Many of the stars of the silver screen in twentieth-century Hollywood became national icons, larger-than-life figures held up as paragons of American virtues. Unfortunately, the private lives of actors such as John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and Errol Flynn rarely lived up to the idealistic roles they portrayed. However, James Stewart was known as the underdog fighter in many of his films and in real life. He was highly decorated for his bravery during his time as a bomber pilot during World War II and was adored for his earnest and kindly persona.
Here many unknown sides of Stewart are revealed: his explosive temper, his complex love affairs, his service as a secret agent for the FBI, his innate shyness, and his passionate patriotism. Munn’s personal touch shines through his writing, as he was a friend of Stewart and his wife, Gloria, and interviewed them as well as their colleagues and friends. This definitive biography reveals the childhood ups and downs that formed this cinema hero, explores the legendary Fonda–Stewart relationship, and recounts Stewart’s experiences making acclaimed films that include The Philadelphia Story, Rear Window, Anatomy of a Murder, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
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About the Author
Michael Munn is a film historian and the author of twenty-five books, including Stars at War, The Hollywood Connection, Richard Burton, and the bestseller John Wayne: The Man Behind the Myth. As a journalist, he has written extensively on cinema, crime, ancient history, and World War II. He lives in Suffolk, England.
Table of Contents
Foreword Lee Pfeiffer xi
1 How the Stewarts Won the West 1
2 Beat the Kaiser 11
3 Inventions and Education 19
4 The Lady's Man 33
5 Taking to the Stage 41
6 Hollywood 59
7 Gangsters 68
8 What Shall We Do With Jimmy Stewart? 82
9 Star Status 94
10 An Oscar and a Commission 106
11 Over There 125
12 Trying For a Wonderful Life 138
13 The Secret FBI Agent 150
14 Undercover in Hollywood 160
15 Gloria 177
16 Keeping All the Balls in the Air 196
17 The Anthony Mann Years 211
18 Friendships Renewed and Destroyed 225
19 Times of Depression 236
20 The Last Good Decade 253
21 The Television Years 271
22 Honoured to the Very End 282
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I don't really know what I expecred, but this book wasn't it. It was such a slow read. I am a Jimmy Stewart fan and I guess I wanted more of his life with his family.
Very informative and insightful. Respectful.
Omg in the shop around the corner he was so hot
If they have a "normal" life despite their work it is of no interest and if they have human failings these are blown up to represent the artistic temperment. One actor said he decided his temperment was just temper and took himself to anger control. that the studios tried to make their stars "normal" to their fans worked until the time for tell all bios. That the great warrior never was in the army or the naive girl next door wasnt or the great romantic hero was gay one actor was from an acting family and so normal and liked no one knew what to do with his bio so thet didnt