James Stewart, Jean Arthur and Claude Rains star in this 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.
Lewis R. Foster (story) Sidney Buchman (screenplay)
Jean Arthur (Clarissa Saunders); James Stewart (Jefferson Smith); Claude Rains (Sen. Joseph Harrison Paine); Edward Arnold (Jim Taylor); Guy Kibbee (Gov. Hubert 'Happy' Hopper); Thomas Mitchell (Diz Moore); Eugene Pallette (Chick McGann); Beulah Bondi (Ma Smith); H.B. Warner (Sen. Agnew (Senate Majority Leader)); Harry Carey (President of the Senate); Astrid Allwyn (Susan Paine); Ruth Donnelly (Emma Hopper); Grant Mitchell (Sen. MacPherson (Privileges and Elections Committee)); Porter Hall (Sen. Monroe (objecting to frivolity)); Pierre Watkin (Sen. Barnes (Senate Minority Leader)). Please contact SFC to add other cast members and characters.
Important: the following essays and comments are authored by Soul Food Cinema readers. Whilst the Editor prays for the spiritual integrity of all content of this site, it should be noted that these represent personal opinions and carry no official endorsement. If you consider any content to be a misrepresentation of Catholic teaching, please contact SFC. May God bless you and enlighten you in your reading.
Articles, Essays and Reviews
Please contact SFC if you are interested in submitting an essay on this film.
Readers' Comments and Opinions
Click the link to comment on this film. You may like to copy the film title and year (as given above) to your clipboard now for pasting into the following form.
An Oscar-winning inspirational film of democracy in action
Mark Banks (United Kingdom)
Frank Capra’s films frustrate me for all the right reasons – namely that I get annoyed we’re not making films of a similar moral and entertaining standard today. Mr Smith Goes to Washington is a fine tale of democracy in action; showing that even Joe nobody can stand up to the big boys and make a difference in the world. Capra’s usual addition of romantic interest also adds charisma and humour to his Oscar-winning screenplay to make this an inspirational film for all the family to enjoy.