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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mr. Stewart

"If Bess and I had a son, we'd want him to be just like Jimmy Stewart." ~ Harry S. Truman

***

Today is Jimmy Stewart's birthday. What can I say about this great actor that you can't see for yourself in his movies? But what I know about him as a person, as a decorated war hero--he was not your typical Hollywood actor.

All I can say is I am going to watch a Jimmy Stewart movie tonight and be glad he made so many wonderful films for us to enjoy. And maybe have a little birthday cake in his honor. The hard part will be trying to choose which movie to watch.

From Mr. Smith Goes to Washington:





From It's a Wonderful Life:





A TCM Tribute to James Stewart:





One of my favorite actors, Stephen Fry, discussing Jimmy Stewart:



11 comments:

Octavine Illustration May 20, 2008 at 2:46 PM  

mmmmm...i'd pick vertigo. san francisco and jimmy stewart. the shots of the city are so beautiful.

tangobaby May 20, 2008 at 3:56 PM  

You know, I was kinda thinking Rear Window because I just watched Vertigo a few weeks ago... I just watched Harvey, too, so that's out.

;-)

I love watching Kim Novak in those downtown scenes in Vertigo because I'm here all the time. And we like to do a drive by of his apartment on Lombard once in a while.

Now I'm not sure what to watch...too many good choices and I can only stay up so late because it's a school night.

upfromthedeep May 20, 2008 at 3:57 PM  

I not only love Jimmy Stewart, but Stephen Fry as well. I first discovered his genius in the brilliant Blackadder series, which will always rank in my book as one of the best black comedies ever produced.

tangobaby May 20, 2008 at 4:01 PM  

Dear upfromthedeep,

Now you have passed the Litmus Test of Supreme Awesomeness.

Might I suggest the A&E Wooster and Jeeves series with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry to cement your adoration.

The man is brilliant. Love him. He is right up there with Eddie Izzard in my crazy love of brilliant Englishmen. And he made a very good Oscar Wilde.

Now I feel like I might end up celebrating Jimmy Stewart's birthday by watching Stephen Fry and Rowan Atkinson. I'm torn.

Johanna May 20, 2008 at 5:04 PM  

Well, I don't know if I belong amongst such erudite company, but he sure exudes a humility and down-to-earthness rarely seen in today's celebrities.

Happy Birthday Mr. Stewart!

tangobaby May 21, 2008 at 12:54 PM  

Johanna,

A love of British comedy definitely puts you in our company. Don't let Stephen Fry's banter here put you off. Even the Jeeves and Wooster is more comedy than literary.

PS. Just so everyone knows, I ended up watching The Spirit of St. Louis last night. I wanted to watch a Jimmy Stewart movie I hadn't seen before. Plus it is a Billy Wilder film, but honestly, you would not know that unless I told you. Definitely not from the Wilder Golden Years.

Jeanie May 21, 2008 at 1:21 PM  

I come from Tara's Paris Parfait -- and I'm so glad I did. When the first post I see celebrates Jimmy Stewart, I know I've come home. Picking one? That's hard -- "Rear Window," I think -- though "Wonderful Life" reappears annually and I'm ready for a good dose of "Mr. Smith."

Looking down the posts, I'm enchanted and look forward to returning.

TheElementary May 21, 2008 at 1:47 PM  

Funny- I had plans to watch a film of his tonight too. I think, maybe, The Shop Around the Corner. It's so gentle and unassuming. Very nice tribute :)

tangobaby May 21, 2008 at 4:38 PM  

Dear Jeanie,

Why, thank you...and welcome! I agree with you, it is very difficult to pick just one film. I decided to choose one I hadn't seen before, but my hand wavered over Rear Window for a few seconds.

I LOVE love love Mr. Smith. I get all choked up when I see it, and Jean Arthur makes me smile. Okay, now I've just decided I have to watch that movie again!

Thank you for the visit and I'll be sure to visit you, too. How lovely that we have Miss Tara in common.

Dear TheElementary,

Oh, The Shop Around the Corner is a wonderful film. You can't go wrong with Ernst Lubitsch.

It's funny when people tell me that they love the movie You've Got Mail, and I tell them its an inferior remake of The Shop Around the Corner and they tell me they've never heard of it. Ugh...Breaks my heart.

Have fun with your movie tonight. An excellent choice and perfect for you, given your lovely sensibilities.

Relyn May 21, 2008 at 5:02 PM  

Oooh! I love Jimmy! All his movies were great. I really love Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but I think the best has got to be It's A Wonderful Life. Of course, that's my all time favorite movie anyway. Did you know that Harvey was Jimmy Stewart's own favorite? When he was in his 80s (I think) he did an interview and he said that people still come up to him and ask him to give Harvey their regards. He always tells them that he will. Don't you just love that?

tangobaby May 21, 2008 at 5:03 PM  

Relyn, my darling!

Was your computer really broken? I was having withdrawls!

;-)

I am not surprised that Wonderful Life is your favorite Jimmy Stewart movie. I would have been surprised if you had said otherwise.

Yes, I did know that about Harvey. I had the fun occasion to tell someone about that film (who had never heard of it!) because she calls her daughter Pooka, as a nickname. She loved the idea of a giant invisible rabbit and promised to rent Harvey and watch it right away.