EVERYBODY'S MAN: A Biography of Jimmy Stewart by Jhan Robbins

EVERYBODY'S MAN: A Biography of Jimmy Stewart

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Even thinner (about 120 pp. of text) than Alien Eyles' James Stewart (p. 844), this folksy patchwork strings together old/new quotes from the living and the dead (Hedda Hopper, Carole Lombard) to fashion ""an oral history profile of a unique, much-loved actor who has set high standards for all of us."" Childhood friends contribute chirpy anecdotes to an opening chapter on Stewart's smalltown-Pennsylvania youth. Then it's on to Princeton. (""Dr. Lila Cavanaugh, a prominent Boston pediatrician, was thirteen years old when she was taken to see the Triangle shows. 'Jimmy sang and danced,' she recalled."") After that comes summer-stock and Broadway (five pages), followed by Hollywood successes, WW II service, marriage, and a strong later career in Westerns and Hitchcock films. Movie-fans, however, will find very close to nothing here: all the Hitch films together get seven pages; Stewart's acting qualifies are barely mentioned; typically, the five short paragraphs on Rope fail to mention its one famous, distinguishing feature. Instead, there's an explanation of what the Oscar is, tributes from other stars, and an interview with Estelle Fennell, who ""may be the nation's number-one Jimmy Stewart fan."" Those readers who think of Jimmy as a family-member, and only vaguely recall that he made movies, may find this a comfort; all others will be better off with the Eyles book, weak as it is.

Pub Date: Feb. 12th, 1984
Publisher: Putnam