Creator: Jimmy Stewart
"If I had my career over again? Maybe I'd say to myself, speed it up a little."James Maitland "Jimmy" Stewart (1908–1997) was a popular actor for a good deal of the 20th century, starring in films from Harvey to The Philadelphia Story to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. He is perhaps most famous for his role as George Bailey in the classic film It's A Wonderful Life, with Mr. Smith Goes to Washington getting a strong look-in. His other films included You Can't Take It with You, The Shop Around the Corner, Anatomy of a Murder, and The Flight Of The Phoenix (1965), as well as numerous Westerns (including Destry Rides Again, Winchester '73, How the West Was Won, and Shenandoah) and Biopics (including The Glenn Miller Story and The Spirit of St. Louis). Also notable for making multiple collaborations with several famous directors from the era, such as Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, and Anthony Mann. A mark of his image as an everyman was his constantly being referred to by the public (and this entry) as "Jimmy Stewart", despite the fact that he was never credited as such in any of his famous film roles, always going by "James" (He, in fact, hated being referred to by the nickname).He fought as a pilot and commander in the Second World War and flew once as a non-duty observer in a B-52 on a bombing mission during the Vietnam War (eventually promoted to the rank of Major General in the Air Force Reserves, starting from private), and was famous for being a Nice Guy, both in his film roles and in real life.He had a very unusual accent that is hard to describe (a sort of whiny warble/drawl), and very tempting to imitate. But hey, audiences ate it up. So did women, apparently, as Stewart was something of a ladies' man early in his life, but he stopped after he entered a very loving marriage with model Gloria McLean. He was also very good friends with Henry Fonda, another famous actor from the era and his former roommate.Also known for reading poems he wrote about his dog on talk shows in his later years.
— James Stewart
- After The Thin Man (1936) — The first movie where he had a substantial role (he was billed third), and one in which he played a very different role than in his later career.
- 7th Heaven (1937) — remake of 1927 silent film
- You Can't Take It with You (1938) — His first movie with Frank Capra.
- Destry Rides Again (1939) — His first Western.
- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) — Directed by Frank Capra. Made him a star overnight. Oscar nomination.
- It's a Wonderful World (1939) — Screwball Comedy/Mystery film
- Made For Each Other — With Carole Lombard
- The Philadelphia Story (1940) — Won his only Oscar for Best Actor.
- Come Live With Me (1941) — With Hedy Lamarr
- The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
- It's A Wonderful Life (1946) — Directed by Frank Capra. His first movie after World War II, and his personal favorite of all the movies he made. Now considered the quintessential Christmas movie. Oscar nomination.
- Rope (1948) — His first movie with Alfred Hitchcock.
- Harvey (1950) — Previously played the role on stage. One of his favorites. Oscar nomination.
- Winchester '73 (1950) — First movie with Anthony Mann.
- Bend of the River (1952) — Directed by Anthony Mann.
- The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
- The Glenn Miller Story (1953) — Directed by Anthony Mann.
- The Naked Spur (1953) — Directed by Anthony Mann.
- Rear Window (1954) — Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Stewart's favorite of the movies they did together.
- The Far Country (1955) — Directed by Anthony Mann.
- Strategic Air Command (1955)
- The Man from Laramie (1955) — Directed by Anthony Mann.
- The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) — Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
- Night Passage (1957) — With Audie Murphy.
- The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) — Plays Charles Lindbergh.
- Vertigo (1958) — Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Now considered one of the greatest movies ever made.
- Bell, Book and Candle (1958) — his last romantic leading man role
- Anatomy of a Murder (1959) — Oscar nomination.
- Two Rode Together (1961) — Directed by John Ford.
- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) — Directed by John Ford. First onscreen pairing of him and John Wayne.
- How the West Was Won (1962)
- The Flight Of The Phoenix (1965) (1965)
- Shenandoah (1965)
- The Shootist (1976) — John Wayne's last movie.
- An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991) — His final movie.
Tropes associated with Jimmy Stewart's work:
- Actor Allusion: In the movie Strategic Air Command, Stewart plays an Air Force Reserve colonel flying a B-36 bomber (later, B-47) who is also a Major League Baseball player. At this time, he was an actual Air Force Reserve colonel who was assigned to the real Strategic Air Command, while also being a Hollywood movie star.
- Badass: The man was a Brigadier General, after he became an actor. And no, we're not kidding.
- Determinator: When World War II rolled around, Stewart was refused into the armed forces for failing the military's height and weight requirements and being a tad too old (he was over 30). When he gained weight and logged in several hundred hours of flight training to prove he was capable, he was still refused for active duty due to being a beloved actor that the military didn't want to send to certain death. He pushed for it, survived the war, and stayed in the reserves for another 22 years before retiring as a Brigadier General. He also acted in the meantime.
- Jumped at the Call: The man fought to serve his country when he had all the reasons not to, and everyone else had all the reasons not to let him.
- Non-Action Guy: Stewart's typical role when paired with John Wayne. Ironic, since Stewart was a genuine decorated war hero and Wayne did not serve in the military.
- Playing Against Type:
- Those Two Actors: As was the case with directors, he frequently re-teamed with actresses - he was in four films with Margaret Sullavan (Next Time We Love, The Shopworn Angel, The Mortal Storm, and The Shop Around the Corner), three with June Allyson (The Stratton Story, The Glenn Miller Story, and Strategic Air Command), and two with Jean Arthur (You Can't Take It with You and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington). Oddly, he only appeared opposite his most iconic leading lady, Donna Reed, in one film (It's A Wonderful Life, obviously).
- Perhaps Stewart's most iconic co-star other than Reed was John Wayne - they starred in three movies together, toward the end of both men's careers.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: The kind of character most often associated with his career—due in no small part to It's A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. The former film in particular is a major Break the Cutie.