• Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Release Date: September 18th, 1939

DVD Release Date: February 22nd, 2000

Not Yet Rated |2 hr 5 min

Plot Summary

When the idealistic young Jefferson Smith (James Stewart) winds up appointed to the United States Senate, he gains the mentorship of Senator Joseph Paine (Claude Rains). However, Paine isn't as noble as his reputation would indicate, and he becomes involved in a scheme to discredit Smith, who wants to build a boys' campsite where a more lucrative project could go. Determined to stand up against Paine and his corrupt peers, Smith takes his case to the Senate floor.

Cast: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold, Guy Kibbee, Thomas Mitchell, Eugene Pallette, Beulah Bondi

Director: Frank Capra

Genres: Comedy drama

Production Co: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Distributors: Columbia Pictures, Columbia Tristar, Columbia TriStar Home Video

Keywords: Engaging, Inspiring, Underdog, 1930s, Rise, Office

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    David ParkinsonEmpire

    Demonstrating that the greatest political evil is indifference, this appeal to a world on the verge of war has lost none of its relevance. show more

  • 100
    Frank S. NugentThe New York Times

    [Capra] has paced it beautifully and held it in perfect balance, weaving his romance lightly through the political phases of his comedy, flicking a sardonic eye over the Washington scene, racing out to the hinterland to watch public opinion being made and returning miraculously in time to tie all the story threads together into a serious and meaningful dramatic pattern. show more

  • 80
    Time Out

    Quintessential Capra - popular wish-fulfilment served up with such fast-talking comic panache that you don't have time to question its cornball idealism. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com

Similar Movies

12 Angry Men
12 Angry Men

Following the closing arguments in a murder trial, the 12 members of the jury must deliberate, with a guilty verdict meaning death for the accused, an inner-city teen. As the dozen men try to reach a...

Stream Online
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper), a resident of small-town Vermont, leads a simple life until he inherits a vast fortune from a late uncle. Soon, unscrupulous lawyer John Cedar (Douglas Dumbrille) bring...

Stream Online
To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird

Scout Finch (Mary Badham), 6,and her older brother, Jem (Phillip Alford), live in sleepy Maycomb, Ala., spending much of their time with their friend Dill (John Megna) and spying on their reclusive an...

Stream Online


Nominated Film Editing
Nominated Outstanding Production
Winner Writing (Original Story)
Nominated Art Direction
Nominated Writing (Screenplay)
Nominated Sound Recording
Nominated Directing
Nominated Music (Scoring)