JAMES STEWART: IN HIS OWN WORDS

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In 1972, JAMES STEWART was interviewed at the National Film Theatre in London. In the audience, near the back of the auditorium was CHARLTON HESTON. ( and Mrs Stewart was also spotted).

“IT’A WONDERFUL LIFE was the first picture I did after I got out of the service.Frank Capra called me one day and said he had an idea for a movie…..he said this picture starts in heaven – that shook me!”

“I was going to be an architect. I graduated from college with a degree in architecture and I had a scholarship to go back to Princeton and get my Masters.I’d done some theatricals in college – because it
was fun.”

“It was exciting in Hollywood right from the start – you were doing little parts in big pictures, with stars like MYRNA LOY,BILL POWELL. And then you would get a big part in a tiny little picture. In the meantime you were learning your craft of acting.”

” At one time I was working on five films at once. In these days the big studios would trade you like they trade ball players.”

1973. Michael Parkinson Show
“MURDER MAN was my first part. If you winked you missed me in that one!”
After a clip of Jimmy singing “Easy to Love” in BORN TO DANCE, his comment was ,”..that’s pretty bad,wasn’t it!”
“I recorded the song then when I went to the preview of the picture,when I started to sing, it wasn’t me, it was somebody else! But they decided to leave my voice in because they said you just can’t hurt that tune.” image

When asked to describe his screen character, he said:
“I’m the plodder, the inarticulate man that tries, an example of true human frailty, but for some reason,somehow,I get through.”

Interview from 1977. Michael Parkinson show.
“I was a contract player at MGM when I came from the New York stage and the idea of being on the lot where pictures were being made with Greta Garbo and Jean Harlow – all these people – everything was exciting.”
” Everyone would gather at a wonderful nightclub,the Trocadero. We worked 6 days a week then and Saturday night we’d all collect at the Trocadero – it was an all night affair. everyone performed . I remember one night a little girl got up – her mother was with her – she started to sing and she sang for an hour – JUDY GARLAND. It was magic.”

“The whole thing has been a wonderful life. I’ve been tremendously fortunate. I’ve loved every minute of it. I have a wonderful marriage,I’m a happy man.I consider every day gravy.”

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6 responses »

  1. Jimmy Stewart embodies everything that I love about classic movie, well I guess movies in general. There has never been anyone else like him and I wish he could still be making movies today because I would still be watching them. Thanks for the post.

    • Thanks for your comment,Paul. Jimmy Stewart really is one of the unforgettables. My favorites of his films include THE NAKED SPUR,BEND OF THE RIVER,REAR WINDOW, CALL NORTHSIDE 777, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, THE GLENN MILLER STORY, SHOP AROUND THE CORNER,VERTIGO.
      Enjoy visiting your blog at lassothemovies.com

  2. Wow, I’ve never seen him sing in ‘Born to Dance’ and am now intrigued. I have seen a film where he recites a poem (‘Come Live with Me’) and that is a wonderful scene.Definitely one of the greatest film actors!

  3. Nice post on Stewart, Vienna. I like all your favorites. I would just add Harvey and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance to that list.

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