Saturday, February 13, 2010

#48 Mr. Smith Goes To Washington: You're halfway decent, you don't belong here.

1939. dir. Frank Capra, starring James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains.

Seen it before? No.

The senator representing an unnamed state (and an unnamed political party) dies. It's up to the governor to choose a new senator, and at the insistence of his eight horrible obnoxious children, chooses Jefferson Smith (James Stewart), the leader of a Boy Scouts-ish organization. Also he publishes a newsletter called "Boy Stuff" (snicker).

He arrives in DC as this total wide-eyed babe in the woods, but when he accidentally reveals some corruption, he loses his idealism quickly. Jean Arthur plays Smith's assistant/love interest. Claude Rains plays the other senator from the state, who is a hardened veteran of the Senate and is in on the corruption.

The climactic scene here is Smith's filibuster. You know, a filibuster is all well and good if the reasons for doing it are noble like they are here, but really, that's a terrible rule. One person can bring down the entire Congress? What if they're a nut? Or an idiot? or a crook? Boy it's a good thing there aren't any of those in the Senate.

Position on the list: 110
Oops! We forgot to watch the Olympics. Eh, fuck it

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