Talk:Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

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Expansion and removal of expansion request template.[edit]

I added the expansion request a few months ago because I didn't feel that the article went into enough discussion of the cultural impact of the film. This film has had an enormous impact over the years, and has been recognized as such by the Library of Congress. It's a simple, yet powerful story and an encyclopedia article should delve into the results of its power. The "Cultural Effects" section currently reads like a short and choppy disorganized list of miscellaneous events, not a discussion of the whys and hows of the cultural impact of the film.

Heroica2 apparently saw the expansion request and attempted to expand the article by writing a long and detailed plot summary. Heroica2 then removed the expansion request template.

I appreciate Heroica2's efforts, and the fact that when I added the expansion request I was not clear in exactly how the article needed to be expanded.

I won't re-add the template; but perhaps this message will clarify things. ONUnicorn 14:35, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 15:56, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


The article states (without references) that this is an environmental film. Having just watched it, I can't help but notice there is no environmental mention whatsoever in the film. One of the corrupt "graft" projects happens to be for a new dam, but there is no judgment on the effects of the dam on the environment. It's an indictment of politicians handing out pork barrel projects to political supporters for individual gain at the taxpayers expense. This line should be removed from the article. JettaMann (talk) 22:16, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I couldn't find anything to back it up, so I took it out. Clarityfiend (talk) 22:48, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, the story of a single individual fighting to save a park-like area does provide an environmental statement. I came across a treatise comparing the films of Robert Redford and Frank Capra which stressed that one of the similarities was the environmental messages each filmmaker embodied in his films including that of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. FWIW, I reinserted the statement with a note that the entry still needs verification. Bzuk (talk) 01:40, 30 December 2007 (UTC).

I have to add this. There's is one environmental mention. When informed of the reality of the dam Smith speaks to Senator Paine and states that there are "a hundred other places in the state that really need the water."Dcrasno (talk) 01:14, 13 February 2011 (UTC)


Was this film accurate in its portrayal of filibuster law? In 1917, cloture was established, and until 1975 required 2/3s of all Senators present-and-voting (which was apparently had in the film.) The film itself was made in 1939, though I submit it could have taken place earlier, though not much earlier based on the automobiles present. Not criticizing a great film, of course, merely seeking clarification on the portrayal. (talk) 19:14, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

It doesn't seem accurate. There certainly seemed to be enough to pass cloture based on the number of derisive boos and such from the Senators. One could always say that some Senators would be against cloture even if they thought Smith was guilty. On the other hand, 92 Senators present (as in most of the movie)? Now that seems far-fetched. --C S (talk) 07:37, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
For others who may read this; from another Wikipedia page: "the Senate tried eleven times between 1927 and 1962 to invoke cloture but failed each time," so it isn't totally unreasonable. Boone292929 (talk) 18:17, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Public domain[edit]

I would like to mention in the article that this film is public domain in the United States, but just want to first let someone correct me if this is wrong :-) [I don't know much about this, so if you know what to write, that would be great too.] Shreevatsa (talk) 00:23, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

While it might be true, I'm unsure why this meets mention. Unless there has been some instance with Mr. Smith and Copyright infringement? NuclearWarfare (Talk) 01:07, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, if it was in public domain then someone could put it online and link it here.
Also, it could be VERY important information to anyone who would want to organize a public screening of the movie. BTW, "Meet John Doe", Capra's later movie, IS on the list. (talk) 00:42, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Nevermind, I think it's not true. Only the trailer is public domain, I think. Shreevatsa (talk) 05:03, 13 February 2009 (UTC)


Just noticed a couple of recent edits. Out of curiosity, I'm wondering why the extra spacing is there: it actually looks odd to me. Shreevatsa (talk) 05:03, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Please see User:Ed Fitzgerald/spacing for an explanation of the necessity of the spacing. Thanks. Ed Fitzgerald t / c 06:22, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that explanation. As you might have guessed, I was using Firefox and unaware of IE's issues. :-) BTW, isn't this something fairly general to be fixed in Wikipedia's CSS, rather than to be added manually to individual articles (with the extra spacing in several browsers too)? Shreevatsa (talk) 06:49, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Use of numerous quotes[edit]

The standard practice is to limit the number of quotes and provide written summaries of salient points, but the article is "driven" by an entire series of quotes in the production section. These are also seemingly misaligned as the statements appear to be a review of the impact of the film on the public psyche and how government is being criticized. FWiW, that the quotes are mostly derived from summary and overview articles on TCM, Allmovie and IMDb is also problematic. Bzuk (talk) 22:30, 26 June 2009 (UTC).

Plot glitch?[edit]

I not sure if this is relevant, but there is a serious glitch in the plot. If Smith does indeed own the land mentioned, how is Taylor going to build a dam on Smith's land?Dcrasno (talk) 01:20, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Smith wanted to have the land purchased but did not own the land. Bzuk (talk) 14:47, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Taylor's immediate concern is the expulsion of Smith from the senate, to which end the forgery is created. Once Smith is gone, Taylor can quietly restore the actual ownership documents and proceed with the deficiency bill, which will enrich him through the sale of the land from the real and dishonest owner who has conspired with Taylor.Sensei48 (talk) 05:06, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Another plot glitch has to do with Smith's "ownership" of the land. If Taylor "transferred" ownership of the land to Smith, why didn't Smith "donate" the land to the Boy Rangers? There was nothing that compelled him to sell that land he "owned" for a profit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:28, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Paine's Guilt Reaction[edit]

At the ending scene after Smith collapses, Paine leaves in guilt. After he leaves, noises resembling gunshots can be heard. While it might sound like he was trying to shoot himself, no gun is ever seen. But a few nearby objects are seen broken, including a lightbulb, which can make a similar sound to a gunshot when shattered. This is also re-enforced by the fact that multiple sounds are heard, instead of just one. Also, Paine is not bleeding and moves around very quickly, something someone couldn't do easily if they had just been shot. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:45, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Fancruft not needed[edit]

See invisible note. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 18:55, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 17:34, 28 August 2015 (UTC)