Frank Capra’s classic comedy-drama established James Stewart as a lead actor in one of his finest (and most archetypal) roles. A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the US Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn’t back down.
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A man of the people, a true hero, is systematically smashed to pieces on the world’s stage. This is a film about against the odds success, yes, but it is also about tragic failure, the failure of a country. Capra may lay on the heavy doses of patriotism, and he may make the case for the nation in the end, but for me it is plain to see the obvious folly, the obvious unfulfillment of the American way.
The charm of this film is irresistible even to a cynic like me. The sequence where Jeff first visits the Lincoln Memorial is old Hollywood at its finest. A true American classic and probably my favorite Capra film.
one of the easiest five stars i've ever given to a movie. i loved the budding romance, the story, and the characters. no one should lose their ideals, no matter how unpractical and absent-minded they seem because those perceptions don't hold weight to the potential of our aspirations.
All my idealism died a long time ago and this film did nothing to bring it back. The Claude Rains character being my biggest problem. I just didn't buy the redemptive angle at the end. I agree with the sentiment about Jean Arthur owning this picture. If this film was from her POV I would have loved it.
"Desire" list. James Stewart was undoubtedly the most reliable men who passed by the movie screens, the most honest and safe, one that shelters us under his gaze without any malice. Also, in some movies, unforgettably handsome, as in this one, a man against a system, brilliant parable of the triumph of good will. Clearly unrealistic, clearly perfect, as Stewart.
This is a powerful film and Jimmy Stewart was such a great actor and combined with Capra's optimism, it made you feel like an honest man could really make a difference in this world. A little melodramatic at times but a little melodrama is good in some cases.