Customer Reviews


72 Reviews
5 star:
 (63)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An All-American Film
This movie is perfect for July 4th..in fact, I watched this movie for the first time on this day! If you want to see how a bill is passed, what the Senate consist of in the government, how people in politics are after, great monuments like the Capitol and Lincoln, and a great storyline, this is the movie for you.
Jimmy Stewart played Jeff Smith, a Boy Scout ranger...
Published on July 4 2004 by Ann

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie; bad release!
I recently decided to view this version on one TV and the earlier release on the other. I really didn't think that there would be much a difference, but the Columbia classics release had a sharper picture than the Sony release. I switched teh DVDs and tried again to see if maybe the TV or the DVD player was a factor. I got the same result! My advice.. if you REALLY...
Published on Jan. 7 2010 by James Dickinson


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An All-American Film, July 4 2004
This movie is perfect for July 4th..in fact, I watched this movie for the first time on this day! If you want to see how a bill is passed, what the Senate consist of in the government, how people in politics are after, great monuments like the Capitol and Lincoln, and a great storyline, this is the movie for you.
Jimmy Stewart played Jeff Smith, a Boy Scout ranger who loves America, was picked as a Senator. His honesty and rookie nature made him a ruse for the experienced Senators who are out to get him and throw him out of office with their lies. Meanwhile, he did find a friend who went with him all the way...his secretary, Clarissa (who falls in love with him). You will have to find out the rest of the movie what happens when people found out that Smith was telling the truth all along, and the bad guys.
This is a great movie!! Go watch it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie; bad release!, Jan. 7 2010
By 
James Dickinson "Front" (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (DVD)
I recently decided to view this version on one TV and the earlier release on the other. I really didn't think that there would be much a difference, but the Columbia classics release had a sharper picture than the Sony release. I switched teh DVDs and tried again to see if maybe the TV or the DVD player was a factor. I got the same result! My advice.. if you REALLY love this movie, pay extra and get the Columbia classics release!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The movie will not yield., May 10 2004
By 
David C. Roller (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Frank Capra captures the heart of american patriotism without ever becoming preachy. Mr. Smith is equal parts civics lesson, romance, tense drama and at its heart: the perfect fish out of water comedy.
Jimmy Stewart is fantastic as Jefferson Smith an honorory senator who accidentally stumbles on corruption. Stellar performances were turned in by Jean Arthur, Claude Raines, Edward Arnold and Thomas Mitchell, but it is Stewart who dominates this film.
The phrase Capraesque gets bandied about with too much regularity these days when describing recent films. I would strongly reccomend Mr. Sith goes to Washington as Capra at his most Capraesque.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A Point of Order, Mr. Speaker..., Dec 15 2003
By 
Harvey M. Canter (tarzana, ca United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (DVD)
My first inclination was to complain that this DVD is like way overpriced and has not come down in price in some time. Yes, it is a truly great movie, and the DVD has some extra goodies, but there is no reason why it still should be way over $20 in price. That being said, there are few films that might be worth it and this is one of them. It still captures the essence of what being an American is--or what it should be. The lone man voicing his ideas against the machine, reminding us of what sanity is, of what priorities should be. At no time in American history is such a voice needed more than now: we want to send nearly $100 Billion to our enemy while people here will starve today. If that isn't the "Taylor machine" I don't know what is. This film speaks to the real war on terror--the grip that power and greed have on this country at any given time. In movies, especially Frank Capra movies, it all comes out ok in the end, even though many of his films have a suicidal crisis in them at some point. Meet John Doe, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, It's a Wonderful Life, and Mr. Smith all have a suicide that nearly happens. Why would that be,in the films of Frank Capra, considered the "feel good" director of all time? Because at some point life can become not worth living when all of its better values have been perverted, when it seems hopeless and that there is no way out of the madness,when one cannot bear all the tension and contradiction.