Seventy-five years ago this week, Mr. Smith went to Washington and did something no one has done since: spoke his mind and accomplished something.
It nearly killed him, as Jimmy Stewart’s “common man” humble look was run ragged by the end of the film after hours of filibustering to total exhaustion. It’s no wonder everyone in Congress talks a big game now, but never quite lives up to the standard: Who wants to look that haggard on Fox News or MSNBC during midterms these days? That stuff heads straight to YouTube, where they kill the audio and freeze frame on the bags under your eyes.
Modern politicians put a lot of work into hair and makeup, but they keep it simple when dressing to impress. Consider the number of Presidents for whom Brooks Brothers has been the major clothier over the years and you’ll see what we mean.
Still, it’s impressive when a candidate or official is willing to be himself, and stay true to both his values and his style. That’s how you get a statesman. Unfortunately, there aren’t many of those in the real world, so in honor of 75 years of fictional good guys in office, here’s our list of the most stylish American statesmen in film.