James Stewart: The Truth Behind the Legend Book Giveaway (December)

The Life and Legacy of One of Hollywood’s Most Iconic Talents
James Stewart: The Truth Behind the Legend Book Giveaway

Calling all James Stewart fans! This month we’re very happy to say that we’ll be giving away TEN COPIES of James Stewart: The Truth Behind the Legend by Michael Munn, courtesy of Skyhorse Publishing.

James Stewart: The Truth Behind the Legend, biography by Michael Munn

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Before we start, I’d like to include my synopsis/review here, which I am privileged to say, is also included in the book, and which I think will give you a good idea of what the book covers — and also give you a sense for how much I enjoyed it (I read it in two days, just couldn’t put it down)…

“James Stewart is undoubtedly one of the most beloved stars in classic movie fandom.   During his 50-year career, he became known for his distinctive drawl and down-to-earth persona, embodying the American ‘everyman’ on screen. But that’s not all… To many fans, Stewart’s persona transcended the screen, making him a bona fide symbol of honesty, integrity, determination and patriotism — securing him a unique place in classic movie history as well as in the hearts and minds of his many fans.

James Stewart: The Truth Behind the Legend chronicles the key aspects of Stewart’s life and career, but more importantly, allows readers ‘inside access’ via first-hand interviews with Stewart, his wife Gloria, and best friend Henry Fonda, among others.  We learn about Stewart’s childhood and lessons learned from his father, his first barnstorm flight and lifelong passion for aviation, his years at Mercersburg Academy and Princeton University – and how his affinity for the accordion sparked his acting career. We are taken through his early years performing with the University Players, his start on Broadway, and his ultimate move to Hollywood to pursue his film career. Along the way, we are treated to stories about his ladies’ man reputation, his ‘lean’ years with room-mate Henry Fonda, his lifelong affection for Margaret Sullavan, and his superstar Hollywood romances before meeting Gloria, his wife of 45 years (thanks to Gary and Veronica Cooper). Additionally, we are given insight into his collaborations with Frank Capra, Anthony Mann and Alfred Hitchcock, and we hear about Stewart’s personal experiences while working on some of his most famous films including Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and The Philadelphia Story (if you ever wondered how Stewart got that raspy voice for the iconic Mr. Smith scene, here’s your chance to find out). We also get a real sense of Stewart’s deep patriotism, as he recounts his active pursuit to enlist in the US Army (even at the expense of his film career), and his relentless campaign to secure approval to fly combat missions during WWII. Upon Stewart’s return to the US as a decorated war hero, we learn about his struggles to re-ignite his film career, maintain relevancy among a new generation of actors, and ethically navigate working as an ‘undercover’ agent for the FBI.

All told, this book is an interesting and enjoyable read which brings us a little closer to the real James Stewart through conversations with the man himself, and the people that knew him.”

–Yours Truly :)

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Jimmy Stewart: It's a Wonderful LifeStewart’s first film after the war, It’s a Wonderful Life, with Donna Reed, was a flop in its day, but now it’s the quintessential Christmas film (1946, RKO)

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And, now that said, let the contest begin!

In order to qualify to win one of these wonderful books via this contest giveaway, you must complete the below entry task by Saturday, December 31 at 9PM EST. However, the sooner you enter, the better chance you have of winning, because we will pick two winners on five different days within the contest period, via random drawings, as listed below… So if you don’t win the first week that you enter, you will still be eligible to win during the following weeks until the contest is over.

  • December 3: Two Winners
  • December 10: Two Winners
  • December 17: Two Winners
  • December 24: Two Winners
  • December 31: Two Winners

We will announce each week’s winner on Twitter @ClassicMovieHub and/or right here on this Blog in the comment section below (depending on how you entered), the day after each winner is picked at 9PM EST — for example, we will announce our first week’s winner at 9PM EST on Sunday December 4.

James Stewart, Mr. Smith Goes to WashingtonIn Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Stewart was pitched against the nasty men of power (including Claude Rains), this time in the American Senate (1939, Columbia)

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ENTRY TASK (2-parts) to be completed by Saturday, December 31 at 9PM EST — BUT remember, the sooner you enter, the more chances you have to win…

1) Answer the below question via the comment section at the bottom of this blog post

2) *Then TWEET (not DM) the following message (if you don’t have twitter, see below):
Just entered to win the “James Stewart: The Truth Behind the Legend” #BookGiveaway courtesy of @ClassicMovieHub & @skyhorsepub

THE QUESTION:
What do you love most about Jimmy Stewart? 

