Mr. Smith Goes To Washington: A Classic Movie With Timeless Themes

Columbia Pictures Mr. Smith Goes to Washington movie

As a writer and movie enthusiast, I cannot help but be drawn to films that explore important societal issues and spark conversations that can have a lasting impact on our culture. That is why I have chosen to write about “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” a classic movie from 1939 that is just as relevant today as it was when it was first released.


“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is a political drama directed by Frank Capra and starring James Stewart as Jefferson Smith, an idealistic and naive young man who is appointed to the United States Senate by his state’s governor. Smith soon discovers that the political system is rife with corruption and backroom deals, and he finds himself in a dangerous situation when he tries to expose the truth.

The movie explores themes of integrity, justice, and the power of the individual to effect change in a system that often seems stacked against them. It is a powerful and inspiring story that continues to resonate with audiences today.

One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is Smith’s filibuster on the Senate floor, where he speaks for hours in an effort to block a corrupt bill from being passed. This scene has become iconic and is often referenced in popular culture and political discourse.

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” has received numerous accolades over the years, including several Academy Award nominations and a place on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time.


  • What is the message of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?”
    The movie emphasizes the importance of individual integrity and the power of the people to effect change in a corrupt political system.
  • Is “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” based on a true story?
    No, the movie is a work of fiction. However, it was inspired by real-life events, such as the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920s.
  • Why is the filibuster scene so famous?
    The filibuster scene is a powerful representation of an individual’s determination to stand up for what they believe in, even in the face of overwhelming opposition. It has become a symbol of political idealism and resistance.
  • What is the significance of the movie’s title?
    The title refers to the main character’s journey from his home state of Montana to the nation’s capital, where he hopes to make a difference as a senator.
  • What is the legacy of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?”
    The movie has had a lasting impact on American culture and politics, inspiring generations of viewers to become more engaged in the political process and to fight for justice and equality.

Pros and Cons


  • The movie is a timeless classic that continues to resonate with audiences today.
  • It explores important themes of integrity, justice, and the power of the individual to effect change.
  • The performances by James Stewart and the supporting cast are outstanding.


  • The movie’s portrayal of women and minorities is outdated and reflects the biases of its time.
  • Some viewers may find the movie’s pacing slow and its dialogue heavy-handed.
  • The movie’s idealistic message may be seen as simplistic or unrealistic by some viewers.


If you are interested in watching “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” here are a few tips:

  • Try to watch the movie in its entirety, as it builds to a powerful climax.
  • Pay attention to the movie’s use of symbolism and visual motifs, such as the American flag and the Lincoln Memorial.
  • Consider the movie’s historical context and how it reflects the attitudes and values of its time.
Closing Thoughts

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is a movie that has stood the test of time and continues to inspire and provoke discussion today. Its message of integrity, justice, and the power of the individual to effect change is as relevant now as it was in 1939. I highly recommend watching this classic film and reflecting on its themes and messages.

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