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The Next Reel • Season 12 • Series: 1940 Academy Award Best Picture Nominees • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

“You’re not a Senator, you’re an honorary stooge."

It’s rare to find a film from 75 years ago that feels relevant still in today’s world, but Frank Capra’s 1939 “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is one of those films. Corruption in the Senate? Check. Corporate interests secretly working their own machinations behind the scenes to get their political puppets to do their bidding? Check. Cynical office staff who are only interested in making a buck? Check. Sad to say that the only thing that doesn’t feel modern is that a politician like James Stewart’s titular character could actually exist. Or at least survive in today’s political world. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue with our great films from 1939 series with Capra’s fantastic film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” We talk about how much we love this film and why, highlighting everything aforementioned. We chat about Stewart and Jean Arthur as the perfect leads for this film, aided by the wonderful supporting cast including Edward Arnold, Harry Carey, Claude Rains, Thomas Mitchell and more. We discuss how the Washington, D.C. press and the real Senators received the film compared with the general public. And we discuss the people behind the cameras with Capra and what they bring to the table — Joseph Walker, Lionel Banks, Dimitri Tiomkin, Sidney Buchman, Lewis R. Foster and more. It’s a top notch film that still speaks to its audiences, all while avoiding being cheesy while full of honesty. We love it. Make sure you watch this one and then tune in! 

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