BY CHRISTOPHER STAMM
GUEST MOVIE REVIEWER
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Available on several streaming channels)
This film is not rated but is suitable [and should be required watching] for everyone
My friends, after all the noise, nonsense, and hyperbole leading up to the 2022 mid-terms, I came to the conclusion that–as we all get ready to head to the polls next Tuesday–we need a reminder to inspire us to be better. A reminder to show us a better way to be better Americans. A reminder of the promise of what can and should be.
So, that being said, I decided to go way, way back to 1939 for a film that can help us all with that. Back to a time when we, as American citizens, stood together, and listened to each other’s opinions without hating. Back to when our leaders inspired faith and trust instead of harsh hyperbole. When we knew our neighbors’ names and genuinely cared about a common future.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is another of Frank Capra’s masterpieces of Americana, the reminder of who we are or were and what we should strive to be again.
We, the viewers, watch as a truly good man, Jefferson Smith–played by the late and great Jimmy Stewart–becomes, ever so reluctantly a United States Senator. We witness his faithful and true desire to serve those he represents and watch as he discovers the dark underbelly of the American political system, and we feel his despair.
We rejoice as we see Jefferson Smith raise his voice up to the corrupt bureaucracy and shout “No More!” as it desperately tries to destroy him, recognizing the threat that a decent man presents to its survival.
We feel a sense of decency and morality shine through and fill us with a hope that we no longer have in our leaders, as we watch him fight back. And as he does, it awakens a deep yearning for a leader who can inspire us as Jefferson Smith does as he fights the machine. And we weep as we watch the damage that is done to him by the powers his nobility threatens in the process.
If you have never seen Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, do so post haste. It should be required viewing in all civics classes (if they still existed).
Five full stars out of five possible stars for this cinematic masterpiece. It’s out there, folks. Find it and watch it before November 8 and compare our choices to Jefferson Smith. Then despair.
May God bless and keep safe the United States of America.