ABSTRACT Frank Capra's 1939 film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, is often described as a paean to the American populist hero, the patriotic little man who stands up to corruption. But Capra's so-called little-man trilogy, which includes Mr. Smith, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), and Meet John Doe (1941), document Capra's deeply ambivalent viewof the people and his investment in the personal power of the media manipulator.

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