Marjie Walczak

Marjie Walczak

Modified & Updated: 09 Sep 2023


Get ready to dive into the captivating world of one of the most iconic and influential movies in American cinematic history: “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Directed by the legendary Frank Capra and released in 1939, this political drama has stood the test of time, captivating audiences with its riveting storyline and stellar performances. Set against the backdrop of Washington, D.C., the film tells the story of Jefferson Smith, a naive and idealistic young senator who takes on the corruption of the political system. As we explore the depths of this classic film, we’ll uncover 49 fascinating facts that will not only enhance your movie knowledge but also provide a greater appreciation for the significance of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” in shaping the landscape of American cinema. So, grab your popcorn, sit back, and prepare to be enthralled by these intriguing insights!

Table of Contents

Revolutionary Filming Technique

The movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” was known for its revolutionary filming technique.

Directed by Frank Capra

The film was directed by the legendary filmmaker Frank Capra.

Released in 1939

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” was released in the year

Starring James Stewart

The film stars the iconic actor James Stewart in the lead role.

A Political Drama

The movie revolves around the theme of politics and corruption.

Inspired by Real Events

The story of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” was inspired by real political events.

Nominated for 11 Oscars

The film received an impressive 11 Oscar nominations.

Theme of Idealism

The movie explores the theme of idealism and the struggle to maintain one’s principles.

Powerful Performances

The actors delivered powerful performances that resonated with audiences.

Set in Washington, D.C.

The film is set in the political hub of the United States – Washington, D.C.

A Tale of Political Corruption

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” highlights the issue of political corruption in a gripping manner.

Memorable Quotes

The film is known for its memorable quotes that have become part of popular culture.

Critically Acclaimed

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” was highly praised by critics for its storytelling and performances.

A Box Office Success

The movie performed well at the box office, attracting a large audience.

Musical Score by Dimitri Tiomkin

The musical score for the film was composed by the renowned composer Dimitri Tiomkin.

Tackling Political Corruption

The film tackles the issue of political corruption head-on, shedding light on the dark side of politics.

A Heroic Protagonist

The central character, Mr. Smith, is portrayed as a heroic figure fighting for justice.

Historical Significance

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” holds historical significance for its portrayal of American politics during that era.

Heartwarming Moments

The film has several heartwarming moments that touch the audience’s emotions.

A Symbol of Democracy

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is often regarded as a symbol of democracy and the power of the individual voice.

A Lesson in Resilience

The movie teaches a valuable lesson in resilience and the importance of standing up for what you believe in.

Political Intrigue

The plot of the movie is filled with political intrigue and twists.

A Classic American Film

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is considered a classic American film that continues to be celebrated to this day.

Scenic Cinematography

The film features beautiful and scenic cinematography capturing the essence of Washington, D.C.

The Capra Touch

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” showcases the signature Capra touch of blending comedy and drama seamlessly.

A Story of Hope

The film tells a story of hope, reminding audiences that change is possible even in the face of adversity.

A Powerful Ending

The ending of the movie leaves a lasting impact on viewers, prompting them to reflect on the themes presented.

Political Idealism

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” celebrates the power of political idealism and the determination to fight for what is right.

A Tale of Redemption

The story of the film follows the journey of redemption for its characters, providing a satisfying arc.

Engaging Dialogues

The film is filled with engaging dialogues that are both thought-provoking and entertaining.

Inspirational Director

Frank Capra’s directorial style in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” continues to inspire filmmakers even today.

Stands the Test of Time

The movie has stood the test of time and remains relevant in its exploration of political themes.

A Masterpiece of Filmmaking

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is regarded as a masterpiece of filmmaking, showcasing Capra’s storytelling prowess.

Impact on Society

The film had a significant impact on society, sparking discussions about political integrity and corruption.

Remarkable Ensemble Cast

The movie boasts a remarkable ensemble cast, with each actor delivering memorable performances.

A Political Education

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” serves as a political education for viewers, shedding light on the inner workings of politics.

Cultural References

The film has been referenced and parodied in various forms of media due to its cultural significance.

A Lesson in Democracy

The movie serves as a valuable lesson in democracy, urging the audience to participate in the political process.

Inspirational Speeches

The film features several powerful and inspirational speeches that leave a lasting impact on the audience.

Exploration of Power Dynamics

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” explores the complex dynamics of power and influence in the political arena.

A Story of Determination

The central character’s determination to fight for what is right resonates with viewers, inspiring them to take action.

Academy Award Wins

The film won several Academy Awards, including Best Original Story and Best Original Screenplay.

Realistic Portrayal of Politics

The movie offers a realistic portrayal of the political landscape, showcasing the challenges faced by individuals who strive to bring about change.

Eloquent Debate Scenes

The film features eloquent debate scenes that capture the essence of political discourse.

Casting Choices

The casting choices in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” were integral to the success of the film, with each actor bringing their character to life.

Popularity among Critics

The movie has garnered praise from critics for its themes, performances, and social commentary.

A Classic Example of Filmmaking

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is often cited as a classic example of exceptional filmmaking and storytelling.

Influence on Political Films

The film had a significant influence on the genre of political films, shaping the way stories in this genre were told.

Enduring Legacy

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” continues to leave an enduring legacy in the world of cinema, inspiring future filmmakers and audiences alike.

Detailed Description:


In conclusion, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is not only a classic film but also an iconic piece of cinematic history. Its timeless themes of corruption, integrity, and the power of one individual’s voice continue to resonate with audiences today. The movie’s stunning performances, gripping storyline, and thought-provoking social commentary have cemented its status as a must-watch for film lovers of all generations. From James Stewart’s unforgettable portrayal of Jefferson Smith to director Frank Capra’s masterful storytelling, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” remains a shining example of the power of cinema to entertain, inspire, and challenge our beliefs.


Q: When was “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” released?

A: “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” was released on October 19, 1939.

Q: Who directed the movie?

A: The movie was directed by Frank Capra.

Q: Who starred in the film?

A: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, and Claude Rains were among the main cast members of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

Q: Is the movie based on a true story?

A: While “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is not directly based on a true story, it explores political corruption and the struggle for truth and justice in the American democratic system.

Q: Did the movie receive any awards?

A: Yes, the film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won one for Best Writing, Original Story.

Q: What is the running time of the movie?

A: The running time of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is approximately 2 hours and 9 minutes.

Q: Where was the movie filmed?

A: The film was primarily shot in various locations in Washington, D.C.

Q: Has the film had a lasting impact?

A: Yes, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” has had a lasting impact on American cinema and continues to be recognized as a classic for its powerful storytelling and message.