(Gee, sorry for such a downer review). It might have something to do with the fact that the country was in the "Great Depression", economically and psychologically in the group sense, and that things really were pretty bleak. In Capra films, the response to despair is hope (that the badness will relent) and kindness (the kindness of others towards the unfortunate). And maybe that is the answer for our time as well. Where will we find it? Anyway, all this malarkey aside, Mr. Smith is a great movie, full of laughs, drama, and telling satire, a landmark performance by Jimmy Stewart, and well supported by a great cast all around--Claude Rains, Thomas Mitchell, Jean Arthur, Harry Carey, Edward Arnold. One of the most enjoyable films you will ever see and worth the high price you will pay for the DVD. And now, my filibuster ends.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic that has stood the test of time, Oct. 26 2003
By 
This review is from: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (DVD)
Amazingly, I only just rented this movie and saw it for the first time this week, and I was pleased to see how well this legendary Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart classic had held up. Stewart won the Academy award for best actor in 1939 for his performance as the idealistic young senator from Montana who triumphs against dirty politics and overwhelming odds--including the collusion and corruption of those who he admired and thought to be his friends--such as his fellow Senator Paine, played by the great Claude Rains. I was equally impressed by Rains's part, and his dramatic reversal of his position toward Stewart at the very end and confession in the Senate chamber about his cooperating with the corrupt Taylor political machine has to be one of the most moving, climatic scenes in cinema--except that Stewart had just passed out from exhaustion after his marathon filibuster--so he didn't get a chance to witness it himself.
I was discussing the movie with someone who knows more about film than I do, and they said that the movie showed what tremendous range Stewart had, from joy to despair, from energetic exhuberance to exhaustion, and from his initial naive idealism about Washington to his quickly wising up about the realities of politics. They said Stewart really never had a chance to show as great a range of emotion during much of the rest of his career, since he was often cast in light-hearted and humorous roles after that. I thought this was an interesting comment about one of America's most famous and loved actors, as his part in Rear Window was certainly a very serious role, but again, I'm not an expert on film history so I offer this comment for what it's worth.
Overall, still a great classic that has stood the test of time, and a must see for fans of old movies, especially Jimmy Stewart, Claude Rains, and Frank Capra fans. And I can't forget to mention the rest of the supporting cast--Jean Arthur, Thomas Mitchell, Edward Arnold, and Guy Kibbee--are also superb.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I'm just a cynical Washingtonian, July 21 2003
By 
Dennis! (Washington, DC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (DVD)
I've lived in Washington, DC for about 8 years now. You can't avoid the political headlines here if you wanted to. You kind of pick these things up.
So I decided to rent "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." I'd heard all the hype about what a great patriotic movie it was; about how it shows what it means to be a great American; about how proud it makes the viewer to live in such a wonderful democracy.
I finished the movie rather disillusioned. It's difficult to explain why without giving away the ending, but I'll try:
Jefferson Smith is tapped to fill the seat of a US Senator from some unnamed state after the elected senator dies. We're clearly shown from the beginning that he's not meant to be there as a man of principle; he's there to be a pawn of the other Senator from that state (Sen. Paine), and Sen. Paine cares about nothing but padding the pockets of one VERY powerful, rich, and influential private citizen (James Taylor).
When Sen. Smith's one pet project threatens to run headlong into Mr. Taylor's plans to make money, however, Sen. Smith finds himself firmly in the cross-hairs not only of Mr. Taylor, but also of Sen. Paine (who will do anything -- and I do mean anything) to maintain his corrupt dealings in the Congress of the United States.
So what disheartened me is, frankly, the way the movie ended. DON'T READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE. Sen. Smith's battle is hard-fought, and yes, you feel like he's the hero for standing up for the principles of democracy, etc. etc.... But he's fighting a losing battle. Were it not for that strange change-of-heart in (literally) the final minute of the movie, Sen. Smith WOULD have lost, and the Fat Cats would have won. And, frankly, I can't imagine that that last-minute change-of-heart would ever actually occur in any modern political climate.
