Jimmy Fucking Stewart

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In Anatomy his character consciously plays up the aw-shucks persona for devious ends; it's a canny performance.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 19:04 (two years ago) link

Anatomy is worth it for Stewart saying "panties" alone.

iCloudius (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 19:19 (two years ago) link

Rear Window is one of his best roles - the limited set requires a very small, controlled performance, and it's a pleasure to see him reduce down but still give the level of stagey thought that many of his larger characters exhibit - and absolutely one of the best films he or Hitchcock did.

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 19:42 (two years ago) link

well said!

brimstead, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 19:44 (two years ago) link

(I love the Capras and Harvey, but if you consider yourself Stewart-allergic already, they're not likely to change you.)

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 19:45 (two years ago) link

I'm actually looking to push myself because 1) I know my Stewart aversion is irrational, and 2) I need a detox from my Pre-Code fixation. Right now I'm figuring on watching Anatomy and the Mann westerns (possibly the other westerns as well). The Hitchcocks I'll save for when I next need a detox.

(I venerate Capra's early work with Stanwyck. I've heard of certain rather dark readings of Wonderful Life, but that's probably not what I should be cultivating right now. As for Harvey, sentimentality about alcoholism is the last thing I want.)

Virulent Is the Word for Julia (j.lu), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 22:39 (two years ago) link

Watched a double bill of the Mann westerns the other night, Winchester '73 for the first time. JS is driven for dark, bloody family reasons; the b&w helps the noir sensibility; good, diverse support includes Shelley Winters, John McIntire, Dan Duryea at his slimiest, Will Geer as Wyatt Earp, v young Tony Curtis with about 6 lines as a cavalryman.

Might've seen Bend of the River before, not sure. JS has a dark past again, but is trying to run from it, and is paired with Arthur Kennedy as a sidekick/potential nemesis. (Guess.) Most striking for its portrayal of Western settlers as ready to turn on each other at the drop of a coin.

Rock Hudson appears in both -- a Sioux warrior in the first and a "San Francisco gambler" in the second.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 4 November 2017 14:31 (two years ago) link

So, The Mortal Storm (Borzage, 1940). I had to fight not to see it through my preconceptions of Stewart as the national Gary Stu, and I don't think I succeeded.

Fortunately, tomorrow TCM screens Rope and Anatomy of a Murder; I hope that these will be more to my taste. Also, I found 1940s filmmaking extraordinarily alien--I found the opening and closing voiceovers and the musical cues obvious AF. I normally associate such devices with someone trying to salvage a bad movie (which I don't think applies here).

Virulent Is the Word for Julia (j.lu), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 00:56 (two years ago) link

Wow at Morbius just having seen Winchester ‘73

Part Time Punkahwallah (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 05:42 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Harvey is borderline unbearable. Who's with me?

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 10 January 2018 19:27 (one year ago) link

i rewatched it on the plane last year and it's bad imo

khat person (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 10 January 2018 19:48 (one year ago) link

Will take your word for it; cannot imagine the circumstances under which I would watch it.

Polly of the Pre-Codes (j.lu), Wednesday, 10 January 2018 19:51 (one year ago) link

It and Arsenic and Old Ladies (typo intentional) were staples of Poppy Bush-era PBS. Not, uh, ideal intros to the two stars.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 10 January 2018 19:52 (one year ago) link

Stewart kept doing it on TV and stage into his 60s, called it his favorite role.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 10 January 2018 19:54 (one year ago) link

haven't seen it in twenty years, enjoyed it a lot as a young person who hadn't seen much else of him

Haribo Hancock (sic), Wednesday, 10 January 2018 22:13 (one year ago) link

"unbearable" is kind of harsh for a fairly inoffensive old movie, really

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 10 January 2018 22:26 (one year ago) link

Who's with me?

(raises hand) First saw this as a child. Back then I liked the idea of a pooka, but found the utter lack of a pooka onscreen to be puzzling and very disappointing. I rewatched it about a dozen years ago. It is a bad movie.

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 10 January 2018 22:28 (one year ago) link

In the meantime, I've watched The Far Country (Mann, 1955) and The Naked Spur (Mann, 1953). Unquestionably different from my initial associations with Stewart. Based on this sample of two films, I have begun to wonder if this period's Westerns aren't a masculine counterpart to the "Hag Horror" phenomenon (vehicles for studio performers who are too old to be plausible romantic leads yet do too much box office to be relegated to supporting roles). Just a thought.

Polly of the Pre-Codes (j.lu), Wednesday, 10 January 2018 23:59 (one year ago) link

We watched Shop Around the Corner again this Christmas. It's still splendid, but Stewart's much more of a dick to Margaret Sullavan than I remember.

