This super film brings together the talents of James Stewart and Frank Capra for one of many successful outings. Stewart is Jefferson Smith, who finds himself a Senator ill equipped for the corruption that surrounds him.
It's a brilliant turn from Stewart. He plays the naive yet thoroughly decent Smith with charm and wit, and is wonderfully supported by Jean Arthur as his assistant, Saunders. Her abject cynicism is slowly eroded by the innocent values of the new Senator, and she falls in love. This love story serves the story beautifully, as both actors and Capra tug at our heartstrings and draw us into the drama.
There is also fine support from Claude Rains as Joseph Paine, Smith's mentor, and Harry Carey as the President of the Senate.
Put all of this together and you have a gem of a movie. The triumph of good over evil, the lone voice over the conglomerate, and small town values over big city corruption, added to a touching and affecting love story told with charm and humour, creates something very special. This is a film to make you feel better about the world and your fellow man. It's a beautiful piece of work.
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