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James Stewart - The Signature Collection (The Cheyenne Social Club / Firecreek / The FBI Story / The Naked Spur / The Spirit of St. Louis / The Stratton Story) (2006)

 PG |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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DVD 6-Disc Version $44.93  
  5-Disc Version --  

Product Details

  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 15, 2006
  • Run Time: 683 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,319 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "James Stewart - The Signature Collection (The Cheyenne Social Club / Firecreek / The FBI Story / The Naked Spur / The Spirit of St. Louis / The Stratton Story)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Includes:
  • The FBI Story (1959)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • 1.66 anamorphic, color, English mono
  • The Naked Spur (1953)
  • Vintage short "Things We Can Do Without"
  • Classic cartoon "Little Johnny Jet"
  • 1.33, Color, English mono, French mono
  • The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)
  • Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1
  • "The Spirit of St. Louis" Premiere
  • Vintage Joe McDoakes comedy short "So Your Wife Wants to Work"
  • Classic cartoon "Tabasco Road"
  • Theatrical trailer
  • 2.35 anamorphic, Color, English Dolby 5.1, French mono
  • The Stratton Story (1949)
  • Vintage featurette "Pest Control"
  • Classic Cartoon "Batty Baseball"
  • Audio-only Bonus: Radio Show with Stewart and Allyson
  • 1.33, black and white, English mono, French mono
  • The Cheyenne Social Club (1970) & Firecreek (1968)
  • First-Time Widescreen home video debut for both movies
  • Vintage "The Cheyenne Social Club" Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • 2.35 anamorphic, color, English mono, French mono

Editorial Reviews

Few Hollywood stars have the reservoir of goodwill that James Stewart enjoys; even in his so-so vehicles he's delightfully worth watching. That premise is tested by James Stewart: The Signature Collection which, with one exception, contains none of Stewart's really important pictures. The box does present a collection of movies mostly new to DVD, which gives the set whatever urgency it has from an otherwise mixed bag.

The one important Stewart title is The Naked Spur, arguably the best of the superb series of Westerns the actor made in collaboration with director Anthony Mann in the 1950s (which also include Winchester 73 and The Man from Laramie). The nervous, hard character who emerged in those films is perfected in Stewart's amazingly raw performance in The Naked Spur. He plays an embittered bounty hunter attempting to bring captured outlaw Robert Ryan to the authorities while also dealing with Ryan's companion (Janet Leigh) and two associates who want in on the reward (Ralph Meeker and Millard Mitchell). Mann's command of locations that reflect the emotional lives of the characters is unerring, and Stewart goes all the way with a performance that suggests he is as unbalanced as his villainous quarry.

Two other Westerns are included, both teaming Stewart with Henry Fonda: Firecreek, a grim 1968 High Noon imitator with Jimmy as a small-town farmer defending the place from Hank's band of desperadoes; and The Cheyenne Social Club, a comedy that has Stewart inheriting a bordello, as saddle pal Fonda tags along for the laughs. If director Gene Kelly's approach weren't so crass, the movie might be a lot funnier than it is.

The Stratton Story, a big hit from 1949, casts Stewart in the true tale of pitcher Monty Stratton, who enjoyed some big-league success before a hunting accident cost him his leg. The cornball script is rife with baseball nostalgia, and audiences loved the gee-whiz chemistry of lanky Stewart and tiny, indomitably perky June Allyson. Equally square is The FBI Story, an account of the Bureau's growth from the 1920s onward, with especially lavish reverence for J. Edgar Hoover (who appears in a cameo). Stewart is the agent through whose eyes we see the decades roll by.

The Spirit of St. Louis is one of the most atypical titles in Billy Wilder's career, standing as a straightforward account of Charles Lindbergh's legendary solo flight from the U.S. to Europe. Stewart may have been apt casting for the Lone Eagle in some ways, but he looked far too old to play the young aviator in this 1957 picture. The film has some nagging storytelling problems, but the aviation footage--especially Lindbergh's thrilling liftoff for his record flight--is beautifully shot. Taken together, this set does provide different angles on James Stewart's American Hero (a more complex personality than he's usually given credit for). But it's not his top-drawer work. --Robert Horton

Product Description

In his early years, Jimmy Stewart came to personify the Everyman. "Hollywood dishes out too much praise for small things,'' Jimmy once said. "I won't let it get me, but too much praise can turn a fellow's head if he doesn't watch his step.'' - Through a Hollywood career spanning 50 years James Stewart has thrilled, touched and delighted audiences with over 80 films. Six of those films are now available on DVD in the all new James Stewart: The Signature Collection.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Great Disappointment Collection August 31, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
After waiting so long to see some of these great films in widescreen DVD, it is a major disappointment to see the quality of the transfers in this collection. As another reviewer has noted, Naked Spur is not good and Cheyenne Social Club looks like the entire film was transferred out of focus. Low bit rate to make two features fit on the (two sided) DVD? Who knows. Hard to believe the source material is marred in this way. I bought the collection; Cheyenne and Firecreek are available on their own as a two-disc set that may or may not be better. I've seen Warner features 30 years older that look much better. Shame on you Time Warner.
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Terrific set - but beware August 25, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
First off, what is with the "reviewers" at amazon. I'm sorry, but this is a DVD section and what do we find? Two "reviews" of films but not the actual DVD set, which neither of these two current "reviewers" have seen. What IS the point?

