James Stewart

James Stewart

Highest Rated: 100% That's Entertainment (1973)

Lowest Rated: 20% Bandolero (1968)

Birthday: May 20, 1908

Birthplace: Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA

James Stewart was the movies' quintessential Everyman, a uniquely all-American performer who parlayed his easygoing persona into one of the most successful and enduring careers in film history. On paper, he was anything but the typical Hollywood star: Gawky and tentative, with a pronounced stammer and a folksy "aw-shucks" charm, he lacked the dashing sophistication and swashbuckling heroism endemic among the other major actors of the era. Yet it's precisely the absence of affectation which made Stewart so popular; while so many other great stars seemed remote and larger than life, he never lost touch with his humanity, projecting an uncommon sense of goodness and decency which made him immensely likable and endearing to successive generations of moviegoers.Born May 20, 1908, in Indiana, PA, Stewart began performing magic as a child. While studying civil engineering at Princeton University, he befriended Joshua Logan, who then headed a summer stock company, and appeared in several of his productions. After graduation, Stewart joined Logan's University Players, a troupe whose membership also included Henry Fonda and Margaret Sullavan. He and Fonda traveled to New York City in 1932, where they began winning small roles in Broadway productions including Carrie Nation, Yellow Jack, and Page Miss Glory. On the recommendation of Hedda Hopper, MGM scheduled a screen test, and soon Stewart was signed to a long-term contract. He first appeared onscreen in a bit role in the 1935 Spencer Tracy vehicle The Murder Man, followed by another small performance the next year in Rose Marie.Stewart's first prominent role came courtesy of Sullavan, who requested he play her husband in the 1936 melodrama Next Time We Love. Speed, one of six other films he made that same year, was his first lead role. His next major performance cast him as Eleanor Powell's paramour in the musical Born to Dance, after which he accepted a supporting turn in After the Thin Man. For 1938's classic You Can't Take It With You, Stewart teamed for the first time with Frank Capra, the director who guided him during many of his most memorable performances. They reunited a year later for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Stewart's breakthrough picture; a hugely popular modern morality play set against the backdrop of the Washington political system, it cemented the all-American persona which made him so adored by fans, earning a New York Film Critics' Best Actor award as well as his first Oscar nomination.Stewart then embarked on a string of commercial and critical successes which elevated him to the status of superstar; the first was the idiosyncratic 1939 Western Destry Rides Again, followed by the 1940 Ernst Lubitsch romantic comedy The Shop Around the Corner. After The Mortal Storm, he starred opposite Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant in George Cukor's sublime The Philadelphia Story, a performance which earned him the Best Actor Oscar. However, Stewart soon entered duty in World War II, serving as a bomber pilot and flying 20 missions over Germany. He was highly decorated for his courage, and did not fully retire from the service until 1968, by which time he was an Air Force Brigadier General, the highest-ranking entertainer in the U.S. military. Stewart's combat experiences left him a changed man; where during the prewar era he often played shy, tentative characters, he returned to films with a new intensity. While remaining as genial and likable as ever, he began to explore new, more complex facets of his acting abilities, accepting roles in darker and more thought-provoking films. The first was Capra's 1946 perennial It's a Wonderful Life, which cast Stewart as a suicidal banker who learns the true value of life. Through years of TV reruns, the film became a staple of Christmastime viewing, and remains arguably Stewart's best-known and most-beloved performance. However, it was not a hit upon its original theatrical release, nor was the follow-up Magic Town -- audiences clear

