13 August 2010
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Either I'm dead right, or I'm crazy!
So basically: Naïve and ambitious Jefferson Smith is picked to become a senator with his childhood hero, Senator Joseph Paine. Before going to Washington, Smith was the leader of the Boy Rangers and was very active in his community. Senator Paine suggests that Smith try and pass a bill to create a national boys camp, if only to keep him occupied and out of the way of "real" business. However, when Smith wants the camp to be in a location chosen to be a new dam, the corruption of the Senate is exposed.
It's It's a Wonderful Life's kid brother. Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart pair up to create a charming film about a naïve boys' camp enthusiast stuck in the terrifyingly corrupt US Senate. I can't picture anyone else playing Jeff Smith and frankly I don't believe anyone could. Jimmy Stewart has this charm about him and his face is innocent, sincere, and dead serious all at the same time. And of course, Frank Capra makes brilliant films, that goes without saying.
I want to say it doesn't, just because it's so patriotic towards America, but the basic principals of the film are universal. So yes, this movie deserves to be on the list.
Ziggi seal of approval!