Saturday, July 4, 2009

DVD of the Week: "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" (Frank Capra, 1939)


by James Hansen

The DVD of the Week was purposefully delayed this week, as to make it land on the holiday. Although it might not have a ton of stars and stripes and fireworks shooting in the air, but Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes To Washington is still one of the most well defined, uplifting movies about the power of America's system of government and proof that each person can make significant changes if they keep working and stick to their beliefs. Jimmy Stewart is just terrific, as always, and Capra's direction, taking a single place and building an ecstatic amount of nervous energy leading to a couple of the best courtroom-type scene ever filmed, was never sharper. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington is a celebration of America and its individual citizens without the oftentimes annoying, blatant fanfare that drowns other Fourth movies in tired nostalgia. Forget Yankee Doodle Dandy. Mr. Smith is the man for me.

3 comments:

Brandon Colvin said...

I couldn't agree more. I absolutely love this film, and every time I watch it, it makes me believe in America all over again.

Jacob Shoaf said...

I've only seen this once. Does that make me a communist?

Chuck Williamson said...

I was actually planning on watching William Klein's MR. FREEDOM for this year's holiday viewing, but it looks like MR. SMITH won out this year yet again.

Excellent recommendation.