Woody's
 Classic Movie Reviews

The Spirit of St Louis

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JAMES MAITLAND STEWART ( May 1908 -- Jul 1997 )

Stewart was usually called "Jimmy" in the movie industry and by fans but always referred to himself as "James." He was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, son of a hardware store owner. He was expected to take over the business in due course, as his father had done from his grandfather. Even after Stewart had become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, his father urged him to return to Indiana, marry a nice girl, and forget about show business. He graduated from Mercersburg Academy prep school in 1928 and, at his father's insistence, entered Princeton University, graduating in 1932. At Princeton he studied architecture and impressed his instructors, but gravitated to the drama and music clubs (he played accordian) and during summer breaks played bit parts in summer stock. In 1932 he went to New York, where he roomed with Henry Fonda, a lifelong friend. He debuted in a Broadway play as a chauffer, with two speaking lines. After parts in a few plays that flopped, and with Broadway suffering from the Great Depression, he went to Hollywood and was signed by MGM in 1935. His first substantial part was in After The Thin Man (1936) and he was loaned to Columbia Pictures for You Can't Take It With You, co-starring Jean Arthur. The film won Best Picture Oscar for 1938. He teamed with Jean Arthur again in 1939 in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington , receiving the first of his five Oscar nominations. Also in 1939 he made his first Western, Destry Rides Again, and began working in radio drama. His distinctive voice and speech mannerisms were now so well known that comics began doing impersonations of him. He won his only Oscar for The Philadelphia Story with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. His film career was interrupted by WWII, in which he served as a B-24 pilot, flying 20 missions over occupied Europe. His first post-war film was It's A Wonderful Life and after three years on Broadway he resumed his film career with a string of very successful movies. He received the Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute and other industry associations and is ranked by AFI as the Third Greatest Male Star of All time.

Title:   THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS

James Stewart is a natural for the role of Charles Lindbergh (Lucky Lindy) in this presentation of his historic 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. This is virtually a one-man show but Patricia Smith, Murray Hamilton and Marc Connelly do good work in small supporting roles.  
          
             

1957 Directed by Billy Wilder

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  Complete List of all the Movie Reviews:

A Face in the Crowd     
The African Queen       All Quiet on the Western Front    The Apartment    Bambi    Ben Hur    
The Best Years of Our Lives 

Bugsy Malone    Cabaret    The Caine Mutiny    Casablanca    Chicago    The Defiant Ones     Doctor Strangelove 

Double Indemnity
    El Cid    Elmer Gantry    Fantasia    Fiddler on the Roof    For Whom the Bell Tolls  

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
   

From Here To Eternity
    Funny Girl    Glory    Go For Broke    The Grapes of Wrath    Hamlet    

The Iceman Cometh   Inherit the Wind    It’s a Wonderful Life    Jesus Christ Superstar    Judgment at Nuremburg    

Julius Caesar    Key Largo Lawrence of Arabia    The Learning Tree    The List of Adrian Messenger     Little Big Man

My Fair Lady
   
The Neverending Story    North by Northwest    The Owl and the Pussycat    Porgy and Bess    

Pride of the Yankees
   The Producers    Purlie    Quo Vadis    The Red Badge of Courage    Requiem for a Heavyweight    

Rhapsody in Blue
     The Sand Pebbles    The Sea Wolf    Seven Samurai    Ship of Fools    Some Like It Hot   

The Sound of Music    South Pacific   Spartacus    The Spirit of St. Louis    Stalag 17    

Sunset Boulevard
    

To Kill a Mockingbird      The Treasure of the Sierra Madre       Twelve Angry Men       Twelve O’Clock High    

2001 A Space Odyssey    The Victors     Victor Victoria   Watership Down     West Side Story    

The Wizard of Oz
    Yankee Doodle Dandy  

The Yearling
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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