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By taking his favorite plot of the sheep among wolves and putting it down in the heart of U. S. political life, the Senate, Frank Capra has created something close to dynamite in motion picture form. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", like all Capra pictures, makes you laugh, cry, and sit on the edge of your seat in suspense. But this time Capra has gone a step further: he has portrayed what James Truslow Adams calls the "American dream." Granted that the picture is emotional to the nth degree, the fact remains that democracy, Americanism--call it what you will--is more a matter of emotion than cold logic. When an American sees the statue in the Lincoln Memorial, he does not see merely the image of a great President. A thousand and one connotations are called up by that sight--the struggle for the Union, the defeat of slavery, in fact, the whole "American dream." Knowing this fact, Capra has played upon it to the limit. Let him who can find a better foundation for democracy cast the first words of criticism.

Capra has not sacrificed entertainment for his "message." The cast is superb, headed by James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, and Edward Arnold. The Senate set is a perfect replica of the Washington chamber, but best of all are the shots taken in the Lincoln Memorial, the real thing this time.

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