James Stewart Movies

James Stewart in 1946's It's A Wonderful Life

James Stewart in 1946’s It’s A Wonderful Life

Want to know the best James Stewart movies?  How about the worst James Stewart movies?  Curious about James Stewart’s box office grosses or which James Stewart movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which James Stewart movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

James “Jimmy” Stewart (1908-1997) is considered one of the greatest actors to ever exist. He was named the third Greatest Male Star of All-Time by the American Film Institute.  He made almost 80 movies in his acting career that lasted over seven decades.  Stewart received five Academy Award® nominations for Best Actor. He won an Oscar® for The Philadelphia Story.

Shortly after winning his Academy Award®, James Stewart enlisted in the Air Force. His accomplishments in World War II outshine his movie career in my opinion. Stewart started as a private, but moved up the ranks rapidly. Stewart was assigned to the 445th Bombardment Group and flew combat missions. He flew as command pilot in the lead B-24 on numerous missions deep into Germany. At the end of the war, Stewart had earned the rank of Colonel.

James Stewart’s first movie after the war was one of the great all time classics…. It’s A Wonderful Life. From 1946 until 1971 Stewart starred in 45 movies, including classic movies like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope, Rear Window and Vertigo. His last starring role was Fools’ Parade with a very young Kurt Russell.

His IMDb page shows 98 acting credits from 1934-1991. This page will rank 75 James Stewart movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television appearances, cameos and some of his very early 1930s movies were not included in the rankings.

James Stewart in 1954's Rear Window

James Stewart in 1954’s Rear Window

James Stewart Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort James Stewart movies by co-stars of his movies
  • Sort James Stewart movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort James Stewart movies by yearly box office rank
  • Sort James Stewart movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each James Stewart movie received.
  • Sort James Stewart movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score. UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above James Stewart Table

  1. Forty-twoJames Stewart movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 56.16% of his movies listed. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) was his biggest box office hit.
  2. An average James Stewart movie grosses $130.70 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  56 James Stewart movies are rated as good movies…or 76.71% of his movies.  Rear Window (1954) is his highest rated movie while Airport ’77 (1977) is his lowest rated movie.
  4. Twenty-five James Stewart movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 34.24% of his movies.
  5. Nine James Stewart movie won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 12.32% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 39.86.  55 James Stewart movies scored higher that average….or 75.34% of his movies.  The Philadelphia Story (1939) got the the highest UMR Score while The Big Sleep (1978) got the lowest UMR Score.
James Stewart in 1950's Harvey....Harvey was Stewart's favorite role

James Stewart in 1950’s Harvey….Harvey was Stewart’s favorite role

Possibly Interesting Facts About James Stewart

1. James Stewart’s father ran a hardware store. Three generations of his family had run the store. Stewart was supposed to take over for his father….it did not work out that way. When Stewart won his Oscar® in 1941, he gave the Oscar® to his dad who place the Oscar® in the hardware store front window….I am sure many people went to that hardware store just see that Oscar® statue.

2. James Stewart got married for the first and only time in 1949. He was married to Gloria McClean from 1949 to 1994. Stewart adopted McClean’s two sons, Ronald and Michael, from her previous marriage and in 1951 they had twin girls, Judy and Kelly.

3. During Stewart’s long career he worked with many directors numerous times. His two most famous collaborations were with Alfred Hitchcock and Anthony Mann. Stewart appeared in 4 Hitchcock movies and 8 Anthony Mann movies.

4. Speaking of Alfred Hitchcock….James Stewart really wanted to play Roger Thornhill in 1959’s North by Northwest. Hitchcock felt that Cary Grant would be better for the role and delayed making North by Northwest until Stewart had started filming Bell, Book and Candle.

5. James Stewart was nominated 5 times for a Best Actor Oscar®. Those movies were Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, The Philadelphia Story, It’s A Wonderful Life, Harvey and Anatomy of a Murder. He won for The Philadlephia Story in 1941.