The set, for me, contains two great films - Anthony Mann's The Naked Spur, and Billy Wilder's The Spirit Of St. Louis. The latter is one of Mr. Wilder's most underappreciated films and I simply don't know why. It's grandly entertaining, has great Wilder dialogue (watch the scene with the young girl who gives him her compact with the mirror), wonderful direction, and Mr. Stewart is terrific. The transfer on Spirit (isn't that what people want to know about???) is excellent - very sharp, the color is accurate most of the time and the sound is great. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of The Naked Spur's transfer. It's not the worst I've seen, but it's close. The colors are okay, but it's clearly out of registration, which makes the image soft bordering on being completely out of focus. Shame on Warner Bros. for foisting a transfer like this on the public - in this day and age it's shameful.

The other transfers in the set are all fine. Oh, and to the two other "reviewers" - right on the review form what does it say? "Please be sure to focus your comments on THE PRODUCT." How hard is that? People do love to type.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Jimmy's Best, but Enjoyable Collection... August 4, 2006
No Hollywood star ever 'reinvented' himself as successfully as Jimmy Stewart, from the idealistic, 'Aw, Shucks' boy-next-door of the Golden Age, to the intense, driven loner of the Mann and Hitchcock films of the 50s, to everybody's favorite 'father figure' of the 60s and 70s...this collection, while certainly not his best films of the 1940s-1960s, offers one bonafide 'classic' ("The Naked Spur"), and five other titles definitely worth owning!

"The Stratton Story" (1949) - 6'4" Stewart and 5'1" June Allyson are so 'natural' together in their three films (they also made "The Glenn Miller Story" and "Strategic Air Command"), that you might honestly think they were married in real life! Based on a true story, of baseball pitcher Monty Stratton, who miraculously returned to the game after losing his leg in a hunting accident, it's the chemistry between the stars that makes this film work so well. Stewart has the will to make a comeback, but Allyson provides the 'heart' to make the dream possible. An enjoyable film, particularly for baseball fans (who may find Stewart's pitching style a bit 'strange', even when he had both legs!)

"The Naked Spur" (1953) - Arguably, the best of Stewart's teamings with director Anthony Mann, in an outdoor saga of reward-driven Stewart attempting to bring in affable (but evil) outlaw Robert Ryan (who called this one of his favorite roles). Complicating matters is Ryan's devoted girlfriend (Janet Leigh, who was never lovelier), a crusty prospector (Millard Mitchell), and a sleazy ex-soldier (Ralph Meeker, who is excellent). The backdrop of the Rockies is breathtaking, the tension, as Ryan manipulates everyone against Stewart, never lets up, and the finale is spectacular.

Certainly, the best film of the collection!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This is a very good collection of films primarily from the 1950's featuring James Stewart from the library controlled by Warner Home Video. The only one missing that I would have liked to have seen from this era is "Carbine Williams", but I can't tell you which of the six included films I would have given up to have that film replace it.

James Stewart was an actor who never gave a bad performance, and this collection features some of his best. I particularly enjoyed the double feature of films starring Stewart and Henry Fonda. They worked well together on the screen, and in real life they were lifetime friends and even roommates back in the days when they were both starving actors trying to get their first big break.

The transfers look great. Even "The Naked Spur", which several people have complained about, looked good to me. The only complaint I would lodge is the lack of any commentaries on any of the films. "The FBI Story" doesn't have any bonus material at all other than a theatrical trailer. "The Spirit of St. Louis", "The Stratton Story", and "The Naked Spur" all have the customary Warner vintage short and cartoon from the year in which the film was made. "The Stratton Story" does have a nice audio-only radio production featuring James Stewart and June Allyson. This being a signature collection, I would have expected at least some of the films to have commentary and something about Stewart's long career. One as long and as distinguished as his deserves it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars James Stewart, westerns, history and Henry Fonda!!!
Not only did we get "old fashioned" westerns, values, baseball, early aviation, crime fighting, moral standards BUT throw in Henry Fonda in the "Cheyenne Social... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Geri H. Ball
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Addition to My Collection
Although I hesitated about this purchase, I am glad that I finally decided to add the set to my collection. All the films were enjoyable. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Peggy
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend this collection
I just love Jimmy Stewart, he is a great actor. My favorite movie is The Cheyenne Social Club. I wish I could of meet him.
Published 8 months ago by JennanEmbrey
5.0 out of 5 stars James Stewart
i like James Stewart
He is a great actor
he's handsome
He's a honest man
And his movies have a good history
Published 8 months ago by Carlos T. De Carvalho
Not only great films but the color is beautiful! Looking for more! I would have preferred to have "Shenandoah" instead of "The Cheyenne Social Club" but it's still... Read more
Published 9 months ago by R. Amos
4.0 out of 5 stars Great set
Hard to find Cheyenne Social Club is included and one of his best films. Funny and brilliant all in one. Read more
Published 10 months ago by dailymuse
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood memories
Love everythig Jimmy does, great actor. I would like to see the great actors like Jimmy Stewart's black and white movies colorized some day
Published 10 months ago by Mr. K. L. Boerth
5.0 out of 5 stars Grear value!
James Stewart-what's not to love! Six movies on Five disc! If they were all on 1 disc I would of never bought this. Priced very well for what you get!
Published 11 months ago by T. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't need rating
Classics such as these really don't need any rating. All films were a delight. Stewart is just superb and every movie shines.
Published 12 months ago by Anil Mahajan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Jimmy Stewart collection
I've always enjoyed Jimmy Stewart and recognize we no longer have with us a legendary actor. This collection shows Jimmy at his finest and are great for any movie enthusiast or... Read more
Published 13 months ago by T. Chapman
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