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James Stewart: Screen Legend Collection [3 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay was another inspired collaboration between star James Stewart and director Anthony Mann. Stewart plays an ex-GI named Steve, who has a hankering to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Together with his army buddy Gambi (Dan Duryea, in a rare good-guy role), Steve attains the financial backing of irascible oil-company chieftain Kermit MacDonald (Jay C. Flippen) and the two head southward. Before they can even place their drills in the clamps, Steve and Gambi run afoul of local shrimp fishermen who consider the presence of oil speculators as a threat to their livelihoods. Things get dicey when Steve falls in love with Stella (Joanne Dru), the daughter of combative fisherman Dominique Rigaud (Antonio Moreno). Mob mentality threatens to overcome common sense until a clever -- and mutually beneficial -- compromise between the drillers and the fishermen is reached. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Glenn Miller Story
The Glenn Miller Story traces Miller's rise from pit-orchestra trombone player to leader of the most successful big band of his era. June Allyson is on hand as Miller's wife, Helen, who learns the value of patience when Glenn spends his wedding night jamming with Gene Krupa and Louis Armstrong. Given an officer's commission during World War II, Miller helms the swingin'est military band ever heard. In December of 1944, a plane carrying Miller disappears while flying over the English Channel. In memoriam, radio stations all over the world suspend their regular broadcasts to play such Miller standards as "Moonlight Serenade," "Chattanooga Choo Choo," and "Little Brown Jug." Many of Miller's contemporaries, including his first big-time boss, Ben Pollack, appear as themselves. The success of The Glenn Miller Story inspired Universal to give the go-ahead for another musical biopic, 1956's The Benny Goodman Story, with Steve Allen in the title role. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

You Gotta Stay Happy
In this romantic comedy, a wealthy heiress marries hastily and realizes her mistake on her honeymoon in New York. Though it is her wedding night, she decides not to consummate the union and so ends up hiding in the room of a fellow whose airplane cargo company is facing financial ruin. He assumes that the frightened girl is poor and homeless and so takes her in. She then overdoses on sleeping pills and cannot wake up. The fellow is forced to take her back to California. The flight back is tumultuous as she, a fugitive criminal, two enamored newlyweds, a cigar smoking chimp, a corpse, and a shipment of lobsters are aboard the plane. Mayhem really ensues when the plane crashes in a farmer's field. By this time, the woman and the fellow have fallen in love. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Shenandoah
The year is 1863. Wealthy Virginia landowner Charlie Anderson (James Stewart), a man of peace despite his autocratic behavior, steadfastly refuses to take sides in the Civil War. Bit by bit, Anderson's isolationism--and his way of living--is torn apart. Charlie's daughter, Jannie Anderson (Rosemary Forsyth) falls in love with Confederate soldier Sam (Doug McClure). His youngest son, Boy Anderson (Philip Alford) is captured by the Confederate army and taken prisoner. Meanwhile, another son, James (Patrick Wayne) and his wife, Ann (Katherine Ross), are murdered by looters. And his oldest son, Jacob Glenn Corbett, is accidentally killed. How all of these personal tragedies culminate in a successfully sentimental finale is the peculiar charm of Shenandoah, which proved to be a hit with audiences on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. James Lee Barrett's screenplay was later adapted into a successful Broadway musical, starring Northern Exposure's John Cullum in the Stewart role. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Next Time We Love
Aspiring actress Cicely Tyler (Margaret Sullavan) puts her career on hold when she marries ambitious newsman Christopher Tyler (James Stewart). Meanwhile, Tommy Abbott (Ray Milland), who secretly loves Cicely, arranges a big Broadway break for her. This causes a rift in her marriage when Christopher is assigned to his newspaper's Rome bureau, but he soon deserts his post and promises never to leave her again when he discovers that she's pregnant. This rash act loses Christopher his job, forcing him to start right at the bottom again? And so goes the rest of the story, as Cicely and Christopher struggle to balance their romance and their careers. James Stewart's first significant leading-man role turned out to be at Universal, rather than his home studio of MGM; the loan-out was arranged by his old University Players friend and co-worker Margaret Sullavan, who was briefly married to Stewart's best pal Henry Fonda. Among the uncredited contributors to the screenplay of Next Time We Love was Preston Sturges. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • James Stewart
    James Stewart - Steve Martin
  • Joanne Dru
    Joanne Dru - Stella Rigaud
  • Gilbert Roland
    Gilbert Roland - Teche Bossier
  • Dan Duryea
    Dan Duryea - Johnny Gambi
  • Jay C. Flippen
    Jay C. Flippen - Kermit MacDonald
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