NOTE: if for any reason you encounter a problem commenting here on this blog, please feel free to tweet or DM us, or send an email to clas...@gmail.com and we will be happy to create the entry for you.

*If you do not have a Twitter account, you can still enter the contest by simply answering the above question via the comment section at the bottom of this blog — BUT PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU ADD THIS VERBIAGE TO YOUR ANSWER: I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

Click here for the full contest rules and more details. 

Please note that only Continental United States (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and the territory of Puerto Rico) entrants are eligible.

And — BlogHub members ARE eligible to win if they live within the Continental United States (as noted above).

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jimmy stewart and gloria weddingJim and Gloria were married on August 9, 1950 at Brentwood Presbyterian Church, Los Angeles. Their 600 guests included stars such as Spencer Tracy, Gary Cooper and Ray Milland.

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About the book: Many stars of the silver screen in twentieth-century Hollywood became national icons, larger-than-life figures held up as paragons of American virtues. However, the private lives of actors such as John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and Errol Flynn rarely lived up to the idealistic roles they portrayed. James Stewart was known as the underdog fighter in many of his films and in real life. He was highly decorated for his bravery as a bomber pilot during World War II and was adored for his earnest and kindly persona. But there was much more to the man. In this New York Times bestseller, the many sides of Stewart are revealed: his explosive temper, his complex love affairs and his longstanding marriage, his service as an FBI agent, his innate shyness, and his passionate patriotism. Munn’s personal touch shines through his writing, as he was a friend of Stewart and his wife, Gloria, and interviewed them as well as their colleagues and friends. This definitive biography reveals the childhood ups and downs that formed this cinema hero; explores the legendary Fonda-Stewart relationship; and recounts Stewart’s experiences making such acclaimed films as The Philadelphia Story, Rear Window, Anatomy of a Murder, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

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If you don’t want to wait to win, you can purchase the book by clicking here:

Good Luck!

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–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

This entry was posted in Books, Contests & Giveaways, Posts by Annmarie Gatti and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to James Stewart: The Truth Behind the Legend Book Giveaway (December)

  1. Ashley Hinz says:

    I’m entering early, because I have been really scatterbrained this month. I admire his honest approach to acting, among other things.

  2. Jason S says:

    One of the most believable and likable actors in history, I could always connect to the characters he was playing.

    I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

  3. Shelia says:

    Well I guess I’ll have to read the book, because I was going to say his wholesomeness, honesty, and integrity. Now it looks like that could be blown a bit….but, Boy, he sure played THAT part well. Had me fooled. So we shall see.
    I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      I really enjoyed the book, and was surprised by a few things (hadn’t realized he was such a lady’s man before he met his wife :) Thanks so much for entering and Good Luck :)

  4. Carl says:

    I always admired Jimmy Stewart because, despite being such a gigantic film star, he always seemed like such a friendly, down-to-earth guy offscreen. I remember his interviews with Johnny Carson where he’d tell stories and read his poems. Such a likeable person.

  5. Laura A. says:

    While James Stewart is not my favorite actor, I do love many of his films and would love to find out more about them as well as his personal life, especially his participation in WWII.

  6. Adam V says:

    Lots of reasons to love James Stewart, but I always remember his voice the most for some reason. So loveable and memorable, just like the man himself. It helps him come off as that much more sincere and, even though it was something that made him instantly recognizable, somehow blended perfectly into every role he played.

    I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

  7. Jean Feingold says:

    Jimmy Stewart was the ideal honest American man. More of him should have existed.

  8. Lori Eber says:

    I dont know if I can pick one thing about Jimmy Stewart. I love everything about him: the way he speaks, his looks, his acting, whether it’s comedic or serious, and his love for his country. He always seemed like a genine, down-to-earth, kind man. I think what makes him special to me is how much my dad loved him. He was his favorite actor. He saw “It’s a Wonderful Life” in the theater and it became his most favorite movie! We loved watching Jimmy Stewart movies together and now I watch them with my daughter.

