July 15, 2019 - 6:30 pm
All July, the Tropic’s Monday Night Classics series is celebrating ‘Merica—the patriotic, the political and both the absurdities and glories of war. The series continues with Frank Capra’s classic comedy/drama “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” which established James Stewart as both a leading man and an Everyman.
When a Senator dies in office, his state’s puppet governor appoints the naive and idealistic local hero Jefferson Smith (Stewart), leader of the Boy Rangers, to the position. Smith is given the job as someone who “can’t ask any questions or talk out of turn,” but, as he discovers the cynical truth about lawmaking, he embarks on a crusade to do something good before he leaves Washington. With the help of his devoted secretary, Smith builds to a climactic filibuster on the Senate floor, turning in one of the most inspiring speeches committed to film.
“It’s Capra’s genuine sense of hope that buoys the film and leaves the audience invigorated to go out and fight a good fight no matter what the odds.” –PBS