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Quotes from Jimmy Stewart

   

Quotes from Jimmy Stewart, star of ‘It‘s a Wonderful Life‘, ‘The Philadelphia Story‘, ‘Harvey‘, ‘The Spirit of St. Louis‘, ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance‘ and dozens more classic films.

  • “Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing a Jimmy Stewart imitation myself.”
  • “I’d like people to remember me as someone who was good at his job and seemed to mean what he said.” (1983)
  • “There ought to be a law against any man who doesn’t want to marry Myrna Loy.”

On John Wayne

  • “I can’t imagine there’s anyone in the country who doesn’t know who he is. Kids will be talking about him long after the rest of us are gone. John will make the history books, as Will Rogers did, because he as lived his life to reflect the ideals of his country.” – On John Wayne
  • “John Wayne was probably the biggest star in the world, yet he retained the qualities of a small boy. He had the enthusiasm for life that would make a high school football star envious. And through it all, Duke never changed. As a man he was exactly the boy he started out. And as a friend … well, you just wouldn’t want a better one. In his lifetime, Duke stamped AMERICA across the face of the motion picture industry. Few other men, living or dead, have ever portrayed the fine, decent, and generous American qualities as Duke did. He portrayed on screen the values he lived off screen. Gentle – so much so, it would have surprised his critics. Loyal – once your friend, always your friend. Courageous – if you doubt it, remember his fight against cancer, or the way he faced heart surgery. And decent. Above all, Duke was a decent man. He was also far from perfect. He made his mistakes as I have made mine and you have made yours. All in all, I would say they were unintentional. Mistakes of the heart, I would say. Let me say this about the John Wayne I knew. He was an original. He was the statue of his times. All in all, I think it was the man’s integrity that speaks most of him. His principles never varied. Nor did his ideals. Nor did his faith in mankind.”

On Indiana

  • “Indiana means home to me. It is a town for me to cling to, because my mother and father are here. I was born and reared here. I have a great love and pride for Indiana. I love every bit of it.” – Upon being named a Pennsylvania Ambassador by Governor James Duff, 1 October 1948
  • “Through the years Indiana has been something of tremendous importance in my life. It’s true there is something special about the place where you were raised-your hometown. I have found through the years during the times when I’ve been here in Indiana that almost every direction I look, and so many faces I see, immediately cause a picture to be formed of an event, a happening in my life that I remember well. I think the main thing that has kept Indiana so close to my heart is the fact that Indiana has been, and still is, the headquarters of Mr. Alex Stewart and his family … My father has been almost fanatical in his determination to keep our family together-and he has done it. Time and distance haven’t seemed to have affected this headquarters in Indiana. I’ve settled down three thousand miles from Indiana. I’ve traveled to points in the world three times that distance. At times I’ve stayed away several years at a stretch, but I somehow have never felt that I was very far from here … somehow I don’t feel that I have ever been away.” – His speech at a Boy Scout Testimonial Dinner celebrating his fiftieth birthday on 20 May 1958

On Acting

  • “It’s much easier, for example, to play a heroin addict and you’re withdrawing – you tear the ceiling off – that’s much easier than it is to come in and say, ‘Hello.’ Or, ‘I love you.’ When you judge it in that way, the heavy isn’t as difficult.”
  • “I don’t act. I react.”
  • “I’m the inarticulate man who tries. I don’t really have all the answers, but for some reason, somehow, I make it.”
  • “I am James Stewart playing James Stewart. I couldn’t mess around with the characterizations. I play variations on myself.”

Career

  • “The big studios were an ideal way to make films – because they were a home base for people. When you were under contract, you had no chance to relax.”
  • “If I had my career over again? Maybe I’d say to myself, speed it up a little.”

Society

  • “I don’t think there’s any question that the Communists are behind a great deal of unrest in the United States. In addition, I feel they are still a potential danger in show business.” (1970)
  • “I hate them! I absolutely hate them! Whether right or wrong, their country was at war and their country asked them to serve, and they refused and ran away. Cowards, that’s what they were.” – On teenagers who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War
  • “If a western is a good western, it gives you a sense of that world and some of the qualities those men had – their comradeship, loyalty, and physical courage. The vogue for the new kind of western seems pretty unimportant to me. They try to destroy something that has been vital to people for so long.”
  • “I’m going to be with Gloria now.” – His last words

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