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Quiz about Mr Smith Goes to Washington
Quiz about Mr Smith Goes to Washington

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Trivia Quiz


"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939) is Frank Capra's love letter to American democracy. See how much you remember about one of the greatest political films ever made. Warning: Definite spoilers.

A multiple-choice quiz by parrotman2006. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
369,140
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
267
Last 3 plays: Guest 70 (1/10), Guest 99 (0/10), Guest 99 (1/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Jefferson Smith goes to Washington to join what important group of people? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. On the journey to Washington, Senator Paine and Jefferson Smith discuss Jeff's late father. What did Clayton Smith do for a living? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. What actor played Senator Joseph Harrison Paine? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. When Jefferson Smith first arrives in Washington D.C., what is NOT one of the places that he visits? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. What is Saunders' first name? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. What is the name of the political boss who tries to destroy Jefferson Smith? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. What is the proposed location for the boys camp that Jefferson Smith wants to build? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Jefferson Smith quotes from a variety of things during his filibuster. What is NOT one of the documents he quotes? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. What is NOT one of strong arm tactics the political machine uses against supporters of Jeff Smith? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Complete the quote from "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939): "I guess this is just another ___________, Mr. Paine. All you people don't know about ____________(s). Mr. Paine does."

Answer: (Two Words, 4,5)

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Most Recent Scores
May 29 2024 : Guest 70: 1/10
May 27 2024 : Guest 99: 0/10
May 27 2024 : Guest 99: 1/10
May 27 2024 : Guest 76: 0/10
May 27 2024 : Guest 24: 0/10
May 27 2024 : Guest 74: 0/10
May 27 2024 : Guest 185: 1/10
May 27 2024 : Guest 70: 2/10
May 27 2024 : Guest 99: 0/10

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Jefferson Smith goes to Washington to join what important group of people?

Answer: US Senate

Jefferson Smith is appointed to the Senate following the death of Senator Samuel Foley. He is the compromise choice when the governor is stuck between choosing either a political hack or a reformer that his political boss hates.
The political boss controlling the state believes the naive Smith will be easy to control, so he approves his selection. It is never made clear what state Paine and Smith represent, although it is implied it is in the western United States. The novel the film was based on had alternate titles: "The Gentleman from Montana" or "The Man from Wyoming".
2. On the journey to Washington, Senator Paine and Jefferson Smith discuss Jeff's late father. What did Clayton Smith do for a living?

Answer: Newspaper editor

Smith was a newspaper editor who stood up to powerful special interests, and was eventually murdered by corporate mining interests for defending poor miners. It is during this conversation that Smith first brings up the idea of lost causes.
3. What actor played Senator Joseph Harrison Paine?

Answer: Claude Rains

Claude Rains, one of the greatest character actors of all time, was Senator Paine. Rains was nominated for the Academy Award four times, but never won. His performances include "The Invisible Man" (1933), Job Skeffington in "Mrs Skeffington" (1944) and Captain Louis Renault in "Casablanca" (1942).
Senator Paine is a man who entered public life with the best of intentions, and was slowly corrupted by the lure of power and prestige. He winds up a puppet of the power brokers who run his state.
Harry Carey was the President of the Senate. H.B. Warner was the Senate Majority Leader. Thomas Mitchell played veteran reporter Diz Moore.
Mitchell would star in not just "Mr. Smith", but two of 1939's other landmark films: "Gone with the Wind" and "Stagecoach". He would win the Academy Award for his work as the doctor in "Stagecoach". He later worked with Stewart on "It's A Wonderful Life" (1947).
Both Rains and Carey were nominated for Best Supporting Actor, but lost out to Mitchell.
4. When Jefferson Smith first arrives in Washington D.C., what is NOT one of the places that he visits?

Answer: The Jefferson Memorial

Frank Capra would have needed a time machine to film at the Jefferson Memorial. While it was under construction during the filming of "Mister Smith", the building was not completed until 1943.
Smith visits the Lincoln Memorial, where a boy reads the Gettysburg Address. He also visits the Capitol and looks at statues of the founding fathers, and reads the Constitution and Declaration of Independence at the National Archives.
5. What is Saunders' first name?

Answer: Clarissa

Saunders' first name is Clarissa. She is a somewhat cynical Washington veteran. We learn that she is from Baltimore, her father is an idealistic physician, and she has been working since she was 16 years old. At first she is highly skeptical of Jefferson Smith, but eventually falls in love with his idealism.

She returns and helps Smith fight back against the charges against him. Jean Arthur (1900-1991), who played Saunders, was a huge film star during the 1930s and 1940s. She is best known for her work with Frank Capra - "Mr. Smith", "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (1936) and "You Can't Take it With You" (1938).

Her last film role was in "Shane" (1953).
6. What is the name of the political boss who tries to destroy Jefferson Smith?

Answer: James Taylor

James Taylor was played by Edward Arnold, who would play a very similar role two years later in Capra's "Meet John Doe" (1941). Arnold was a veteran of the silent era who successfully made the transition to talking pictures.
Taylor at first tries to corrupt Smith, but when the junior senator resists, the boss resorts to violence and intimidation. Taylor also uses his media empire to sway public opinion. Arnold plays Taylor as utterly corrupt, driven by greed and ruthless against those who get in his way.
Jonathan Edwards and Michael Johnson are both folk musicians, and Robert Zimmerman is the original name of Bob Dylan.
7. What is the proposed location for the boys camp that Jefferson Smith wants to build?

Answer: Willet Crick

The camp is in Ambrose County, Terry Canyon, around the waters of Willet Crick. Smith is unaware that this is the site of a proposed dam; Taylor, the political boss, owns the land near the dam, and expects huge profits when it is built.
When Smith is about to expose this corruption, Senator Paine turns the tables on him, and frames the junior senator as the owner of the land.
For those interested in the gory details, Smith tries to block a deficiency bill, which is an appropriation bill to cover expenses not covered by regular appropriations. They are often used for disaster relief and public works.
8. Jefferson Smith quotes from a variety of things during his filibuster. What is NOT one of the documents he quotes?

Answer: The Gettysburg Address

He does not quote the Gettysburg Address during the filibuster, at least not on screen. It is quoted in the film during the first scene at the Lincoln Memorial. The Declaration is quoted early on, as is the Constitution. Smith is quoting 1 Corinthians 13 at around the 13 hour mark of the filibuster.
9. What is NOT one of strong arm tactics the political machine uses against supporters of Jeff Smith?

Answer: Burning down the newspaper office

Taylor goes to extreme lengths to crush Smith. He uses his extensive media machine to gin up public opinion. "Public opinion made to order," says Nosey. "Taylor made," agrees Diz.
When pro-Smith forces fight back, Taylor turns down the screws. Thugs steal newspapers from children, a pro-Smith parade is hit with fire hoses full blast, and children on a pro-Smith truck are injured when thugs force them off the road. They do refrain from using arson against the Boy Ranger headquarters - or perhaps Capra left that scene out of the film.
10. Complete the quote from "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939): "I guess this is just another ___________, Mr. Paine. All you people don't know about ____________(s). Mr. Paine does."

Answer: lost cause

The scene occurs near the very end of the filibuster, as Jefferson Smith is on his last legs after speaking for 23 straight hours. Smith invokes his late father and tells Paine, "And you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any other. Yes, you even die for them."
A guilt-ridden Paine attempts to commit suicide, then rushes into the Senate chamber and exonerates Smith, confessing to the political corruption in his state, yelling, "I'm not fit to be a Senator! I'm not fit to live!" The movie closes with joyous supporters of Smith cheering their victory.
Source: Author parrotman2006

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor jmorrow before going online.
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