18: Mr Smith Goes To Washington (DVD)

What I though Mr Smith Goes To Washington was about: Having only known it by reputation, I though Mr Smith would be about a small town bloke who, when raised to a high office, was disgusted by corruption a the heart of the political system. Nevertheless his innate goodness would find a partner in the democratic system, and his purity, amplified by the sheer power of democracy would show that it is not the system but the corrupt people that make politics so disappointing.

What Mr Smith Goes To Washington Is Actually About: How to win out by cheating. Yes Mr Smith is pure, and yes he tries to expose corruption, but the only way he does it is by filibustering. And fillibustering, ie talking non-stop until everyone gets bored and the deadlines to pass motions is exceeded, is not a grand triumph of democracy. It is cheating. It is deliberately attacking the democratic process, stretching the power of the individual over the executive.

Actually the end of Mr Smith Goes To Washington is at best contradictory. The filibustering doesn’t work, but then there is an even more implausible last minute save to pull out a happy ending (with girl in tow too). The best I have to say of it is that its a much better romantic comedy than it is a satire.