Mr. Carter Goes to Washington
Journal of Popular Film & Television, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 57-67, Summer 1997
11 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2008 Last revised: 17 Jul 2012
Date Written: Summer 1997
Jimmy Carter's presidency began like Frank Capra's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939), as the tale of an idealistic and innocent outsider making his way from a huble small town to the nation's capital. Following that promising beginning, disappointment and frustration followed. The story of Carter's undoing found reflection in several films of that era, particularly "...And Justice for All" (1979), "The Seduction of Joe Tynan" (1979), and "Brubaker" (1980). Each concerns an idealistic hero whose uncompromised good intentions cannot prosper. These films capture a unique period when events tested America's enduring belief in the efficacy of virtue.
Keywords: President, Jimmy Carter, Watergate, Frank Capra, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1970s, And Justice for All, The Seduction of Joe Tynan, Brubaker, Politics, Government, Idealism, Corruption, Robert Redford, Al Pacino, Alan Alda
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