Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Century of Jimmy Stewart

May 20th marks the 100th birthday of actor Jimmy Stewart.

The League has has his list of actors about whom he is a bit fannish, and Mr. Stewart is right at the top of that list. In fact, when we were in college and took "Acting for Non-Drama Majors", we were asked to name our favorite actor, and I named Jimmy Stewart (almost everyone else named Al Pacino, which I found hilarious).

Mr. Stewart not only acted in films and television for decades, he was also a decorated soldier during World War II where he served as a pilot of B-17's and B-24's in the Army Air Corps.

I will point you to the Jimmy Stewart Museum website for a biography. And to IMDB for a synopsis of his film roles.

The truth is that I've only seen a small fraction of Mr. Stewart's work.

Made for Each Other
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Destry Rides Again
The Philadelphia Story
It's a Wonderful Life
Winchester '73
Rear Window
The Spirit of St. Louis
Anatomy of a Murder
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

"Harvey" is still a favorite, and I highly recommend it. And, of course, I really dig "Vertigo". But if "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" doesn't fill you with a desire to dress in red, white and blue, you, sir, hate America. And, worse, if you don't get choked up a bit at the end of "It's a Wonderful Life" (and I don't care how many times you've seen it), your heart is made of stone.

So a special League thanks to day to Mr. Stewart.


J.S. said...

Remember that one where Jimmy Stewart got into a porta potty and then they used a forklift to turn it upside down with him in and all of that poo... oh... wait... ummmm, maybe that was Jackass with Johnny Knoxville.

Anonymous said...

Just think I met Jimmy Stewart along with Lee Remick years and years ago at a ski jumping tournament in Ishpeming, Michigan while they were doing Anatomy of Murder up there. They came out and froze like the rest of us, watching the guys jump.

Anonymous said...

I have only seen 3 of Jimmy's movies where he was the main actor. Mr. Smith, WOnderful Life, and Shenendoah. You need to rent Shenendoah League, it is a civil war time piece flick where JS is a father of 6 boys who he won't let take sides in the war because he is opposed to it. Anyway, there are some good lines from JS in that movie.
Not a great movie, fairly predictable ending, but just fun to watch Jimmy get his acting thing on, as an ornery old cuss.


The League said...

Actually, from your description, I have seen it. I had just forgotten I'd seen it when I was going through the list. I watched the movie in the summer of 1998, rented from the Hollywood Video that used to be on Red River, at Hancock Center.

I remember finding it surprisingly good and a bit more complex when I thought it would be. Those are the roles I think Stewart excels in, anyway.

Thinking back, its possible you recommended it way back in the day.