42 terms

1939 Film - Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

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Terms in this set (...)

Director of the film
Frank Capra
played Clarissa Saunders, Secretary
Jean Arthur
played new Senator, Jefferson Smith
Jimmy Stewart
played Joe Payne, Senator
Claude Raines
played Jim Taylor, political machine leader
Edward Arnold
played Governor Hubert Hopper
Guy Kibbes
played reporter Diz Moore
Thomas Mitchell
played the mother of Jefferson Smith
Beulah Bondi
The film begins with -
vacancy in the Senate
Governor's choices with Senate vacancy
choose a Senator that the people of the state want, or choose a Senator who won't ask questions about the bill he is trying to pass that illegally gives money to the "political machine" run by Jim Taylor
Why did the Governor select a novice?
Mr. Jefferson Smith is a hero to all the boys of the state (he is the leader of the Boy Rangers); he is honest, simple and humble. He doesn't know anything about politics. Governor Hopper convinces Jim Taylor that because Mr. Smith is naive, he won't figure anything out. Choosing Mr. Smith will make everyone happy.
Senate rules for Senate newcomers
...
Mr. Smith's first contact with reporters in Washington
Mr. Smith told them that he would like to build a national boys' camp in his home state. The reporters wrote articles making fun of him being such a "boy scout" - making him look foolish. Mr. Smith got angry and was punching the reporters.
Bill writing procedures - steps to get bill on the floor
...
Bill Mr. Smith wanted to introduce and why?
Smith wants to introduce and pass a bill to open a boys' camp at Willet Creek. He wants to get underprivileged boys out of the cities and into nature. (Senator Payne and Jim Taylor have bought all of the land around Willet Creek and plan to sell it back to the government to build a dam there.)
What is the purpose of the Committee on Privileges & Elections
This committee dealt with how to handle questions regarding contested Senate elections, questions regarding credentials of Senators, financing of Senatorial elections and expenses of contestants in contested election cases.
Importance and purpose of Filibuster
The Filibuster was originally a way for minorities opinions to be heard and understood. A bill cannot move forward as long as a Senator is still speaking.
*Filibuster - 3 key points (don't know if we have the correct 3 points)
A Senator (or series of Senators) begins speaking on a debatable question, for as long as they wish and moving to any topic they choose until 60 Senators vote to invoke CLOTURE.
"Political Machine"
an organization in which a "boss" or small group of people commands support from businesses and campaign workers, who receive rewards for their efforts
How did Jim Taylor use the political machine?
Mr. Taylor and Senator Payne have a secret, illegal land-buying deal going on at Willet Creek. They purchased all the land around Willet Creek, then plan to pass a bill for the government to build a dam at Willet Creek where they would sell the land for a profit to the government.
*Methods used by Taylor's Goon Squad
thugs employed by Taylor
viciously attacked the children supporting Senator Smith
*What points did Secretary Clarissa Saunders give to Senator Smith to use?
All the good that's in the world came from "fools with faith". Senator Smith's role model, President Lincoln, had to face his own "Taylors and Paines". Clarissa told him that he couldn't quit now - he has decent, common, everyday "rightness" that our country needs right now. She told him that Lincoln was waiting for a man like him to come along.
Message from the film and importance of Senate in lawmaking
One determined person can command change and make a difference; Senators have a duty bring laws to pass without giving regard to personal or political reward.
Efficiency Bill - Section 40
the Graft section of the bill that Mr. Taylor and Senator Paine were trying to pass (graft is money going in their own pocket)
Willet Creek and its value
Willet Creek land was purchased by Mr. Taylor and Senator Paine in an effort to then resell the land to the government after passing a bill to build a dam on the creek.

Willet Creek land was Senator Smith's ideal location for a boys' camp. He envisioned the government purchasing the land with the nation's youth repaying the loan through donations. Donations came pouring in. Mr. Taylor and Senator Paine accuse Smith of already owning the land and trying to profit off of it (exactly what they were doing).
dupe
to fool or trick; pull the wool over someone's eyes
convene
get together in a group
*payment for the camp
*donations
Horace Miller
Jim Taylor's first suggestion as the appointment for the Senate seat. The public rejected him as "Taylor's man, a "party man", "Taylor's political stooge".
Henry Hill
The 2nd candidate thought of to fill the Senate seat; Taylor referred to him as a "crackpot" and a "long head".
Lost Causes
Famous quote from the film - During the filibuster scened, Senator Smith is speaking to Senator Paine about how he and his father had always admired him because he fought for the "lost causes". You only fight for "lost causes" because of one rule - "love thy neighbor". You fight harder for the "lost causes" than you do for any of the others. Senator Smith says he's going to stand there and fight for this "lost cause" (everyone believes that he is the one trying to dupe the public and the government out of money for the Willet Creek boys' camp)
Boys' Stuff
A well-read Rangers boys' publication (magazine) - Jefferson Smith is the publisher of Boys' Stuff
Rule 5 Section 3
Rules of the Senate - Senator Smith reads this rule to the President of the Senate, asking him to invoke the rule requiring the attendance of the other Senators to hear him speak.
credentials
Jefferson Smith had to present his credentials to the President of the Senate before taking the Oath of Office. Some senators opposed his credentials because of how he was made to look foolish in the press. Credentials show your qualifications to do or perform a task.
graft
political corruption; the use of a politician's authority for personal gain
quorum call
a roll call to determine if a "quorum" is present in the Senate (enough Senators to do business - a majority present)
sources for the filibuster
...
Senators methods to wear down Smith
Guilty charges were brought against his character in the Senate; they treat him with contempt and ask him to resign

Smith's state newspaper and radio stations refuse to cover him and distort the facts against him (Mr. Taylor's political machine)
*Arthur Kim
played by Harry C. Bradley - uncredited
Susan Paine
Secretary Clarissa Saunders can't stand Susan "Pain-in-th-neck" Paine. She's the glamorous wife of Senator Paine. Susan Paine asked Senator Smith out for an expensive meal to keep him out of the Senate chamber when the Deficiency Bill was read (her husband and Mr. Taylor's graft bill)
Ken Allen
Businessman who Senator Smith was supposedly sharing profits with. Senator Smith's signature had been forged, guaranteeing Mr. Allen half of the profits of the sale of the land to the government.
Methods used to stop filibuster
Senate invokes CLOTURE:
2 days after filibuster starts, get 16 signatures to invoke cloture
Wait 2 more days to vote on cloture
Must have 3/5 vote (60 senators)