Screen Legends: James Stewart

  |  Buy to Own: 14/01/2008
  |  557 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC


Four classic films from the legendary actor James Stewart. In 'Harvey' (1950), Elwood P. Dowd (Stewart) and his best friend Harvey are inseparable. They go everywhere together, spreading warmth and kindness throughout all the bars in town. The only trouble is that Harvey is a 'Pooka' - a six foot-plus rabbit that only Elwood can see. When Elwood and Harvey embarass the former's social-climbing sister Veta Louise (Josephine Hull) once too often, she finally opts to get Elwood the treatment she thinks he needs, and arranges to have him installed in the local mental asylum. However, Harvey's unseen but ever-felt presence ensures that all does not go according to plan. In 'Mr Smith Goes to Washington' (1939), when naive Jefferson Smith (Stewart) is chosen to replace a recently deceased senator, he heads for Washington full of idealistic dreams of serving his country, looking forward to working with his idol: senior senator Joseph Paine (Claude Rains). Upon his arrival, he is ridiculed in the press for his gullibility, but with the aid of his secretary, Saunders (Jean Arthur), he begins to realize that the world of politics is a cut-throat one full of double dealing. When he discovers that Paine is working on a scheme for a new dam which will only profit him and his cronies, Smith sets out to expose the man he formerly idolised. In 'Rear Window' (1954), after breaking his leg during a shoot, photo-journalist L.B. 'Jeff' Jeffries (Stewart) is forced to spend a humid summer recuperating in his Greenwich Village apartment. The wheelchair-bound Jeff whiles away his time observing his neighbours through a telephoto lens, bestowing them with nicknames and growing familiar with their daily routines. However, his society girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly) is exasperated and then alarmed when Jeff becomes obsessed with the notion that Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), who lives in the apartment opposite, has murdered his wife. Finally, 'It's a Wonderful Life' (1946), director Frank Capra's classic heartwarming Christmas fantasy, follows George Bailey (Stewart), who has spent his entire life in the small town of Bedford Falls. Despite his yearning to see the world, George has always sacrificed his personal ambitions for the sake of his family and the local community, settling down to marry his childhood sweetheart, Mary (Donna Reed), and raise a family. However, when a huge amount of money goes missing from the family savings and loans company he panics and finds himself preparing to commit suicide. However, he is shown the error of this idea by Clarence (Henry Travers), an angel who has been sent to Earth in order to earn his wings. To this end, Clarence shows George just how badly Bedford Falls and its residents would have turned out had he never been born.