Jimmy Stewart is one of America’s most loved actors. From cowboys to historical figures and psychological thrillers to romantic comedies, Jimmy Stewart played a large variety of roles. His acting had a larger impact than just in the entertainment world. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington has become an often used political term for a newcomer. It’s a Wonderful Life has become a large part of American Christmas customs. Beyond his acting abilities, Jimmy Stewart also had one of the most unique and recognizable voices in Hollywood history.
Jimmy Stewart was a prolific actor, as such I can’t say that I have seen all of his movies, but here is my attempt to put together a top 10 list. Please feel free to leave comments noting the movies that you feel should have been listed. So here they are in no particular order.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
This is one of my favorite Westerns. Stewart plays a young attorney who makes the acquaintance of a tough local cowboy (John Wayne). The two are on the same side of a political struggle, but each want the same girl. This is a great movie for those interested in American movie history as it depicts two great stars appearing together in a Western.
How the West Was Won (1963)
A long movie and complicated movie, this is not a movie for the casual Western fan. The star studded cast includes Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda, Karl Malden, Walter Brennan, and Eli Wallach. The movie used three directors tell five different stories in this.
A Hitchcock Psychological Thriller about a former cop turned detective played by Stewart.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
As good of a movie today as 70 years ago. Stewart stars as a naïve political appointment sent to serve in the Senate. Stewart stands up for the truth while the political machines try to silence him. If only we could find just a few real Mr. Smiths. You must watch this. Go now.
Rear Window (1954)
Another Hitchcock movie starring Jimmy Stewart about a man who saw something. Or did he? Grace Kelly and Raymond Burr also appear.
Spirit of St. Louis (1957)
Stewart appears as Charles Lindbergh documenting the historic trans-Atlantic flight and the aviator.
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Hitchcock movie. Stewart stars as a man caught in the middle of a complicated story.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1940)
Stewart stars as a suicidal man who has an encounter with an angel. This is an American Christmas staple, but a good movie anytime of the year.
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
A romantic comedy with Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant.
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