“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” – A Movie Great

On TV news stations, yesterday – New Year’s Day – the political focus was on this week’s coming Iowa caucuses. On Turner Classic Movie channel was one of the many wonderful films from 1939 – the year noted for its many movie greats.  I first learned of this movie from my high school history teacher when we were studying the workings of Congress, back in the nineteen-fifties.

I’ve seen the beginning of this movie several times, but never managed to see it in entirety until yesterday. Never got as far as seeing how corrupt Congress was (this movie was filmed during FDR’s presidency) or how willingly the media spread the lies that covered up the corruption. Perhaps, the movie was inspired by the public’s growing weariness of Roosevelt’s seven year New Deal program.

Hmmmm! It’s still the same, thought I. Still relevant today is the corruption in Congress from secular, long held seats. Still relevant is the liberal (secular) media’s complicity in “shading” political news.

Jimmy Stewart portrays the country bumpkin who is appointed to a Senate seat. With his idealistic views, he takes on Capitol Hill corruption, is put through the Congressional meat grinder, conducts his own filibuster, and in a conservative heart warming ending – emerges victorious. (Jean Arthur, Claude Rains and Edward Arnold also star in this Frank Capra film).

At today’s particular political moment, and with the movies’ up close workings of Congress, blogadoon.com highly recommends, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”. Don’t expect the same recommendation from either Democrats or the liberal media.

Do notice in the movie how Senate rules ensure that just one Senator’s words can be heard on the Senate floor. Corrupt politicians walked out in a protest that took the entire body with them, leaving Mr. Smith looking at an empty chamber. A little known Senate rule forced all to return to their seats. By Senate rules, was thwarted attempts of corrupt politicians to silence one man’s determination to expose their fraudulent legislation.

Of course, it helps to know the Senate rules. The movie makes one wonder: how many of our Senators are adequately knowledgeable of Senate rules by the time they are sworn in? Shouldn’t such knowledge be a prerequisite of those who run for Congressional seats?

“The following additional words on aforementioned 1930′s political corruption in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, can be found at answers.com:

” Coming at a time when the American public was growing weary (and wary) of the New Deal, then in its seventh year, it may have caught the public’s mood just right. The world was indeed becoming a darker place — as the movie acknowledges by the presence of representatives of various European dictatorships in the Senate gallery as Smith’s struggle on the Senate floor continues. The movie was so potent in its time that it cemented the image of James Stewart, then a good working dramatic actor who’d portrayed a range of roles, into the quintessential good-natured hero, the archetypal common man.”  click here