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock: Master of Suspense Actor 2013
No Score Yet Chalkdust Memories Actor 2007
No Score Yet The Universal Story Actor 1996
No Score Yet Fonda on Fonda Actor 1992
54% An American Tail - Fievel Goes West Wylie 1991
No Score Yet Memories of Hollywood Actor 1990
No Score Yet Grace Kelly: An American Princess Actor 1987
No Score Yet Right of Way Teddy Dwyer 1983
No Score Yet The AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards: Frank Capra Host 1982
No Score Yet The Green Horizon Old Man 1980
No Score Yet The Magic of Lassie Clovis Mitchell 1978
67% The Big Sleep Gen. Sternwood 1978
33% Airport '77 Philip Stevens 1977
90% The Shootist Dr. E.W. Hostetler 1976
100% That's Entertainment Narrator 1973
No Score Yet The Great American West of John Ford Host 1973
No Score Yet Directed by John Ford Actor 1971
No Score Yet Fools' Parade Mattie Appleyard 1971
No Score Yet The Cheyenne Social Club John O'Hanlan 1970
20% Bandolero Mace Bishop 1968
No Score Yet Firecreek Johnny Cobb 1968
29% The Rare Breed Sam Burnett 1966
90% The Flight of the Phoenix Frank Townes 1965
100% Shenandoah Charlie Anderson 1965
No Score Yet Dear Brigitte Professor Robert Leaf 1965
62% Cheyenne Autumn Wyatt Earp 1964
No Score Yet Take Her, She's Mine Frank Michaelson/Narrator 1963
86% How the West Was Won Linus Rawlings 1963
80% Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation Roger Hobbs 1962
93% The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Ransom Stoddard 1962
No Score Yet X-15 Narrator 1961
80% Two Rode Together Marshal Guthrie McCabe 1961
No Score Yet The Mountain Road Maj. Baldwin 1960
No Score Yet The FBI Story John Michael ('Chip') Hardesty 1959
100% Anatomy of a Murder Paul Biegler 1959
71% Bell, Book and Candle Shepherd 'Shep' Henderson 1958
95% Vertigo Scotty Ferguson 1958
No Score Yet The All-Star Christmas Show (Bing Crosby - Bing Crosby's White Christmas USO All Star Show) Actor 1958
No Score Yet Night Passage Grant McLaine 1957
85% The Spirit of St. Louis Charles Augustus 'Slim' Lindbergh 1957
91% The Man Who Knew Too Much Dr. Benjamin 'Ben' McKenna 1956
100% The Man From Laramie Will Lockhart 1955
No Score Yet Strategic Air Command Lt. Col. Robert `Dutch' Holland 1955
100% The Far Country Jeff Webster 1955
100% Rear Window L.B. "Jeff" Jefferies 1954
88% The Glenn Miller Story Glenn Miller 1953
100% The Naked Spur Howard Kemp 1953
No Score Yet Thunder Bay Steve Martin 1953
No Score Yet Carbine Williams Marsh Williams 1952
43% The Greatest Show on Earth Buttons 1952
100% Bend of the River Glyn McLyntock 1952
No Score Yet No Highway in the Sky Theodore Honey 1951
No Score Yet The Jackpot Bill Lawrence 1950
85% Harvey Elwood P. Dowd 1950
89% Broken Arrow Tom Jeffords 1950
100% Winchester '73 Lin McAdam 1950
No Score Yet Malaya John Royer 1949
86% The Stratton Story Monty Stratton 1949
No Score Yet You Gotta Stay Happy Marvin Payne 1948
94% Rope Rupert Cadell 1948
No Score Yet On Our Merry Way Slim 1948
75% Call Northside 777 P.J. (Jim) McNeal 1948
50% Magic Town Rip Smith 1947
94% It's a Wonderful Life George Bailey 1946
No Score Yet Thunderbolt Narrator 1945
No Score Yet Combat America Actor 1944
No Score Yet Winning Your Wings Actor 1942
No Score Yet Ziegfeld Girl Gilbert Young 1941
No Score Yet Pot o' Gold James Hamilton 'Jimmy' Haskell 1941
No Score Yet Come Live with Me Bill Smith 1941
100% The Philadelphia Story Macauley Connor 1940
No Score Yet No Time for Comedy Gaylord Esterbrook 1940
100% The Shop Around the Corner Alfred Kralik 1940
100% The Mortal Storm Martin Breitner 1940
95% Destry Rides Again Tom Destry 1939
95% Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Jefferson Smith 1939
No Score Yet It's a Wonderful World Guy Johnson 1939
No Score Yet Ice Follies of 1939 Larry Hall 1939
No Score Yet Made for Each Other Johnny Mason 1939
No Score Yet Land of Liberty Actor 1939
93% You Can't Take It With You Tony Kirby 1938
100% Vivacious Lady Peter Morgan 1938
No Score Yet Of Human Hearts Jason Wilkins 1938
No Score Yet Shopworn Angel Pvt. Bill Pettigrew 1938
No Score Yet The Last Gangster Paul North, Sr. 1937
No Score Yet Seventh Heaven Chico 1937
No Score Yet Navy Blue and Gold John Tuck Cross 1937
100% After the Thin Man David Graham 1936
No Score Yet Born to Dance Ted Barker 1936
No Score Yet The Gorgeous Hussy 'Rowdy' Dow 1936
No Score Yet Speed Terry Martin 1936
No Score Yet Small Town Girl (One Horse Town) Elmer 1936
No Score Yet Wife vs. Secretary Dave 1936
83% Rose Marie John Flower 1936
No Score Yet The Murder Man Shorty 1935

QUOTES FROM James Stewart CHARACTERS

George Bailey says: How old are you anyway?