So yes, this movie is about democracy, but not the way I thought. The movie instead comes perilously close to sending a message that the laws in this country are actually passed by rich, powerful men who have only their own personal interests in mind and not those of the Common Man. It highlights the seedy underbelly of the way the laws of this country are passed.
I didn't walk away from this movie proud of the way the Framers intended the U.S. Senate to work. I came away from this movie thinking that it was just too close to reality, where special interests dominate the lawmaking process and the little guy who stands up for truth and righteousness gets run over by the unstoppable political machine.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great Performances All Around, June 27 2003
By A Customer
I first watched this movie my senior year of high school (our government teacher showed it in order to explain what a filibuster is!). Last night I watched it again for the first time in eight years, with my younger brother who is a James Stewart fan. I realized then what a well-made movie MR. SMITH is! Stewart gives a magnificent performance, not least in that memorable filibuster scene, in which he talks himself hoarse (you can actually FEEL his exhaustion!). The character Stewart presents, Jefferson Smith, is an unsophistocated man who nevertheless fiercely believes in the ideals of America: powerful feelings burn beneath his naive facade. The rest of the actors are perfect in their roles, from Claude Rains' flawed idealist to Jean Arthur's tough yet good-hearted secretary who is eventually won over to Smith's way of thinking. The great acting performances and superb direction make MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON a fine film, as well as a tribute to the values -- freedom, tolerance, courage -- that make America great.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Hasn't lost its power in over sixty years, June 1 2003
By 
Robert Moore (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (DVD)
MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON remains after sixty years one of the most compelling political films ever made. If Thomas Jefferson Smith's wide-eyed patriotism seems naive and overly innocent following decades that have seen McCarthyism, Vietnam, the rise of the Industrial-Military complex that Eisenhower warned us against, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and an attempted right wing cabal (via a partisan impeachment trial), perhaps this says more about where events have taken us rather than where it would be good for us to be. More depressing is the fact that the Senate (and the House) look more like the people Jefferson Smith opposes in the film, than Smith.
What makes this film continue to be such riveting viewing despite the very different world in which we live? Much of the script is part of the reason. There is a great deal of first-rate dialogue (even if portions seem a bit outdated), and some of Smith's speeches remain enormously effecting. But if I had to point to a primary reason, it is the acting. Put different actors in several key roles, and a film that might have been watchable in 1939 would be unviewable today. Jimmy Stewart makes this film. Has there been another actor who could have played this role, imbuing it with equal parts charming naivete, passionate patriotism, unmitigated optimism, and everyday wisdom while not in any sense making Mr. Smith look silly? I doubt it. Jean Arthur in several films managed the transition from cynic to believer as well as anyone short of Barbara Stanwyck. The film features a long and rich number of supporting actors, from Claude Rains to Thomas Mitchell to Edward Arnold to Eugene Pallette. But my favorite was Harry Carey, who plays the President of the Senate, though more with his eyes and smile as much as his voice. Carey had been one of the great stars of the silent screen in Westerns, but for some inexplicable reason never found the same success in sound. John Wayne often paid homage to Carey by physically mimicking gestures that were identified with Carey, in particular standing akimbo, with one arm laying across his chest to grasp his other arm just above the elbow. When Wayne made that gesture, it was as good as 'quoting' Carey, and all Western fans would recognize it as such. The cast is crucial, because even by 1939 standards, the entire story is more than a little naive, but the actors managed to 'sell' the story magnificently. The result is nothing short of magnificent.