Chuck_Tatum, Thursday, 11 January 2018 00:23 (one year ago) link

but so is she

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 January 2018 00:32 (one year ago) link

I get what Chuck is saying. For me, its Frank Morgan's movie anyway.

iCloudius (cryptosicko), Thursday, 11 January 2018 00:33 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

this is covered v briefly upthread 12 years ago

nonetheless what the fuck

The Pangboche Hand is an artifact from a Buddhist monastery in Pangboche, Nepal. Supporters contend that the hand is from a Yeti, a scientifically unrecognized animal purported to live in the Himalayan mountains. A finger bone from the hand was tested and the DNA shown to be human, according to some people. But there is also contradictory evidence. Also the supposed Yeti bone that was analyzed might have been the human bone that was replaced with a human bone in the 1950's (the monks were given money for this).[1]

Some people believe it was a real Yeti hand and there have been many sightings of yetis and yeti footprints, including: In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reported seeing large footprints while scaling Mount Everest. [2]

Others believe it was a real yeti bone and DNA analysis has shown that to be a possibility. Forensic analyst concluded that the hair from the finger contained an unknown DNA sequence. In early December 2007, American television presenter Joshua Gates and his team (Destination Truth) reported finding a series of footprints in the Everest region of Nepal resembling descriptions of Yeti.[3] Each of the footprints measured 33 cm (13 in) in length with five toes that measured a total of 25 cm (9.8 in) across. Casts were made of the prints for further research. The footprints were examined by Jeffrey Meldrum of Idaho State University, who believed them to be too morphologicaly accurate to be fake or man-made. Later in 2009, Gates made another investigation during which he discovered hair samples. A forensic analyst concluded that the hair contained an unknown DNA sequence. Thus, DNA evidence shows it could be a yeti hand and definitely isn't human. [4]

Oil businessman and adventurer Tom Slick first heard accounts of the possible existence of a "Yeti hand" held as a ritual artifact in the monastery at Pangboche during one of his first "Abominable Snowman" treks in 1957. The Slick expeditions were the first to bring photographs of the hand back to the West.

During later Tom Slick-sponsored expeditions in and around the Himalayas, his associates gathered more information on the "Pangboche hand," and an effort to further examine it was planned. In 1959 Peter Byrne, a member of Slick's expedition that year, reportedly stole pieces of the artifact after the monks who owned it refused to allow its removal for study.[1] Byrne claimed to have replaced the stolen bone fragments with human bones, rewrapping the hand to disguise his theft.[1]

Byrne smuggled the bones from Nepal into India, after which actor James Stewart allegedly smuggled the hand out of the country in his luggage.[1] Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman rediscovered this story while writing Tom Slick's biography in the 1980s. Coleman confirmed details of the incidents with written materials in the Slick archives, interviews with Byrne, and correspondence with Stewart. Byrne later confirmed the Pangboche hand story via a letter from Stewart that Byrne published in a general book on Nepalese wildlife.

arli$$ and bible black (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 15 April 2019 13:24 (seven months ago) link


Jimmy Stewart... a motherfucker with some dark secrets... about the YETI??

One Eye Open, Monday, 15 April 2019 13:43 (seven months ago) link

what in the world

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 15 April 2019 15:48 (seven months ago) link

jimmy stewart: actor, war hero, yeti-smuggler

arli$$ and bible black (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 15 April 2019 15:52 (seven months ago) link

the other dude mustve seen Harvey and been like “now THERES a dude I can entrust with the protection of this mythical beast”

One Eye Open, Monday, 15 April 2019 16:31 (seven months ago) link

four months pass...

Harvey is the kind of dazed whimsy that I more often than not cannot stand; I spent most of the time feeling uncomfortably reminded of 90s schmaltz like Forrest Gump, Powder, or any of those movies where John Travolta played someone magical. That Stewart manages an effective scene or two anyway is a testament to something, I guess.

Herman Woke (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 19:25 (three months ago) link

Saw the restored version of this and it was staggeringly gorgeous. Looked like it was made yesterday, i was astonished.


piscesx, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 19:59 (three months ago) link

First vintage B&W film to be released on 4K Disc domestically.

frustration and wonky passion (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 20:21 (three months ago) link

I have never understood what the scene with them falling through the dancefloor into the swimming pool is doing there, it seems to have been imported from another, very different film. why would Bedford Falls even have such a thing?

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 21:59 (three months ago) link

it is odd, I have literally never seen a swimming pool underneath a gym or dancefloor or any kind of floor really. It seems like the hydraulics required to move the floor back and forth would be unnecessarily expensive/complicated to maintain

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:02 (three months ago) link


The place actually exists. It's called, fittingly, the Swim Gym, and belongs to Beverly Hills High School in Los Angeles. Here's how it works: The court is divided along the centerline, and each half is anchored to rows of two-by-fours atop steel I-beams. The court "opens" at the turn of a key—motors roll the platforms underneath the arena bleachers, where huge exhaust fans mitigate moisture. Then, 5 feet below, a 25-yard swimming pool appears. The floor in the movie has been lost to time, but recently Pacific Floor installed a new maple court in the space. Because the gym hovers around 60 percent humidity, Pacific Floor acclimated the flooring material longer than usual and installed it with a moisture content around 9%, says Sales Manager Mark Herthel. With the court "closed," the crews installed a 15-mm-thick vapor barrier, 9⁄16-inch-thick resilient padding and ¾-inch-thick plywood anchored into the retractable platform using steel channels. Then 1½-inch-wide maple flooring chosen for its stable vertical grain was installed. Pacific Floor closed off the sides of the subfloor using stop blocks and closed cell foam underlayment to prevent moisture from creeping up the side of the court. Before the flooring was sanded and finished, the crew sawed the court in half along the centerline and installed a 4-inch stair riser as nosing on both halves. For durability, they also placed an aluminum plate on the face of each platform where they meet.