Mary Hatch Bailey says: Eighteen.

George Bailey says: Eighteen. Why it was only last year you were seventeen.

Macauley Connor says: Kittredge appreciates Kittredge!

Macauley Connor says: Are you still in love with her? Or perhaps you consider that to be a very personal question. Liz thinks you are! Liz thinks you are. All though of course women like to roman..romanticize things a bit.

C.K. Dexter Haven says: Yes they do, don't they.

Macauley Connor says: Yes they do, don't they.

Macauley Connor says: Doggone it, C.K. Dexter Haven! Either I'm gonna sock you or you're gonna sock me.

C.K. Dexter Haven says: Shall we toss a coin?

Macauley Connor says: Boy, champagne. Just the bottle, I'm going on a picnic.

Jefferson Smith says: And this country is bigger than the Taylors, or you, or me, or anything else. Great principles don't get lost once they come to light; they're right here! You just have to see them again.

George Bailey says: Am I talking too much?

House Owner says: Yes! Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?

George Bailey says: How's that?

House Owner says: I said why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?

George Bailey says: ...You want me to kiss her, huh?

House Owner says: Oh, youth is wasted on the wrong people!

George Bailey says: I don't have your money. It's in Tom's house...and Fred's house.

George Bailey says: I don't have your money. It's in Tom's house... and Fred's house.

Klara Novak says: All my knowledge came from books, and I'd just finished a novel about a glamorous French actress from the Comedie Francaise. That's atheater in France. When she wanted to arouse a man's interest, she treated him like a dog.

Alfred Kralik says: Yes. Well... you treated me like a dog.

Klara Novak says: Yes. But instead of licking my hand... you barked.

Alfred Kralik says: There might be a lot we don't know about each other. You know, people seldom go to the trouble of scratching the surface of things to find the inner truth.

Klara Novak says: Well I really wouldn't care to scratch your surface, Mr. Kralik, because I know exactly what I'd find. Instead of a heart, a hand-bag. Instead of a soul, a suitcase. And instead of an intellect, a cigarette lighter... which doesn't work.

Alfred Kralik says: My dearest sweetheart, Klara, I can't stand it any longer. Take your key and open post office box 237 and take me out of my envelope... and kiss me. ...and take me out of my envelope and kiss me.

Alfred Kralik says: My dearest sweetheart, Klara, I can't stand it any longer. Take your key and open post office box 237 and take me out of my envelope... and kiss me.

Alfred Kralik says: Do you know what I wish would happen? When your bell rings at 8:30 and you open the door... instead of Popkin, I come in.

Klara Novak says: Please don't make it more difficult for me.

Alfred Kralik says: I'd say, "Klara, darling."

Alfred Kralik says: I'd say, 'Klara, darling.'

Klara Novak says: No, you mustn't.

Alfred Kralik says: Klara, if I'd only known in the beginning how you felt about me... things would have been different. We wouldn't have been fighting all the time. If we quarreled, it wouldn't have been over suitcases and handbags... but over something like whether your aunt or grandmother... should live with us or not.

Klara Novak says: It's sweet of you to try to cheer me up.

Alfred Kralik says: Klara! Klara! Miss Novak!

Klara Novak says: Coming!

Alfred Kralik says: How are you today?

Uncle Billy says: Uncle Billy: They did it, they did it, George, they voted Potter down. And they only had one condition, and that's the best part. They want you to run the Building and Loan. George Bailey: No, no, this is my last chance to get away from here. Harry Bailey is your man, he will run the Building and Loan. Uncle Billy: But George, they'll vote with Potter otherwise......

Uncle Billy says: They did it, they did it, George, they voted Potter down. And they only had one condition, and that's the best part. They want you to run the Building and Loan.

George Bailey says: No, no, this is my last chance to get away from here. Harry Bailey is your man, he will run the Building and Loan.

Uncle Billy says: But George, they'll vote with Potter otherwise...

