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Jimmy Stewart and Jennifer Jones

Below: Jimmy, Jennifer and Burt Reynolds (?). Apparently this picture (from Feb '83) was originally published in LIFE magazine, but I couldn't find a caption for it. What were they all doing together, I wonder?? Perhaps discussing a new movie project? I think that would have been pretty cool, because Jimmy and Jennifer were never in a movie together. :(

"Airport '77" (1977)

Why they made these films, I'll never know. In "Airport '77" (I love how they cut out the "19" in "1977" from the title) Jack Lemmon saves the day, and features cameos by Jimmy Stewart and Olivia DeHavilland. Fortunately, Jim is only in one or two scenes of this.

"The Shootist" (1976)

John Wayne's last film, he plays aging gunfighter JB Brooks who travels to a small town to get an exam from an old doctor friend played by my man Jimmy. Good old Jim lays some bad news on the Duke: he's got cancer, and only has a few months to live. Brooks decides to stay in the town to live out his last days. He rents a room from Bond Rogers (Lauren Bacall) who has a whipper-snapper, gun-slinging son (Ron Howard). Turns out Wayne still has some enemies, who find out he's camping out in the town and decide to offer him one last challenge. The movie is filled with some pretty cool shootout scenes, and gets rather bloody at times. This also is one of Jimmy Stewart's last major motion pictures as well. Neat to see a Happy-Days-era Ron Howard act alongside - and shoot alongside! - the Duke.

Also starring Hugh O'Brian, Scatman Carothers, and Gene Barry, who passed away on Dec 9 2009. Read a blog post tribute to Gene Barry.

"Come Live With Me" (1941)

Hedy plays a illegal immigrant from Vienna (whose father was "liquidated" for his convictions, as a character says - though it's not specified, one can assume she's either Jewish or a political dissenter). She has become a showgirl in a big US city (none is specified, but I guess NY?) and has an affiar with a married man. One day a deportation officer comes to summons her, but is overcome by her allure. He suggests she get married so she can become an American citizen. He gives her only a week to do so.

Hedy: Get married? In only a week?!
Deportation officer: Miss, if you can't get married in a week, the boys here must be slippin!

While strolling through the park that night, she bumps into down-on-his luck writer Jimmy, then meets him again later. He invites her up into his shack of an aparment, and we realize how poor he is. "I'm no capitalist", he declares. And his hosting abilities are challenged: "Would you like to have something to drink?" he asks; "Some nice warm beer?"....Some music? I can open the window and we can get the radio from across the street."
And my favorite: "If you'd to browse among my books, the pawn shop is just around the corner."

There is a funny parkbench scene with Jimmy and a beggar, who tries to talk him into becoming a bum, and even tests his will by offering him a dollar.

The subplot involving Hedy's married boyfriend isn't interesting. Overall, I'd say this is a pretty average comedy. It's so much more enjoyable whenever the two stars are together onscreen. Hedy is so pretty and sweet and Jimmy is in his aw-shucks persona again.

A line Jimmy says in this film (after they are married) sums up the movie pretty good: "It's one thing for two strangers to get married, but you've gotta get to know each other before you get a divorce!"

The best part of the film is toward the end when Jimmy brings Hedy to his family home on the farm where his wise grandmother (Adeline De Walt Reynolds) lives.

Fans of either star will enjoy it I'm sure, but it's not one of either of their best. Perhaps this is why this film was never available commercially on VHS nor DVD.

Co-starring Frank Faylen (Ernie from "It's a Wonderful Life")
Donald Meek (Stagecoach, Poppins from "You Can't Take It With You"). Directed by Clarence Brown.

Read the original (Feb 1941) New York Times review here.