Well, in the Spring of 1997, when asked, my answer was: Jimmy Stewart
And if you asked me again today, I'm not sure my answer would change, other than to say that I see no point in asking the question. Today, I would also say: Jimmy Stewart
And today is Stewart's 104th Birthday.
|Mr. Stewart fondly regards a portrait of himself and a terrific friend|
- After the Thin Man
- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
- The Philadelphia Story
- Winchester '73
- Rear Window
- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
and one of my favorites: Anatomy of a Murder
All of that, of course, is just a fraction of what he appeared in, but I like to think it helps to demonstrate his diversity, and what Jimmy Stewart could bring to a movie, whether he was appearing in a western, a family comedy or a Hitchcock thriller.
|seen here with Duke Ellington in "Anatomy of a Murder"|
Such a nerd was I that one of the first online purchases I ever made was through the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pennsylvania, where I found they had 8"x10" images from his movies for sale. (I have a copy somewhere of the Harvey picture above).
|This is just how Kim Novak says "hi".|
The man had range, and he brought character and soul to each role, the sort of thing my acting class comrades were trying to identify, but stopped short with famous names. That Mr. Stewart might be regarded by the mass population as the guy from a single Christmas movie is okay, but it misses the bigger picture and the spirit he brought in film after film. I suppose he gets his dues, but you'd like to see some nods along with other greats.
Well, we're giving it here.
Anyway, Mr. Stewart, Happy Birthday.
Would that we could all live so wisely as Elwood P. Dowd.