Over a career that spannedforty-three years and seventy-seven films, Jimmy Stewart went from leading manto national idol. Classics such as Mr.Smith Goes to Washington
, ThePhiladelphia Story
, and,of course, It's A Wonderful Life
arefar more than mere movies; they are visions of America as it wanted to be seen.With his inimitable (though widely mimicked) down-home drawl, Jimmy Stewartcame to embody the ideal American male, lean, affably sarcastic, honorable,endearingly awkward. His double takes were memorable; his way of muttering hisasides charmed audiences. Most of all, he was the man whose heart was always inthe right place, and who would see always see his way clear to doing the rightthing. ?If Bess and I had a son,? Harry Truman once said, ?we'd want him to bejust like Jimmy Stewart.?
Jonathon Coe traces Stewart'sbeginnings in a small town in Pennsylvania, his amateur dramatics and collegeyears at Princeton, and the early films and stardom through to his heroics asan air force pilot during World War II and his triumphant return to Hollywood.Though he was adored in black and white, Stewart's mature work shows his rangeas an actor, his ability to play far more than just the good-natured leadingman. By the time he retired from acting, Stewart had films credits that wereunparalleled?and a place in the American heart that was unrivaled. Illustratedwith 150 photographs, taken on and off the set, this handsome tribute gives usthe private man as well as the screen legend and guides us through the wholewonderful life of Jimmy Stewart.