L.B. Jeffries (Jeff) says: She's like a queen bee with her pick of the drones.

Lisa Carol Fremont says: I'd say she's doing a woman's hardest job: juggling wolves

Lisa Carol Fremont says: I'd say she's doing a woman's hardest job: juggling wolves.

John "Scottie" Ferguson says: You know, the Chinese say that once you've saved a person's life, you're responsible for it forever.

George Bailey says: My mouth's bleeding, Bert! My mouth's bleedin'!

Tom Jeffords says: "My mother is crying he said. Funny it never struck me that an Apache woman would cry over her son like any other woman. Apaches were wild animals we all said."

Tom Jeffords says: My mother is crying he said. Funny it never struck me that an Apache woman would cry over her son like any other woman. Apaches were wild animals we all said.

Elwood P. Dowd says: Thank you Harvey,I prefer you too.

Elwood P. Dowd says: Thank you Harvey, I prefer you too.

Tom Destry says: Oh, I think I'll stick around. Y'know, I had a friend once used to collect postage stamps. He always said the one good thing about a postage stamp: it always sticks to one thing 'til it gets there, y'know? I'm sorta like that too.

Rupert Cadell says: Did you think you were God, Brandon?

Frank Towns says: Your theory's fine, but you get this mister... that engine's rated at two thousand horsepower and if I was ever fool enough to let it get started up it'd shake your patched-up pile of junk into a thousand pieces, and cut us up into mincemeat with the propeller.

Dr. Hostetler says: Books, every few days I have to tell a man or a woman something I don't want to. I've been practicing medicine for 29 years, and I still don't know how to do it well.

Charlie Anderson says: Lord, we cleared this land. We plowed it, sowed it, and harvest it. We cook the harvest. It wouldn't be here and we wouldn't be eating it if we hadn't done it all ourselves. We worked dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel, but we thank you Lord just the same for the food we're about to eat, amen.

George Bailey says: Just a minute... just a minute. Now, hold on, Mr. Potter. You're right when you say my father was no businessman. I know that. Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan, I'll never know. But neither you nor anyone else can say anything against his character, because his whole life was... why, in the 25 years since he and his brother, Uncle Billy, started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn't that right, Uncle Billy? He didn't save enough money to send Harry away to college, let alone me. But he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mr. Potter, and what's wrong with that? Why... here, you're all businessmen here. Doesn't it make them better citizens? Doesn't it make them better customers? You... you said... what'd you say a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they're so old and broken down that they... Do you know how long it takes a working man to save $5,000? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about... they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him. But to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well in my book, my father died a much richer man than you'll ever be!

L.B. Jeffries (Jeff) says: Who says I'm getting rid of it.

Paul Biegler says: I'm just a humble country lawyer trying to do the best I can against this brilliant prosecutor from the big city of Lansing.

Paul Biegler says: Mr. Paquette, what would you call a man with an insatiable penchant for women?

Alphonse Pacquette says: A what?

Paul Biegler says: A penchant... a desire... taste... passion?

Alphonse Pacquette says: Well, uh, ladies' man, I guess. Or maybe just a damn fool! [laughter in the courtroom]

Judge Weaver says: Just answer the questions, Mr. Paquette. The attorneys will provide the wisecracks.

Paul Biegler says: If you do that one more time, I'll punch you all the way out into the middle of Lake Superior!

Macauley Connor says: Champagne's funny stuff. I'm used to whisky. Whiskey is a slap on the back and champagne's heavey mist before my eyes.

George Bailey says: "Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!"

George Bailey says: Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!

Elwood P. Dowd says: Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

Elwood P. Dowd says: Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, 'In this world, Elwood, you must be' - she always called me Elwood - 'In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.' Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

Paul Biegler says: As a lawyer, I've had to learn that people aren't just good or just bad. People are many things.

John "Scottie" Ferguson says: Anyone could become obsessed with the past with a background like that!

John "Scottie" Ferguson says: One final thing I have to do... and then I'll be free of the past.

John "Scottie" Ferguson says: You shouldn't keep souvenirs of a killing. You shouldn't have been that sentimental.

George Bailey says: Hey!!! Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter!!!

George Bailey says: Hey! Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter!

Mr. Potter says: A happy new year to you...in jail!

Mr. Potter says: A happy new year to you... in jail!