  9. Laura A. says:

    I left a comment once but didn’t think it went through and then it said I posted it twice but it’s not here… Anyway, would love to win the book. Tweeted a couple days ago.

  10. Sara Stewart says:

    What do I love about Jimmy Stewart….his honesty, his amiable nature, his giving heart, his bright outlook on life and that there is good in everyone. His talent made you both fall in love with him and want to mother him at the same time (I know that sounds weird, but that’s not how I mean it). He was lanky and awkward and full of grace. If I’m ever in a bad mood, all I have to do I watch one of his movies, and I find hope for the day. Maybe that’s what I love best about him…that he inspired eternal hope

  11. Lynette Bech says:

    I love the most about Jimmy Stewart is that he is the best example of Everyman. He’s down to earth The everyday guy trying to survive in the world

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      Hi Lynette. Please remember to tweet the message, or let me know here if you don’t have a twitter account. Thanks!

  12. Mark PAGAN says:

    So many of his characters remain calm & sensible in the face of disorder, until he doesn’t! Love that breaking point.

  13. It would be easy to pick his legendary talent as an actor. But I’ll mention his struggle to overcome PTSD as a result of his herotic service in World War II has something I deeply admire about Jimmy Stewart.

  14. Lynne says:

    I love that he had a great sense of humor and always played roles of men you could admire.

  15. John Cherry says:

    Jimmy Stewart passed away when I was 21 years old. Yet, I’m his biggest fan. My DVR
    set to record any title with his name in the cast. I love him because he was “all in” for every role, no matter the size or emphasis. He’s truly an actor of the people and for the people. It doesn’t seem extraordinary that he would be a guy you could be close friends with. Lastly, the man was a artist. He respected his craft and it showed. Those are just a few of the many reasons that I love about James Maitland Stewart.

    John L. Cherry, D.O.

  16. Lilly says:

    What I love most about Jimmy Stewart is his humbleness and his acting ability. He was one of the biggest Hollywood movie stars during the early 1940’s and despite his fame, he proudly entered the military to fight for his country during the second World War and even earned the honorable title of Brigadier General. He was a true American hero who loved his country. Aside from that, I love Jimmy Stewart because he was a tremendously talented actor. He could move you to tears in movies like It’s A Wonderful Life, make you laugh in The Philadelphia Story, and you can’t help but sympathize with his character in Vertigo. He was a rare gem of an actor who could move you with his performances and to me, that’s what acting is all about.

  17. Lindsay Talley says:

    I appreciate his range as an actor. He made all kinds of movies and his characters were always believable and relatable.

  18. Andrew FitzSimons says:

    I love Jimmy Stewart’s every-man quality. He can hang with the guys and also woo the ladies. He can also be INCREDIBLY passionate which allows for a wide range of roles and personalities!

  19. Joseph Kolakowski says:

    I love that Jimmy Stewart lived a wholesome life and didn’t get caught up in the quagmire many Hollywood folks get into. He was a role model both on and off the screen. My favorite Jimmy Stewart movie is Mr. Smith Gofes to Washington.

  20. Jeanette Parker says:

    A man whose sincerity shined through each body of work he was involved. A humble American hero who served our country with honor. Simply put, they broke the mold when they made Mr. Stewart.

  21. Howard B says:

    Jimmy Stewart brought noticeable passion to his performances, which were positive, uplifting and vulnerable.

  22. Candy L says:

    Jimmy Stewart was your regular clean-cut, handsome, American guy who had innate goodness and honor at his core. That resonated with movie audiences. He had the unique ability of making his characters relate-able, be it in comedies, dramas or westerns. He is one of my all-time favorite actors.

  23. Joan O'Malley says:

    His ability to portray “every” man, always realistically, and from the heart no matter the genre.

  24. magnoliasouth says:

    I love his calm and soft nature. His voice is very soothing, even in scary films. As a person he was one of the most genuine people in Hollywood. I remember the day he read his poem about his dog on Johnny Carson and how I cried. I even cry now just thinking of it. He was such a sweet man, a great patriot and amazing actor. There are just so many reasons why he touched me. I was onced asked if I could pick someone as my father in Hollywood, who would it be? It took me all of a nanosecond to say, “James Stewart”.

