James Stewart is such a revered figure in our society because of his everyman qualities that made each and every role he portrayed during his lengthy career unforgettable. His films endure thanks not only to the incredible care he took in choosing his material — seriously, is there even such a thing as a bad Jimmy Stewart film? — but also the fact that Stewart’s naturalistic presence gave viewers someone that they could truly root for.
Just released this week, James Stewart: 4-Movie Collection offers up a quartet of some of his most-beloved films in a three-DVD set. The films included are:
Based on the play by Mary Chase, this beloved comedy stars James Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd, a good-hearted inebriate whose constant companion is an invisible rabbit named Harvey who stands just over six feet tall. Josephine Hull won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her performance as Elwood’s sister, who becomes determined to have him put away. With Peggy Dow, Jesse White.
Rear Window (1954)
Confined to a wheelchair after breaking his leg on an assignment, photojournalist L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies’ (James Stewart) “hobby” of spying on his neighbors from his apartment window with a telephoto lens leads him and girlfriend Lisa Fremont (Grace Kelly) to believe that one of his subjects may be a murderer. One of Alfred Hitchcock‘s personal favorites, this innovative suspense gem also stars Thelma Ritter and Raymond Burr.
The Glenn Miller Story (1954)
The music of the Big Band era lives again in this famed biography of the musician and band leader. James Stewart shines in the title role, with June Allyson as his wife. Special musical guests include Louis Armstrong, Gene Krupa, Frances Langford and the Glenn Miller Orchestra, performing such classics as “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” “Moonlight Serenade,” and “Chattanooga Choo-Choo.” 113 min. C/Rtg: G
Considered by many to be Alfred Hitchcock’s most personal film, this psychological suspenser stars James Stewart as retired detective Scottie Ferguson, who, after an incident on the job, has acquired vertigo and a fear of heights. Hired by an old friend to uncover the secret his wife (Kim Novak) is keeping from him, Scottie finds a forbidden romance, a deadly plot, and an obsession that transcends the grave. With Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore; music by Bernard Herrmann.
James Stewart: 4-Movie Collection is now available.