Elwood P. Dowd says: In this world Ellwood, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant, well for years I was smart...I recommend pleasant, and you may quote me.

Elwood P. Dowd says: In this world Ellwood, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant, well for years I was smart... I recommend pleasant, and you may quote me.

George Bailey says: [to Mary] You look older without your clothes on.

Mary Hatch Bailey says: [embracing George] Remember the night we broke the windows in this old house? This is what I wished for.

George Bailey says: [softly] You're wonderful... wonderful.

Mrs. Hatch says: Who is down there with you, Mary?

Mary Hatch Bailey says: It's George Bailey, mother.

Mrs. Hatch says: George Bailey? What does he want?

Mary Hatch Bailey says: I don't know!

Mary Hatch Bailey says: [to George] What do you want?

George Bailey says: Me? Nothing! I just came in to get warm, is all.

Mary Hatch Bailey says: [pause] He's making violent love to me, mother!

George Bailey says: Now, you listen to me! I don't want any plastics, and I don't want any ground floors, and I don't want to get married - ever - to anyone! You understand that? I want to do what I want to do. And you're... and you're...

George Bailey says: Now, you listen to me! I don't want any plastics, and I don't want any ground floors, and I don't want to get married - ever - to anyone! You understand that? I want to do what I want to do. And you're... and you're...

George Bailey says: [runs out of words, sees her crying] Oh, Mary, Mary...

Mary Hatch Bailey says: George... George... George...

George Bailey says: [kisses her intensely] Mary... Would you?... Would you?...

George Bailey says: [kisses her intensely] Mary... Would you... Would you...

George Bailey says: I know what I'm gonna do tomorrow, and the next day, and the next year, and the year after that. I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I'm gonna build things. I'm gonna build airfields, I'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I'm gonna build bridges a mile long...

George Bailey says: Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!

Clarence says: You've been given a great gift, George: A chance to see what the world would be like without you.

Clarence says: You've been given a great gift.

George Bailey says: A chance to see what the world would be like without you.

George Bailey says: You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money. Well, it doesn't, Mr. Potter. In the whole vast configuration of things, I'd say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider! And...

George Bailey says: [turning to his aide] And that goes for you, too!

George Bailey says: You call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids?

George Bailey says: I wanna live again!

George Bailey says: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary.

Mary Hatch Bailey says: I'll take it. Then what?

George Bailey says: Well, then you can swallow it, and it'll all dissolve, see... and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair... am I talking too much?

George Bailey says: Well, maybe I left the car up at Martini's. Well, come on, Gabriel.

Clarence says: Clarence!

George Bailey says: Clarence. Right... Clarence.

George Bailey says: That a boy Clarence!

Elwood P. Dowd says: There are two ways to live well, you can be smart or pleasant. I've been smart for years, and I recommend pleasant

Elwood P. Dowd says: There are two ways to live well, you can be smart or pleasant. I've been smart for years, and I recommend pleasant.

George Bailey says: HOT DOG

George Bailey says: HOT DOG.

Mary Hatch Bailey says: (hides naked in the bushes) I'll call the police.

George Bailey says: [on Mary being caught naked in the bushes] This is a very interesting situation!

Violet Bick says: I'll call the police.

Senator Holland says: Will the senator yield for a question?

Sen. Joseph Paine says: Mr. President, will the Senator yield?

Jefferson Smith says: No, sir, I will not yield!

President of the Senate says: Will the Senator yield?

Jefferson Smith says: No, sir, I'm afraid not, no sir.

Lisa Carol Fremont says: Where does a man get inspiration to write a song like that?

L.B. Jeffries (Jeff) says: He gets it from the landlady once a month.

John "Scottie" Ferguson says: "Did he train you? Did he rehearse you? Did he tell you what to do and what to say?"

John "Scottie" Ferguson says: Did he train you? Did he rehearse you? Did he tell you what to do and what to say?

Jefferson Smith says: You think I'm licked. You all think I'm licked. Well, I'm not licked. And I'm going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause. Even if this room gets filled with lies like these, and the Taylors and all their armies come marching into this place.

Jefferson Smith says: I wouldn't give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn't have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too.

George Bailey says: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word, and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.

Elwood P. Dowd says: Well, I've wrestled with reality for thirty- five years, Doctor, and I?m happy to state I finally won out over it.

John "Scottie" Ferguson says: "You're an apt pupil. You're an apt pupitl."