This film had a huge impact on the 1940 Best Oscar decision. Today, looking back on 1940, I don't think there is any question that Henry Fonda clearly deserved the award for his work in THE GRAPES OF WRATH. His portrayal of Tom Joad is one of the great performances by an actor in the history of American cinema, not merely the finest performance that year. Yet, Jimmy Stewart won instead for his role of Macauley 'Mike' Connor in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, an award that he clearly didn't win compared to Henry Fonda's Tom Joad. Why? The Academy voters felt bad that he hadn't won the year before for his superb performance in MR. SMITH. In one of the most competitive Oscar competitions for Best Actor ever, Robert Donat managed an upset victory over Stewart, Clark Gable in GONE WITH THE WIND, and Laurence Olivier in WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Fonda didn't feel too badly, since he and Stewart were lifelong best friends.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars One of our best movies, Jan. 27 2003
This review is from: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (DVD)
Ah, 1939...the year brought us Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, Stagecoach, and of course, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, considered by many to be Capra's finest film and one of Stewart's best performances. And Jean Arthur was great in the film too. As was Claude Rains. And Joseph Walker's cinematography was beautiful. Mr. Smith is the typical Capra movie, the little guy fights the machine, patriotic, and touching. It gets a little melodramatic at the very end of the movie, but other than that it is a wonderful film. It's not the type of movie I normally like, but Capra, Stewart, Rains, Jean Arthur and Joseph Walker do such a great job, that I can't help but love the film.
The dvd contains a featurette, Frank Capra, Jr. looks back and a commentary track by Capra, Jr. You don't get much of an insight from Capra Jr (after all, he was only like 4 or 5 when the film was made), but he does give some nice background, history and stories about his father. And it is interesting to watch when he gets silent--when the film captivates him so much that he stops talking and watches the movie. Not as good as a director's commentary, but since Sr is dead, Jr does well enough.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars "Well, I guess this is just another lost cause, Mr. Paine..", Sept. 28 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
It is hard to believe that Jean Arthur gets top billing in this classic Capracorn film, given Jimmy Stewart's unforgettable performance in the final act of this film. But then it is equally hard to believe a film that spends several minutes explaining how a bill becomes law without resorting to animation and a catchy song. Still, the fact that Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart teamed up at all to make this movie is pretty remarkable. Capra wanted to film the Lewis R. Foster story "The Gentleman From Montana," but learned Rouben Mamoulian had already agreed to make the film. So Capra traded "Golden Boy" for the film so he could use Gary Cooper for a "Mr. Deeds goes to Washington" film. But Cooper was unavailable, so Capra turned to Stewart, whom he had used in "You Can't Take It With You." The rest is cinematic history.
I think Stewart's performance grows over the course of the film, as does his character. The climatic filibuster scene is a great example of acting, both by the lead actor and the wonderful ensemble cast. The performance I really love in this film is by Harry Carey as the President of the Senate, a marvelous bit of getting the most out of a small part. Claude Raines as Senator Joseph Paine embodies a civilized gentleman throughout the film, until the exciting climax. Both actors were nominated for Supporting Actor Oscars. Jean Arthur as Saunders is also in fine form (by 1939 standards she deserved top billing), but then it is impossible to find a part that does not click in this film. Edward Arnold gets to play the bad guy, Beulah Bondi is mom, Guy Kibbee the blustering politician, and Thomas Mitchell the sarcastic journalist, and so the Capra players are very much in evidence.
I always have trouble deciding if it is "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" or "Meet John Doe" that is the most idealistic of the Capracorn films. My answer is usually whichever film I saw last. But "Mr. Smith" is clearly aimed at politicians while "John Doe" speaks more to the people, so that would probably be the deciding factor. I was fortunate that the first time I saw this film it was in what was called an "art theater" in those dark days before home video when such things were a staple near college campuses, and I can still remember being just riveted to the final act and totally convinced, like Saunders, that Jefferson Smith was toast. Kudos to Sidney Buchman for the script. Some people might find the Americana to be a bit much, but I have managed to remain inspired by the symbols of our country while having pretty much total disdain for the people who are elected to office. But then you have to admit, Jimmy Stewart's character makes them all look like hacks, even across the chasm of over half-a-century.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington by Frank Capra (DVD - 2008)
CDN$ 27.67
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews