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


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Chalkdust Memories Actor 2007
No Score Yet The Universal Story Actor 1996
No Score Yet Fonda on Fonda Actor 1992
50% 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
No Score Yet The Big Sleep Gen. Sternwood 1978
43% 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
67% Cheyenne Autumn Wyatt Earp 1964
No Score Yet Take Her, She's Mine Frank Michaelson/Narrator 1963
90% 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
No Score Yet 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
77% Bell, Book and Candle Shepherd 'Shep' Henderson 1958
96% 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
84% 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
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
45% 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
83% The Stratton Story Monty Stratton 1949
No Score Yet You Gotta Stay Happy Marvin Payne 1948
93% Rope Rupert Cadell 1948
No Score Yet On Our Merry Way Slim 1948
73% Call Northside 777 P.J. (Jim) McNeal 1948
50% Magic Town Rip Smith 1947
93% It's a Wonderful Life George Bailey 1946
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
91% 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
No Score Yet Rose Marie John Flower 1936
No Score Yet The Murder Man Shorty 1935