“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” teaches about politics

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” encapsulates the spirit of the golden age of Hollywood in the 1930s. In this film, a corrupt judge is persuaded to nominate James Smith (Jimmy Stewart), an average joe that his superiors think will be easy to control as the new senator. However, Mr. Smith holds tightly to his convictions and will not be easily manipulated by corrupt lobbyists. 

This film best portrays the founders’ intent for our nation’s government and how it has been corrupted. The climactic crescendo of the film never fails to erupt some kind of deep passion in me. It is an inspiring political commentary that uses the names of no political parties or actual legislative issues, yet captures perfectly the essence of where both sides consistently fall short. 

However, the film starts off a bit slow and takes a while to kick into gear. The film’s outdated prelude contained much comedy and brief drama that fell flat for me, but it is more than balanced out by the clever performance of Jimmy Stewart. 

His character’s enthusiasm was almost contagious through my screen. The government is respectfully and passionately critiqued by an enthusiastic everyman trying to convince the corrupt officials to change their ways. This film deals with politics better than any other I have seen. It manages to be direct and unbiased, communicating a message anyone can apply to their lives in that there are things you should not compromise on. I highly recommend this film to anyone interested in a unique look into the inner workings of U.S. politics, as well as a climax with a punch.

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