Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


Movie Info

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. Hopper then calls powerful media magnate Jim Taylor (Edward Arnold), who controls the state -- along with the … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Sidney Buchman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 22, 2000
Runtime:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Cast


as Jefferson Smith

as Clarissa Saunders

as Susan Paine

as Sen. Joseph Harrison...

as Sen. Hodges

as Jim Taylor

as Sen. Dwight

as Gov. Hopper

as Diz Moore

as Senate President

as Sweeney

as Ma Smith

as Sen. Gower

as Carl Cook

as Mrs. Emma Hopper

as Paine's Secretary

as Sen. Monroe

as Mrs. Edwards

as Sen. MacPherson

as Majority Leader

as Bill Griffith

as Sen. Barnes

as Broadcaster

as Larry Simms

as Announcer

as Hopper Boy

as Senator

as Senator Hammett

as Summers

as Sen. Pickett

as Sen. Byron

as Sen. Carlisle

as Sen. Burdette

as Sen. Dearhorn

as Handwriting expert

as Mrs. McGann

as Mrs. Taylor

as Senate reporter

as Senator Lancaster

as Francis Scott Key

as Inventor

as Family man

as Jane Hopper

as Sen. Dwight

as Hopper's Secretary

as Peter Hopper

as Jimmie Hopper

as Handwriting expert

as Otis Hopper

as Hopper Boy

as Hopper Boy

as Senator Fernwick

as Hopper Boy

as Reporter

as Photographer

as Reporter

as Reporter Asking 'Wha...

as Barber

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Speaker

as Reporter

as Paine's secretary

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Senator Holland

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Senator Grainger

as Senate chaplain

as Senate Reporter

as Senate Reporter

as Paine's secretary

as Senate Reporter

as Senate Reporter

as Senate Reporter

as Senate reporter

as Senate Reporter

as Senate reporter

as Speaker

as Soapbox speaker

as Senate Reporter

as Senate Reporter

as Senate reporter

as Committeeman

as Senate reporter

as Senate reporter

as Page boy

as Senate reporter

as Senate Reporter

as Senate reporter

as Hopper Girl

as Senator Ashman

as Senator Carlton

as Woman at Station

as Chief clerk

as Photographer

as Woman at Station

as Senator Albert

as Senate guard

as Committeewoman (uncr...

as Mr. Edwards- Howling...

as Civil War veteran

as Foreign Diplomat (un...

as Reporter

as Foreign diplomat

as Handwriting expert

as Senator Manchester

as Summers

as Senator Alfred
Show More Cast

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

Login

Critic Reviews for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (5)

This is classic Capracorn.

Full Review… | August 29, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is going to be the big movie explosion of the year, and reviewers are going to think twice and think sourly before they'll want to put it down for the clumsy and irritating thing it is.

Full Review… | February 15, 2011
The New Republic
Top Critic

One of the finest and consistently interesting dramas of the season.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

Quintessential Capra - popular wish-fulfilment served up with such fast-talking comic panache that you don't have time to question its cornball idealism.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Mr. Smith is one of the best shows of the year. More fun, even, than the Senate itself.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

It isn't a political film at all. In fact, it draws its power from its simple underdog story and its modern resonance from the fact that little has changed since then.

Full Review… | December 9, 2014
Scene-Stealers.com

Audience Reviews for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

½

Frank Capra's tale of an idealistic, yonug junior senator's revelation about, (and subsequent revolution against) Washington's rampant corruption is among his finest (and most typical) works.

This film is easily one of the cornerstones for stories about the pure hero standing up for truth, justice, and the little guy, no matter how daunting the opposition and odds of success. It's cliched with how heartwarming and feel good, and unsurprising it all is, but nevertheless is a very great film.

Jimmy Stewart cemented his status as a legend his, and this is one of his best and archetypical roles. He really brings the feverish determination of his everyman hero to life and delivers a great guy you can't help but root for. Supporting him are notable names like Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, and Edward Arnold, among others, all of whom deliver some strong performances.

The writing is sharp, the direction strong, and the cinematography and editing are pretty top notch, especially for the time. And of course, the message is quite timeless and still relevant.

All in all, this is one of the greats. It's overly simplistic, sentimental, and idealistic, but we do need films like this, and I will always defend Capra and his work for this reason, even if I don't want to watch this sort of thing all the time.

cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

½

James Stewart and Jean Arthur are amazing in this magnificent political drama, a film that is still relevant with regard to corruption and our powerless indignation - reflected in an idealistic young Senator who boldly demands honor from the ones betraying their vows in Washington.

blacksheepboy
Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

I could watch this movie a million times and still get chills when he won't yield. The only film I really feel like deserves a standing ovation when the credits roll.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Quotes

– Submitted by Matthew J (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Al R (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Mr. Smith Goes to Washington on our Movie forum!