Stewart, Jimmy: Signature Collection (Part II)

Part II

James Stewart: The Signature Collection includes six movies starring the American icon from the 1950s and 1960s: The FBI Story, The Naked Spur, The Spirit of St. Louis, The Stratton Story, and a double-feature DVD of The Cheyenne Social Club and Fire Creek (the last two debuting for the first time on Wide screen DVD)

The Stratton Story (1949)

Chicago White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton is an affable long drink of water with an easy, whip like delivery and a pitch so unhittable the young phenom racks up consecutive 15-win seasons. But Stratton’s greatest victory doesn’t come on the green diamonds of our national pastime.

Jimmy Stewart portrays Stratton, who loses a leg in an accident just as his career is one the rise, and whose triumph over despair and disability leads him to pitch again.

Stewart signed on for the role when he realized the film would be inspiration to the real-life injured WWII GIs. Six-decades later, the film is still inspirational, and an honorable model for sports biopictures.

Awarded an Oscar for Best Motion Picture story, Stratton Story is directed in earnest by Sam Wood (who made earlier the baseball movie “Pride of the Yankees” with Gary Cooper).

The supporting cast includes June Allyson, Agnes Moorehead, Frank Morgan and a bunch of real-life ballplayers.

The pairing of Stewart and Allyson as husband-and-wife was so successful that they appeared together again in “The Glenn Miller Story” (1954) and “Strategic Air Command” (1955).

Special DVD features

Vintage short, “Pest Control”;
Classic cartoon, “Batty Baseball”;
Audio-only bonus, Radio Show with Stewart and Allyson;
Theatrical trailer

Firecreek (1968)

The Cheyenne Social Club (1970)

There’s a sense of mutual respect and intimate camaraderie between Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart, the two stars of these modern Westerns, whose real friendship goes back to their days as struggling actors and roommates.

In the character-driven Western “Firecreek,” Fonda plays an outlaw preying on small towns, and Stewart is the jittery, two-dollar-a-month part-time lawman, who must find the courage to stop him.

“The Cheyenne Social Club” casts Fonda and Stewart as saddle-weary Texans who, surprised to find they’ve inherited a Wyoming bordello, feel honor-bound to defend it against a gun-wielding gang. Gene Kelly, better known as dancer-choreographer-actor, directs this mix of fun and Western action.

Special DVD features

First-time Widescreen home video debut for both movies
Vintage The Cheyenne Social Club featurette, “The Good Time Girls.”
Theatrical trailers