  25. Vickie Gleason says:

    What I have always loved about Jimmy Stewart is the personality that comes through all of his characters. He always is wise, caring and thoughtful. He’s that guy that everyone wants to know. He represents the best of all of us.

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      Hi Vickie, for some reason I can’t find your tweet… Not sure why… could you please confirm here that you tweeted? thanks!

  26. Susan Case says:

    I love Jimmy Stewart because he selected and brilliantly acted roles which helped form my love for family, made me have empathy for others at a young age, and remained a brilliant role model til the day he passed. I can’t wait to read this book!

  27. What I love most about Jimmy Stewart is his quality of just being an honest to goodness, down to earth good guy–both in the movies and in real life. If the world had more Jimmy Stewarts it would be a much nicer place.

  28. I love how he kept his private life unsullied and feee from scandal. But, what I love most… is his voice. What I love second most is the autographed picture he sent me when I was a little girl, who wrote him a fan letter after seeing him in “It’s A Wonderful Life” for the first time. I can’t limit my love of Jimmy Stewart to just one thing. He gave us way too many reasons to love him!

  29. David Gregory says:

    Jimmy Stewart has long been my favorite actor. Not only because of what we know about him, but because of what we don’t: his superior war record, his side work for the FBI during the communist witch hunts – culminating in his refusal to rat on his friends. His integrity displayed more often off camera than on. And, for those of us who had the pleasure to see his many films, that’s really saying something.
    Perhaps no other actor embodied “America” better during the Golden Age of Hollywood than James Maitland Stewart. I remember seeing his Mr. Smith when I was ten years old – feeling that I was watching something I shouldn’t: a glimpse at a man who really representing these ideals, and was being flogged because of them.
    My dad showed me Stewart’s George Bailey as a way to teach me how to pray.
    His later performances in films like Anatomy of Murder are a masterclass in screen persona. And his chilling Father in Shenandoah is both heartbreaking and illuminating. In short, James Stewart helped raise me. When my father wasn’t sure how to illustrate a point, he’d show me a scene from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance or The Spirit of St. Louis.
    My dad is now in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. These films are the things we still bond over. Now I’m the one showing HIM – reminding him of the lessons he taught me. And through it all, we are remembering together.
    Stewart’s films are both comfort food and lessons. Tools and Weapons. The best of the best.

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      This is such a wonderful and touching comment. Wonderful life lessons and memories that you will treasure forever. I wish your father all the best…
      That said, I’d hate for you to miss out on the drawing — so please remember either to tweet the message OR tell me here that you don’t have a twitter account. Thanks so much!

  30. Christine Davis says:

    Jimmy Stewart was so genuine, a real gentleman, he gave his all in every roll and you can truly believe in that character

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      Hi Christine, I don’t see your tweet yet. Please remember to tweet the message, or tell us here if you don’t have a twitter account. Thanks!

  31. Heather Sebastian says:

    What’s not to LOVE? He embodied, in my humble opinion, what we all hold as an example of a exceptional man. He was so many things, but what I really loved and admired about him was his relentless genuineness and love of life and people, which translated through all of his films effortlessly. He was a real gem of a person with an other-worldly talent for acting which we all have the pleasure of enjoying. It’s a gift he gave that I will forever be grateful. Tweeted here —-> https://twitter.com/bohofoxbabe/status/806674125133529088?lang=en

  32. Rachel Baker says:

    I love Jimmy Stewart. I like that he was a patriot who served his country. I like that his acting roles spanned all genres. He was versatile and a very likable person.

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      Hi Rachel, I don’t see your tweet. Please remember to tweet the message, or let us know here that you don’t have a twitter account. Thanks!

  33. Dizzle729 says:

    I love Jimmy Stewart because of his every man persona. He was Americana on screen, a simpler time but anything but a simple man. His portrayal of Elwood P. Dowd is 1 of my favorite roles of all time. There is only 1 person who can (and should) play that role & it’s Stewart.

  34. I think we all wanted to believe that on our best days we were as generous, as honest, and as good as Jimmy Stewart and he gave us the hope that we *could* be that generous, honest and good. I think deep down we all want to be Jimmy Stewart, even today. Heck, *especially* today!

