W: Sidney Buchman [based on the unpublished
story "The Gentleman From Montana" by Lewis R. Foster]
DP: Joseph Walker
Ed: Gene Havlick & Al Clark
Mus: Dimitri Tiomkin
James Stewart (Jefferson Smith), Jean
Arthur (Clarissa Saunders), Claude Rains (Sen. Joseph Paine), Edward Arnold (Jim Taylor), Guy Kibbee (Gov. Hubert Hopper), Thomas Mitchell (Diz Moore), Harry Carey
(President Of The Senate)
One of Frank Capra's & James Stewart's finest
collaborations is a classic political satire set in Capitol Hill's corridors of power.
Stewart plays Jefferson Smith, an idealistic but naïve young
politician who is appointed to the senate following the death of an older senator. He attempts to form an alliance with Joseph Paine, an older politician and presidential hopeful who was his
childhood hero and close friend of his father's, but it soon emerges that Smith's plans obstruct corruption amongst his peers who attempt to discredit him and have him removed from
Though the mannerisms, dialogue and some of the execution is
quite old-fashioned, the main thread of the story is still incredibly relevant and the ending does provide a heartwarming feeling in Capra's best style.
When the film was released, it was met with controversy on
both sides of the ocean, ironically for different reasons; In the United States for portraying politicians as corrupt and in Communist countries for showing how democracy works. For me, any film
that demonstrates what the word 'filibuster' means has to be worth watching.