After a brief stint on Broadway, Jimmy Stewart went to Hollywood and soon made such classics as "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," and "The Philadelphia Story." He symbolized the patriotism of the time, and even joined the army in World War II, winning a Distinguished Flying Cross. Up to that point, his characters had espoused the same values that Stewart himself, a devout Presbyterian, lived by. But after the war, his youthful exuberance faded, and he settled into darker roles, including his classic performances in Hitchcock's "Rear Window" and "Vertigo." Biographer Donald Dewey suggests that while the boyish charm of his early characters reflected pre-war hopefulness, his disturbed, nearly psychotic later characters mirrored the introspection and suspicion of the 1950s.
From Library Journal
Some fans may be reluctant to read this book for fear of revelations besmirching Stewart's all-American persona. There are a few surprises about him, but basically, you will find that he is the pleasant, reclusive, conservative guy we have heard about and that is at the heart of his small-town-boy-becomes-movie-star legend. A history of Indiana, Pennsylvania, where Stewart grew up, sets the foundation for his family life. Following chapters on his childhood and military school, the Princeton years portray him as the embodiment of the all-American boy we know from movies. The Hollywood years are, of course, the core of the book. Dewey (Marcello Mastroianni, Carol Pub. Group, 1993) quite successfully mingles yearly synopses of Stewart's movies with information about what was going on in his personal life while making each. The author also includes some great inside information on actors, directors, and others involved with Stewart's movies. The comments about Stewart's performances come from interviews with those who worked with him and from Stewart himself. Highly recommended for biography and film collections.?Judy Hauser, Oakland Schs. Lib. Svcs., Waterford, Mich.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.