Mr Smith Goes To Washington is considered among the classics of American films. James Stewart played the lead role of Jefferson Smith, a naive Wisconsin country layman that becomes a US Senator. Jefferson, an average small town guy, is suddenly brought into a world of the politically corrupt. His honesty and moral fiber is a vast contrast to the wide spread corruption that unwittingly surrounds him in the White House.
When Jefferson first arrives in Washington D. C., he is completely fascinated to be a part of the American political machine. Many of his peers in the Senate doubt his ability to be an effective politician. Several others prey on his lack of experience and naivete. But Smith is too caught up in the awe of the white house to even notice.
Jefferson’s Governor selected him for Senate because he thought his simple, wide eyed, average Joe ways would make him the perfect stooge for his corrupt boss in the Senate. They needed someone that would not cause them any problems and would do exactly what they said. They agreed Jefferson would be the right fit for the job. He was well known in his small community for being an honest man and this is exactly the image they needed to hide their wicked schemes behind.
Because of his views, it is hard for Jefferson to realize the corruption that is taking place around him. Those that are in on the scheme laugh behind his back and pass Jefferson off as a fool that doesn’t belong in the Senate. But they soon learn that he is not the simple man they all thought him to be.
Jefferson realizes he is being used. He also comes to learn that the Senate is filled with corrupt politicians seeking personal gain. At first he is stunned, then he rises to the occasion by standing up against his adversaries.
Jefferson takes the Senate floor for hours, exposing the wrongdoings of various Senators. He recites the United States Constitution word for word. He makes sure his voice is heard. Jefferson continues on to the point of exhaustion and passes out on the State floor. His voice is finally heard and the American people tout him as a hero for going up against the entire Senate.
Although this is a well known and widely received film, it did have its critics. American politicians took offense to the portrayal of Senators being men you could not trust. Several others took fault with how the movie represented America to foreign Nations. There were several countries that actually banned the film.
Mr Smith Goes to Washington did what its filmmaker set up to do. It got people talking about the system and giving those that run it a closer look. The film also proved that it only takes one person to do the right thing no matter how important or insignificant they may be.
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