Dear Brigitte (1963): Jimmy Stewart’s Family Film, Co-Starring Sex Symbol Brigitte Bardot and Singer Fabian

In the 1960s, vet actor and Oscar winner Jimmy Stewart matured into playing a series of benevolent screen fathers in several comedies.

Dear Brigitte
Dear Brigitte Poster.jpg

Some of those comedies were directed by Henry Koster and were extremely popular at the box-office.

His comedy fare represents the last era in Hollywood, just before the Vietnam War and anti-War and other protest movements, that the American family was depicted in a naively positive and upbeat, old-fashioned way.

Stewart excelled as a father figure in the 1962 comedy Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation, which depicts the (mis)adventures of Stewart, his wife Maureen O’Hara, and their clan, when they rent a house by the ocean for the summer.

Directed by vet Henry Koster, this mildly entertaining comedy was extremely popular at the box-office. It’s not a coincidence that it bears some thematic and tonal resemblance to Father of the Bride, Minnelli’s far superior family fare with a towering, Oscar-nominated performance from Spencer Tracy, as both were based on books written by Edward Streeter.

In 1963, Two years later, in the likable but inconsequential Take Her, She’s Mine, Stewart was cast as the father of a rebellious teenage daughter, played by America’s sweetheart at the time, Sandra Dee.  The comedy, scripted by Nannally Johnson, from a Broadway play by Henry and Phoebe Ephron (parents of writer-director Nora Ephron), was later unofficially remade as The Impossible Years.

James Brolin, who would emerge as a major TV actor, appears briefly in an airport setting as a student spokesman.

In 1965, Stewart appeared in the semi-whimsical family comedy, Dear Brigitte, also directed by Henry Koster.  He is cast as the husband of Glynis Johns and father of a young genius (played by Stewart’s own son, Mumy),

The older man has a crush on Brigitte Bardot, the French and international sex symbol, who makes a brief appearance playing herself.


Produced, directed by Henry Koster
Written by Hal Kanter, Nunnally Johnson (uncredited), based on the novel “Erasmus with Freckles” by John Haase
Narrated by Ed Wynn
Cinematography Lucien Ballard, a.s.c.
Edited by Marjorie Fowler, a.c.e.
Music by George Duning

Production companies: Fred Kohlmar Production, 20th Century Fox

Distributed by 20th Century Fox

Release date: January 8, 1965

Running time: 100 minutes
Budget: 2.47 million
Box office: $2.2 million