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

Jefferson Smith: I wouldn't give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn't have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too.


Jefferson Smith: Well, what do you expect me to do? An honorary stooge like me against the Taylors and Paines and machines and lies?
Clarissa Saunders: Your friend, Mr. Lincoln had his Taylors and Paines. So did every other man who ever tried to lift his thought up off the ground. Odds against them didn't stop those men. They were fools that way. All the good that ever came into this world came from fools with faith like that. You know that, Jeff. You can't quit now. Not you. They aren't all Taylors and Paines in Washington. That kind just throw big shadows, that's all. You didn't just have faith in Paine or any other living man. You had faith in something bigger than that. You had plain, decent, everyday, common rightness, and this country could use some of that. Yeah, so could the whole cockeyed world, a lot of it. Remember the first day you got here? Remember what you said about Mr. Lincoln? You said he was sitting up there, waiting for someone to come along. You were right. He was waiting for a man who could see his job and sail into it, that's what he was waiting for. A man who could tear into the Taylors and root them out into the open. I think he was waiting for you, Jeff. He knows you can do it, so do I.


Jefferson Smith: You see, boys forget what their country means by just reading The Land of the Free in history books. Then they get to be men they forget even more. Liberty's too precious a thing to be buried in books, Miss Saunders. Men should hold it up in front of them every single day of their lives and say: I'm free to think and to speak. My ancestors couldn't, I can, and my children will. Boys ought to grow up remembering that.


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Facts about

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."
The film was banned in Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Soviet Russia and Falangist Spain. According to Frank Capra, the film was also dubbed in certain European countries to alter the message of the film so it conformed with official ideology.
Edmund Mortimer was first chosen for the role of Senator Agnew, and studio records/casting call lists reflected this. However, Mortimer dropped out of the finished film entirely, and the role went to H.B. Warner.
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Best Writing Oscar 1939











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National Film Registry

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Released 1939
Inducted 1989
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Also directed by Frank Capra




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