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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Sunday, November 04, 2012
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Event Type:
Radio Broadcast
steve lerman
Location Details:
Stream or download at

Made in 1939, this American drama film starring Jean Arthur and James Stewart about one man's effect on American politics. If you haven't seen this movie lately, I would recommend watching online.

The film opens as a succession of reporters shouting into telephones announcing the death of Senator Samuel Foley. Senator Joseph Paine, the state's senior senator, puts in a call to Governor Hubert "Happy" Hopper reporting the news. Hopper then calls powerful media magnate Jim Taylor, who controls the state along with the lawmakers. Taylor orders Hopper to appoint an interim senator to fill out Foley's term. Taylor has proposed a pork barrel bill to finance an unneeded dam at Willet Creek, so he warns Hopper he wants a senator who "can't ask any questions or talk out of turn." After having a number of his appointees rejected, at the suggestion of his children Hopper nominates local hero Jefferson Smith, leader of the state's Boy Rangers group. Smith is an innocent, wide-eyed idealist who quotes Jefferson and Lincoln and idolizes Paine, who had known his crusading editor father.

In Washington, after a humiliating introduction to the press corps, Smith threatens to resign, but Paine encourages him to stay and work on a bill for a national boy's camp. With the help of his cynical secretary Clarissa Sanders, Smith prepares to introduce his boy's camp bill to the Senate. But when he proposes to build the camp on the Willets Creek site, Taylor and Paine force him to drop the measure. Smith discovers Taylor and Paine want the Willets Creek site for graft and he attempts to expose them, but Paine deflects Smith's charges by accusing Smith of stealing money from the boy rangers. Defeated, Smith is ready to depart Washington, but Saunders, whose patriotic zeal has been renewed by Smith, exhorts him to stay and fight. Smith returns to the Senate chamber and, while Taylor musters the media forces in his state to destroy him, Smith engages in a climactic filibuster to speak his piece.

Although all hope seems lost, the senators begin to pay attention as Smith approaches utter exhaustion. Paine has one last card up his sleeve: he brings in bins of letters and telegrams from Smith's home state from people demanding his expulsion. Smith vows to press on until people believe him, but immediately collapses in a faint. Overcome with guilt, Paine leaves the Senate chamber and attempts to commit suicide by shooting himself. When he is stopped, he bursts back into the Senate chamber, loudly confesses to the whole scheme, and affirms Smith's innocence.
Source: Mr Smith Goes To Washington 1939

Barack Obama
The Obama 2004 DNC Keynote Address

In 2004, Obama was a rising star in the Democratic Party. In the speech Obama talks about his background and himself. He then refers to the freedoms of the Declaration of Independence. Then he explains the background of John Kerry and his vision of a unified America.
Source: Barack Obama, 2004 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address

Ronald Reagan
A Time for Choosing By Ronald Reagan

This speech was delivered by Ronald Reagan during the 1964 U.S. presidential election campaign on behalf of Republican candidate Barry Goldwater. In the speech Reagan delivers a message against socialism and the expanding influence of the U.S. government in many sectors of American life. He also presents his case for using peace through strength to win the Cold War.
Source: A Time for Choosing

Download or Play Mr Smith Goes to Washington Part 1
Download or Play Mr Smith Goes to Washington Part 2
Download or Play Obama 2004 DNC Keynote Address
Download or Play Ronald Reagan 1964

Music includes Roy Zimmerman - California Couldn't Pay Our Education, Judy Garland - Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Benny Goodman - Don't Be That Way, Fats Waller - Your Feets Too Big, Louis Armstrong - When The Saints Go Marching In, Woody Herman - Woodchopper's Ball, Odetta - Sail Away Ladies, Roymond - Just Blue, Kate Smith - God Bless America

Great Speeches and Interviews' Past Programs

Added to the calendar on Thu, Nov 1, 2012 4:43PM
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