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:03 (three months ago) link

i imagine it doesn't exist anywhere else other than at beverly hills high school where that scene was filmed

Seany's too Dyche to mention (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:05 (three months ago) link

you are not correct

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:14 (three months ago) link

I have never understood what the scene with them falling through the dancefloor into the swimming pool is doing there

First, it is very cinematic. I've no doubt Capra liked it because it had so much visual and emotional appeal. Next, it is well-incorporated into the plot, allowing Stewart and Donna Reed to have a bonding moment. Sure, there were lots of ways to accomplish that plot point, but this one was visually energetic, unusual and highly memorable.

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:15 (three months ago) link

you are not correct

― Οὖτις, Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:14 PM (eight minutes ago)


Seany's too Dyche to mention (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:23 (three months ago) link

why would Bedford Falls even have such a thing?

This question is not supposed to enter your mind. You see they have one, therefore they do. Wondering what went on in the meeting of the school board planning committee where they finalized their report to the full board in favor of placing a swimming pool under the gym floor should not be an issue for the audience.

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:26 (three months ago) link

loads of companies specializing in installing these, judging from a few minutes of googling. Granted it looks like more of a rich person's thing (as opposed to a high school)


Οὖτις, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:27 (three months ago) link

Was it super-well-known before the clip/s of it in Gremlins? I know it fell off the radar for a coupla decades but was it doing-the-rounds on tv in the 80s? It was the first i'd ever heard of it.

piscesx, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:50 (three months ago) link

I had a Christmas Eve tradition at my grandmother’s house, every year they’d show It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol back-to-back on the local pbs station and we’d watch them both every time. Probably did that for about 12 years in a row. That probably started for us in ‘79?

omar little, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:56 (three months ago) link

yeah the film was always an Xmas staple at my grandfather's house growing up, so it must have been regularly broadcast on some LA station from the mid-70s onward

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 20 August 2019 22:58 (three months ago) link

i think it was in the public domain for a while, so TV stations could show it all the time

Screamin' Jay Gould (The Yellow Kid), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 23:56 (three months ago) link

start watching Sadistic Jimmy in those Mann westerns

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 21 August 2019 01:06 (three months ago) link

watched Bend of the River a few weeks back. The violence isn’t particularly gruesome but the situations are pretty bleak and it’s just shy of the not-dissimilar Ride the High Country in terms of being a dark tale of a gunman with a past and a duplicitous partner guarding loot (though there’s no redemption for the latter in BotR).

omar little, Wednesday, 21 August 2019 01:09 (three months ago) link

Stewart is marvelously tough in those Mann westerns.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 21 August 2019 02:12 (three months ago) link

PBS stations started showing it around Xmas in the early 70s iirc

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 21 August 2019 16:23 (three months ago) link

Winchester '73

This is a really exceptional and tough western. Jimmy comes into Dodge City to participate in a shooting contest, the prize being the titular rifle, one of his opponents being a real sadistic prick from his past played by Stephen McNally. It's very easy to make shooting contest scenes, easier still to make them boring, this one is actually tense and crisply edited.

It's no spoiler to say the film ends in a showdown between these two guys, but it's what's in-between that really makes it even more interesting. A tense and bloodless card game showdown in a desolate roadhouse tavern which puts Hateful Eight to shame, a quick and brutal battle between calvarymen and one of those '50s western Native American tribes which are today problematic (but at least the film does nod slightly via dialogue from their warrior chief Rock Hudson(!) to the atrocities committed against them), and Dan Duryea pops up near the end as a cackling villain in league w/McNally.

For a fairly thin story on paper, there's a lot going on: several narrative threads being followed at once, some complex characterizations in minor roles, and that final shootout seems de rigueur at first but it's craftily directed, and as the gunfire grows more rapid you get the sense of two guys who have stopped taking potshots and instead want to blow the other guy's brains out. A key shot involves Stewart pinning down McNally between two rocks in a narrow outcropping, bullets ricocheting around and preventing him from moving.

omar little, Wednesday, 28 August 2019 23:02 (three months ago) link

It's hard to choose between that one and The Naked Spur.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 28 August 2019 23:03 (three months ago) link

Mann was an excellent director.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 28 August 2019 23:03 (three months ago) link

That final shootout in Winchester ‘73 is A++++. Never seen Bend of the River, looking forward to checking it out this weekend.

“Hakuna Matata,” a nihilist philosophy (One Eye Open), Thursday, 29 August 2019 01:55 (three months ago) link

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