Mr. Smith Goes : Washington Analysis

1180 Words Sep 18th, 2016 5 Pages
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Analysis
In Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a modern David and Goliath story of a man taking on a system way more powerful than himself is evident in its themes of patriotism and standing up in the face of injustice. James Stewart’s portrayal of a naïve and patriotic junior senator serves as a vehicle with which Capra exposed a side of American politics that previously had been beyond the eyes of the everyman. With the help of incredible supporting actors, such as Jean Arthur and Claude Rains, Stewart’s character became one of the most well liked and rooted for characters in cinema. The film is “considered by many to be his greatest achievement in film”, and for good reason. Beyond any tangible merits the movie contains, there is a quality of wholesomeness about Smith’s story that is inspirational as it is reminiscent of the modern American dream.
1939 was an important year for such a movie to come out. The second world war had just begun, and patriotic and nationalistic feelings in the United States were growing to what would become an all-time high. Despite the Great Depression causing millions of Americans to question the competency of the government, only a small minority actually saw the government as largely crooked or self-absorbed. Most Americans still had, while not to the degree of the Smith stereotype, a simplistic rule-following perception of Congress. The controversy that surrounded Mr. Smith Goes to…
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