Saturday, August 13, 2011

James Stewart

James Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997), starred in many classic films and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition and receiving one Lifetime Achievement award.

He also had a noted military career and was a World War II and Vietnam War veteran, who rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Air Force Reserve.

Throughout his seven decades in Hollywood, Stewart had a versatile career and performed in such classics as:

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington(1939), a story about a idealistic Jefferson Smith, who is leader of the Boy Rangers and is appointed by the governor to represent his state. In Washington, Smith soon learns about the many problems in the political process, when they first try to corrupt Smith and then later try to destroy him through scandal.

James Stewart, gives a superb performance. Although.. I'm amazed that Stewart did not win the Oscar for this role but was awarded one the following year for a lesser role in, The Philadelphia Story.

The Philadelphia Story(1940). Philadelphia socialites Tracy Lord and C.K. Dexter Haven, marry on a whim. Unfortunately, they soon break up when Dexter's drinking became a way to cope, with Tracy's many complaints, over Dexter's imperfections.

Two years after their break-up, Tracy is about to remarry, the ceremony to take place at the Lord mansion. Tracy's bridegroom is a aspiring politician, George Kittredge. The day before the wedding, three unexpected guests show up at the Lord mansion, Macaulay Connor, and Elizabeth Imbrie, who are friends of Tracy's brother, Junior and Dexter.

Dexter, now works for a tabloid Spy magazine, makes a deal with its editor Sidney Kidd, to get a story on Tracy's wedding...

Stewart's drunken scene is pure fun and his role as part of a romantic triangle made film history.

Harvey (1950). In this classic film, Harvey is a 6' 3'' very gentle spirt who has befriended, Mr. Elwood P. Dowd and this causes all kinds of trouble for those around him. He likes to take a drink once in a while and is always talking to his rabbit friend to the dismay of his sister Veta Louise, whose social life suffers when her brother Elwood, is around. Elwood's actions also interfere with her plans to marry off her daughter Myrtle Mae. When Veta decides to commit Elwood, to a psychiatric institution, it is she that ends up being committed. When Elwood, leaves the hospital, the medical staff in the hospital realize their mistake and all try to find him...

Jimmy Stewart's, character always has a smile on his face and a friend to everyone. Harvey, is a wonderful classic film that works because of its cute humor.

It's a Wonderful Life(1946), George Bailey, has always wanted to travel but never had the opportunity because of his small loan company, which was founded by his father. But on Christmas Eve, George's Uncle Billy loses the business's money while making a bank deposit.

Potter, finds the money and hides it from Billy. When the bank discovers the shortage, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and that will be the end of his families company.

Thinking of his family, he thinks that they would be better off with him dead, he thinks about killing himself. The prayers of all his loved ones bring an angel named Clarence to help George...

James Stewart, will put you on a roller coaster of emotions throughout this film and is one of the few that you can watch again and again and still have the same fuzzy feeling as you did when you first watched it.

Shenandoah(1965). Farmer Charlie Anderson, finds himself and his family, in the middle of the Civil War, when his youngest son is taken prisoner by the North. Jimmy Stewart, is at his best in this film and stays true to his believes until the very end of the film.

Rear Window(1954). Jimmy Stewart, plays Professional photographer L.B. Jeffries, who breaks his leg while getting an action shot at an auto race. Confined, in a wheel chair in his apartment, he spends his time looking out of his rear window watching his neighbors. He begins to suspect that a man across the courtyard may have killed his wife. Jeff and girlfriend Lisa Freemont and his nurse Stella, try and learn the truth...

Jimmy Stewart and his eyes could not have given a better performance.

Rope(1948), The story begins, when, Brandon and Philip, who share a apartment, make the decision to murder their friend, David Kentley. Together they strangle David with a rope and placing his body in an chest and then throw a small party.

The guests include David's father, his fiancee Janet and their old schoolteacher Rupert, from whom they somehow got their ideas. Rupert, begins to suspect something is not right.

James Stewart, plays the voice of reason though out the film perfectly.

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956). Dr. Ben McKenna, his wife Jo and their son Hank, are vacationing in Africa when they meet Louis Bernard, on a bus.

The next day Bernard is murdered in the street, but before he dies he tells Ben, the details of an assassination plot in London. The assassins kidnap Hank in order to keep the McKenna's silent.

In this film, James Stewart, shows great courage and heartbreak of a man that has lost his child and would do anything to get him back.

The Shop Around the Corner(1940), Mr. Hugo Matuschek owns the Matuschek and Company department store and his best salesman is, bachelor Alfred Kralik. But, after Matuschek hires, Klara Novak, Kralik and she do not get along very well.

Kralik, has an unknown pen pal who he plans to marry. However, he is fired without explanation by Matuschek. He goes where he and unknown pen pal have a scheduled meeting with his colleague Pirovitch and he finds that Klara is his unknown pen pal, but he does not tell her his true identity.

When Matuschek finds out that he made mistake, he hires him for the position of manager. But, will Klara ever find out who Kralik really is?

The Stewart and Sullavan relationship on screen is so wonderful, that something very charming happens.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance(1962). When Senator Ransom Stoddard returns home to Shinbone for the funeral of Tom Doniphon, he tells the a local newspaper editor his story. That he was the towns lawyer many years ago.

Now, all Stoddard has are a few law books and has to get a job working in a restaurant. The towns trouble maker Valance, destroys the local newspaper office and attacks the editor. Stoddard, calls him out.. you have to watch close to see what really happens.

This is a great western, with many plot twists and turns that end in shocking conclusion...

Vertigo(1958). John "Scottie" Ferguson, is a retired San Francisco police detective, who suffers from acrophobia. A wealthy shipbuilder who is an old friend from college days asks Scottie to follow his wife, Madeleine. He is worried she is contemplating suicide, because she believes she is possessed by a dead ancestor or is she? Scottie, agrees after he sees the beautiful Madeleine.

Jimmy Stewart, gives one of his best performances of his career.

Stewart left his mark on a wide range of film genres, including westerns, suspense thrillers, family films, biographies and screwball comedies.

He worked for directors: Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Billy Wilder, Frank Capra, George Cukor, and Anthony Mann.

He won many of the industry's highest honors and earned Lifetime Achievement awards from every major film organization.

He died at age 89, leaving behind a legacy of classic performances, and is considered one of the finest actors of the "Golden Age of Hollywood".

Personal Quote:

"Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing a Jimmy Stewart imitation myself".

Please click here to learn more about Jimmy Stewart.

Please click here to learn more about James Stewart.

Jimmy Stewart Westerns.


  1. Beautiful Stewart post, Dawn. I love all the pictures.

  2. Rachel, Thank you. He is one of my favorite actors. His films good or bad, he always gives a good performance.


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