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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

America's Hometown Hero

Magnet #186 - The Jimmy Stewart Museum

The Britannica Blog is one of my new favorite blogs on my Google Reader, covering a wide array of fun and serious topics.

This excellent blog entry about Jimmy Stewart popped up, prompting me to use this magnet. I absolutely adore classic movies of all kinds - Cary Grant, Hepburn/Tracy, John Wayne, and of course, Jimmy Stewart.

The Jimmy Stewart Museum was a total find, and was tacked on to yet another roadtrip through Pennsylvania. And, his hometown of Indiana, PA, is exactly where you think good people like Jimmy Stewart come from. The museum itself, has several exhibits and much memorabilia of the different periods of his life - childhood, school, military, Hollywood. It's a must-visit for any fan...and makes you want to watch every one of his movies.

Feels like everyone's favorite Jimmy Stewart movie is It's a Wonderful Life. Not mine. It's not Rear Window or Vertigo. It's for sure not Harvey (which I can't stand). And, it's not even Philadelphia Story, though it comes in as a close second.

In the showdown for ultimate geekiness (Goldengait, I'm lookin' at you), my favorite Jimmy Stewart movie is The Glenn Miller Story, with June Allyson. I know! It's crazy! But, Glenn Miller was practically a staple in our household growing up - when we were babies, my dad used to hum "American Patrol" to us and make our hands dance.

I freakin' love the true story of everyman Glenn Miller just tryin' to make a livin' with his music, only to become one of the best-loved band leaders in the world. Every time I see it, I cry at the ending. The first time I saw it, I had no idea - I called my dad up and said, OMG, did you KNOW? And he's like, yes, Joy. Everyone knows - it's a true story, silly.

Well, I hadn't a clue. So. Freakin'. Sad. And, no, I'm not spoiling the ending - go. watch. it. Bring tissues.

Oh! And you can't really beat the Glenn Miller soundtrack, either. Yep, I suppose I am my father's daughter.

So, yeah, Jimmy Stewart. They don't really make actors - or movie stars - like that anymore.
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4 comments:

GoldenGait said...

See, I've got to go with Rear Window as far as Jimmy movies go. I LOVE Hitchcock, and Rear Window was just so ingenious, with mounting tension and a total sense of claustrophobia and immobility. Imagine the initial pitch for the film: "...and we're only going to have one set, where Jimmy sits the whole time in a wheelchair, and he's going to spy on his neighbors and basically not move. Oh, and Grace will wear pretty clothes." Doesn't sound like an awesome premise.

But it totally worked, and kudos to him for acting from the waist up only and pulling off a fabulous performance.

Not Oscar worthy, but definitely worth checking out is the update of Rear Window, Disturbia. Stars Shia The Beef, Carrie Ann Moss, and David Morse, and it's pretty decent for a 2007 teen horror homage to the original theme.

And since you mentioned Cary Grant, possibly my favorite movie OF ALL TIME is Charade, with him and Audrey Hepburn. LOVE IT.

Julie said...

i also liked rear window... but i haven't seen the glenn miller story. drop it on a dvd and send it over. i'll probably be done with my movies within the next week! :)

Erika said...

First, I find it interesting that you don't know the endings to real life stories. Glenn Miller...Frank Lloyd Wright...

Second, it's kinda funny how you're having fond memories of PA. I distinctly remember how, as we were driving thru and you were practically daring the Man Upstairs to smite you. In fact, it was in this very museum dedicated to Jimmy Stewart that you discovered you lost your credit card and declared we needed to get out of this state before anything else happened.

Finally, I love It's a Wonderful Life. Watch it every year. Own the DVD.

joy said...

Yeah, Erika, it's true, I'm not so good at knowing the true stories behind famous figures. Mostly, because I want them to stay behind the fourth wall. Break that down, and they become human. So, I tend to stay away from bios because of it.

And, GG/Julie, I loved Rear Window, too. I loved Grace Kelly just being so very pretty in it. It is one of my favorite Hitchcocks.

Hmmm, I'm wondering where the Cary Grant Museum is.