  35. Lisa Colangelo says:

    Jimmy Stewart was every man’s man. So likeable and humble and as yet as unique an actor as there has ever been.

  36. Chris Teel says:

    Besides his incomparable voice and his service during WWII in the Army Air Corps, I would have to say his range and versitility. He was good as a bad guy (spoiler alert) in the second Thin Man film, and good as a good guy in seemingly everything else. His good guys were always flawed, which made them more believable. Two favorites that come to mind are Flight of the Phoenix and The Cheyenne Social Club.

  37. David Hollingsworth says:

    I always admired his strength and wholesomeness. Every performance he brought to the screen just dripped with accuracy and reality, even in his most comedic roles. He had that ‘aw shucks’ quality that made you really care about him, even when he portrayed darker characters.

  38. Mark Masek says:

    His sincerity, his decency, his class, his humility, his genuine likability, his range and talent as an actor. And his choice of movie roles. I’ve never seen him give a bad performance, or even a non-memorable performance, from the comedy of “The Philadelphia Story,” to the emotion of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” to the singular determination of “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.” Heck, he was even great as the bad guy in “After the Thin Man.” Whenever I see a Jimmy Stewart movie on television, even if I’ve seen it dozens of times before, I always know I’m going to be in for great entertainment, and I am never disappointed.

  39. Lana Hall says:

    What I love most about Jimmy is just like you said, he is the exact archetype of a good man. He had dorky unusual aspects to himself and really great morals, which showed in most of the characters he played. You can’t help but love Jimmy, whether you adore him as a love interest or as the best friend, Jimmy had a way of always being a genuine all around great guy. And for added measure my favorite roles of his are in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Vivacious Lady.
    I’m entering here because I do not have a twitter!

  40. Macy Veto says:

    The way he embodies the every day man. He is so sincere & down to earth & that comes across in the roles he plays. The audience can identify with him so much! He was truly a gem!

  41. Kim Dalious says:

    His sincerity!

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      Hi Kim, I don’t see your tweet yet. Please don’t forget to tweet, or comment back here that you don’t have a twitter. Thanks!

  42. Ashley says:

    Such loveable actor. So handsome I fell in love with him and his character in Rear Window when I was 10. I then went on to continue being a huge fan – I loved Alfred Hitchcock for putting him in a lot of his films. (I’m 28 my mom made me a huge classics fan)

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      I hear you! My parents introduced me to the classics when I was really little — and it’s been a lifelong passion of mine. I just love watching these films, and discovering more classics via the classic movie community!

  43. Gail Pascaris says:

    Jimmy Stewart was a gentleman. He was a man of intregity. A class act all the way. A great actor and a greater man. Loved seeing him on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the 80s.

  44. Alexis says:

    I fell in love with Jimmy Stewart when I saw Rear Window for the first time in high school. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop. I’ve seen them all and can recite most of them at this point. I ADORE him. He’s a classy handsome respectable man that put all others to shame. He was THE PERFECT MAN

  45. Shirley Holland says:

    His down to earth qualities….just a great man.

  46. Kim Dalious says:

    He was a fine actor and a fine American!

  47. Ronald Oliver says:

    What I’ve enjoyed most about Jimmy Stewart aside from his distinct vocal cadence, is his superb acting talents. He’s definitely one of the greats from the days of classic cinema! And remains a favorite!

  48. Elaine Denton says:

    What I love most about Jimmy Stewart is that no matter what role he took on or what character he betrayed, he was true to himself. In every movie there’s that Jimmy Stewartesque going on. In ‘After the Thin Man’, ‘The Philadelphia Story, ‘Rear Window’, Rope, Harvey and all of them actually he’s convincingly different men but yet the same guy you want for your best friend. I remember having a discussion once with some friend and we came to the conclusion that he made it look so easy that no matter how many awards or accolades he received he was still underrated as an actor.

  49. Richie Rainville says:

    What’s not to love about Mr Stewart, his talents were amazing and his films will be remembered forever

  50. Kelly Oconnor says:

    I love the longevity of his marriage and his humility

  51. Bridgette S says:

    As an actor I love how genuine his performances are. He was also a man of principle and put God and country before his career.

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