Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

Synopsis: When the idealistic young Jefferson Smith (James Stewart) winds up appointed to the United States Senate, he gains the mentorship of Senator Joseph Paine (Claude Rains). However, Paine isn't as noble as his reputation would indicate, and he becomes involved in a scheme to discredit Smith, who wants to build a boys' campsite where a more lucrative project could go. Determined to stand up against Paine and his corrupt peers, Smith takes his case to the Senate floor.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Production: ITVS
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 12 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
129 min

The CAPITOL DOME at Washington fades in. It is night, and

the dome is flooded in light.

This view dissolves to the exterior of a Newspaper Office

WINDOW, seen at night. The letters on the window, illuminated

by a street light, are picked out with increasing

distinctness. They read: WASHINGTON POST-DISPATCH. This

dissolves into the NIGHT CITY EDITOR'S OFFICE, where a

lethargic, eyeshaded man behind a desk reaches for the

telephone which is ringing.




(Then, perking up)


Inside a PHONE BOOTH in a Hospital Corridor, where a nurse

seated at the corridor desk is visible through the glass

doors of the booth, a man is telephoning:


Senator Samuel Foley--dead. Died a

minute ago--here at St. Vincent's.

At the bedside was state political

sidekick, Senator Joseph Paine--

And we see the HOSPITAL OFFICE where Senator Joseph Paine, a

trim, rather dignified man of fifty-eight, occupying the

desk of the nurse who stands by, is talking rapidly and

agitatedly into a phone.


(into the phone)

Long distance? Senator Joseph Paine

speaking. I want the Governor's

residence at Jackson City--Governor

Hubert Hopper. Hurry--

The scene dissolves into a skimming view of TELEPHONE WIRES

strung over a vast distance--and then into the BEDROOM of

Governor and Mrs. Hopper, where the Governor and his wife

are found in their twin beds, the room darkened. The buzzer

is sounding. Mrs. Emma Hopper, wife of the Governor, sits

bolt upright in the dark.


(a shrew)

I knew it! I knew a night's rest

wasn't possible in this house!

(As the buzzer is

heard again)



(waking with a start,


Wha--? Yes, sweetheart-- Wha--?


That infernal phone!


Yes, yes--phone, phone--

(Fumbling for the


A--an outrage, pet--an outrage--I'll

look into this--

(Seizing the phone)

Hello--Joe!--What!--No! Not really!



What is it?

In the HOSPITAL ROOM, we see Paine on the phone.


It couldn't have come at a worse

time. Call Jim Taylor. Tell him I'm

taking a plane tonight for home.

Rate this script:(4.50 / 2 votes)

Waldo Salt

Waldo Miller Salt was an American screenwriter who was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studio bosses during the era of McCarthyism. He later won Academy Awards for Midnight Cowboy and Coming Home. more…

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Submitted by aviv on October 30, 2016

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    "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 4 Mar. 2021. <>.

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