Mr.Smith Goes to Washington(Frank Capra) 1939 **** 5/23/2016

The corruption and venality presented in this movie is so overwhelmingly sickening your stomach turns and your body cries out against it.  You don’t want the earnest beanpole Jefferson Smith(Jimmy Stewart) to get hurt and you want to chew him out for being such a naïf, and then you feel bad because you’re hard bit Saunders(Jean Arthur) who’s wise to it but you’re drunk and you wish you weren’t, and this movie gets you like that, intoxicated & heady with a burning sense of justice.  Senator Paine’s(Claude Rains) entreaties of compromise are feeble, and even though he’s a high toned worm he’s nothing but the lackey of fat Jim Taylor(Edward Arnold), and you’ve got that familiar ballooning feeling.  Is it even possible though?  Smith faints before Paine’s anguished confession, and maybe it’s things like these are only possible when a man’s sleeping.  But after all, lost causes are about the only ones worth fighting for, and that’s cornpone & hokey and the vipers will eat you up for it but it’s true after all.  And even as the corruption claws at your stomach and the victories are like sand in the hands of an honest man you know it’s true and worth fighting for.

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