminds us that:
"This country was founded on many principles one of which is Integrity, and if the citizens and those they elect lack Integrity, democracy will fall." ©
"The Citizen’s word must be their bond; the Citizen’s deed must be their Integrity. Insomuch the Elected Leaders are part of the Citizenry; they, too, are held to the same standard to do the Citizens’ business with Honor and Integrity."©
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on September 16, 2014
One of Jimmy Stewart's best! I'm a Jimmy Stewart fan, but I really like the story line in this movie. A patriotic young man (Mr. Smith) who believes strongly in his government and in the men who run it, is suddenly appointed senator of his state. He is in awe of Washington D.C., and of his fellow senator, who was a good friend of his father's. In his innocence, he believes that all of the politicians stand for the grand ideals that America was founded upon. He is suddenly faced with the full reality of the political machines at work (run by Mr. Taylor), and the power that a man with money can have. A good eye-opening movie as to what corruption there can be in government, with the people knowing nothing about it. Thank God for men who still take a stand against the "Mr. Taylor's" and their machines! We need more "Mr. Smith's" in Washington!!
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on January 12, 2017
Jimmy Stewart teaching us about a gullible well meaning wide eyed small town boy getting into
politics in an idealistic mindset about how the wonders of government and the Ideals of
the founding fathers clash with totalitarianism of political bosses buying and selling office holders
who do their bidding. It is a view of the nation that shows in the imperfections of Human Beings that Truth, Justice, and the American Way can still overcome if we all seek it.
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