Screen Legends: James Stewart - The Westerns

  |  Buy to Own: 14/01/2008
  |  396 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC


Four classic westerns starring the legendary James Stewart. In 'The Man From Laramie' (1955), Stewart plays a vengeful cow-herder who arrives in New Mexico determined to find the man who was responsible for the killing of his brother. His brother was shot down by Apaches armed with automatic rifles, and Stewart is looking for the man who sold them to the Indians. In 'Two Rode Together' (1961), Stewart plays a marshall of a small town. He doesn't do much to earn his badge perferring to take money for illicit dealings. However, he is persuaded by Richard Widmark to rescue a group of white settlers who have been kidnapped by the Commanche Indians . But when they do finally rescue two people and bring them back to the town, they are less than welcome. In 'Destry Rides Again' (1939), the son of a famous lawman, young Tom Destry (Stewart) is considered something of a joke when he takes up the position of deputy in the lawless town of Bottle Neck. Destry refuses to carry a gun, and prefers a glass of milk to alcohol, which hardly makes him a match for gunslinging saloon owner Kent (Brian Donlevy), the real power behind the town. However, with the aid of drunken sheriff 'Wash' Dimmsdale (Charles Winninger), the soft-spoken Destry sets about cleaning up Bottle Neck in his own inimitable manner, winning the admiration of Kent's blowsy, bar-room singer girlfriend, Frenchy (Marlene Dietrich), along the way. Finally, 'Shenandoah' (1965) is a classic civil war drama set in 1863, starring Stewart as Charlie Anderson, a wealthy farmer in Virginia who has hitherto steadfastly refused to take any part in the war that is raging around him. But the war inevitably ensnares him through a series of family tragedies that includes his youngest son (Philip Alford) being taken prisoner by the Unionists and charged with spying, his son James (Patrick Wayne) and daughter-in-law Ann (Katharine Ross) being murdered by a gang of looters, and the death of his eldest son Jacob (Glenn Corbett). Meanwhile his daughter, Jannie (Rosemary Forsyth) falls in love with a Confederate soldier, Sam (Doug McClure). Despite the tragedies that punctuate the film, it carries strong and hopeful anti-war and pro-family messages, particularly in the sentimental finale which shows the Anderson family prevailing against all the odds.