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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Overview:

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) was a Drama - Black-and-white Film directed by Frank Capra and produced by Frank Capra.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1989.

Academy Awards 1939 --- Ceremony Number 12 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best ActorJames StewartNominated
Best Supporting ActorHarry CareyNominated
Best Supporting ActorClaude RainsNominated
Best Art DirectionLionel BanksNominated
Best DirectorFrank CapraNominated
Best Film EditingGene Havlick, Al ClarkNominated
Best Music - ScoringDimitri TiomkinNominated
Best PictureColumbiaNominated
Best WritingLewis R. FosterWon
Best WritingSidney BuchmanNominated
.

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Quotes from

Senator Joseph Paine: Let me go! I'm not fit to be a senator! I'm not fit to live! Expel me, not him! Willet Dam is a fraud! It's a crime against the people who sent me here - and I committed it! Every word that boy said is the truth! Every word about Taylor and me and graft and the rotten political corruption of my state! Every word of it is true! I'm not fit for office! I'm not fit for any place of honor or trust! Expel me, not that boy!


Jefferson Smith: Dad always used to say the only causes worth fighting for were the lost causes.


Senator Joseph Paine: I wish to ask my distinguished colleague, has he one scrap of evidence to add now to the defense he did not give and could not give at that same hearing?
Jefferson Smith: I have no defense against forged papers!
Senator Joseph Paine: The Committee ruled otherwise! The gentleman stands guilty, as charged. And I believe I speak for every member when I say that no one cares to hear what a man of his condemned character has to say about any section of any legislation before this House.
President of Senate: Order, order, gentlemen.
Jefferson Smith: Mr. President, I stand guilty as FRAMED! Because section 40 is graft! And I was ready to say so, I was ready to tell you that a certain man in my state, a Mr. James Taylor, wanted to put through this dam for his own profit. A man who controls a political machine! And controls everything else worth controlling in my state. Yes, and a man even powerful enough to control Congressmen - and I saw three of them in his room the day I went up to see him!
Senator Joseph Paine: Will the Senator yield?
Jefferson Smith: No, sir, I will not yield! And this same man, Mr. James Taylor, came down here and offered me a seat in this Senate for the next 20 years if I voted for a dam that he knew, and I knew, was a fraud. But if I dared to open my mouth against that dam, he promised to break me in two.


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Facts about

One reason Frank Capra made this film was to help him get over the loss of his infant son, who had died following complications from a tonsillectomy. Initially Capra wanted to make a film about Frédéric Chopin, but Columbia head Harry Cohn nixed that on the grounds that it would be too expensive. Capra and Cohn were constantly at loggerheads over budgets, despite Capra being Columbia's most successful director with - at the time - two Oscars under his belt.
The novel on which the movie was based was titled "The Gentleman from Montana", but the state is not specified in the movie
James Stewart knew this was the role of a lifetime, one that could place him near the top of the Hollywood heap. Jean Arthur later remembered his mood at the time: "He was so serious when he was working on that picture, he used to get up at five o'clock in the morning and drive himself to the studio. He was so terrified something was going to happen to him, he wouldn't go faster."
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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) Sat. 11 May. 12:00 PM EST

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Best Writing Oscar 1939











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National Film Registry

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Released 1939
Inducted 1989
(Sound)




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Also directed by Frank Capra




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