6. James Stewart was the first major star to negotiate a percentage of the his movies grosses. Stewart decided it was worth the gamble to lower his salary and get a percentage. The first two movies he tried this approach on were 1950’s Winchester 73 and Broken Arrow. Both movies became very big hits and Stewart changed the way stars negotiated their contracts.

7. James Stewart’s best friend was Henry Fonda. Henry Fonda arrived in Hollywood first and convinced Stewart to follow his footsteps. One time the two friends got into a fist fight over politics. They decided to never discuss politics ever again amongst themselves.

8. In 1985 James Stewart was presented an Honorary Oscar®. During his acceptance speech he said “This was the greatest award I received, to know that, after all these years, I haven’t been forgotten.”…..26 years later and he is still not forgotten.

9. Famous roles James Stewart turned down or was seriously considered for: The Wild Bunch, The Seven Year Itch, On Golden Pond, North by Northwest, My Darling Clementine, The Last Picture Show, and I Confess.

10. Check out James Stewart career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

Still searching for box office grosses for 3 James Stewart movies.  1936’s Speed, 1936’s Born To Dance and 1938’s Of Human Hearts.

AFI’s Top 25 Screen Legend Actors….with links to my movie pages on the Screen Legend

2.   Cary Grant
21. Buster Keaton
Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.  Golden Globes® are the registered trademark and service mark of the Hollywood Foreign Press. 

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53 thoughts on “James Stewart Movies

  1. Looks like this chart contains the actuals rather than the adjusted numbers.

    Thanks for a great resource! Just discovered this site and have been loving all the data.

    1. SHAUN

      1 Never Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth, Make Hay while the Sun Shines or whatever proverb you prefer!

      2 I like to see both the actual and adjusted grosses for movies/stars but actual grosses have a habit of suddenly disappearing from tables on this site. That said there is a great feast of actual grosses in the annual review pages on the site. However if you too are interested in actuals you should jot down Jimmy Stewart’s while you still have the opportunity.

      1. I believe the adjusted grosses are generally provided on the actor pages in order to provide the most accurate overview of what were truly the biggest hits of their careers, instead of skewing always to the more recent entries due to inflation.

        Just bringing this to his attention; not looking to complain. I can use an inflation adjusting tool on the internet to produce my own inflation-adjusted figures using these actuals, but I thought that he might like to know that this particular page didn’t have the same presentation as the others I’ve viewed.

        Sincere apologies if my observation sounded like bellyaching! The site is stunning and I’m disappointed I didn’t know about it sooner.

        1. Hey Shaun….Many years ago I found it was much more interesting to see adjusted grosses versus actual grosses. For example…The Philadelphia Story had a gross of about $6.70 million. To me that means almost nothing….last year The Brothers Grimsley grossed about that much in 2016….which was 148th for the year. But when you look at it’s adjusted gross of $209.50 million….that would be in the neighborhood of Dr. Strange. So to me….knowing The Philadelphia Story was nearly as big as Dr. Strange makes way more sense than knowing The Philadelphia Story and The Brothers Grimsley made about the same thing. Just explaining our thought process for providing the adjusted gross versus the actual grosses.

      2. Hey Bob….you are correct….in a blink of an eye….those actual box office numbers are gone. Yesterday WoC came up with an idea to improve the speed of the site….basically instead of having to update 700 pages……we are now only update three types of tables….apparently by doing the types of tables it moves the data from 700 locations to 3 locations.

        Those three types are (1) Pages that show actual and adjusted grosses (2) Pages that show adjusted domestic and worldwide grosses and (3) Pages that show adjusted grosses and yearly rank. We put the wrong table with Stewart…and countless other stars…including your favorite Brando….but this morning we are going back and fixing those issues….like I said in our post today…..two steps forward….and one step backwards.

        1. HI BRUCE

          1 This is a great work in progress that will be well worth the effort that you are putting into it but it’s so massive a task that teething problems like the Stewart one are bound to occur before everything settles down. As the cliche goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day”

          2 My daughter who is very computer literate helps me a lot with any problems that I have and you are lucky to have a wife with the necessary skills who gives you such great backing. In fact if Bill Powell could have picked up a wife like W o C The Thin Woman series could have been an even greater classic than it was!!

    2. Hey Shaun….thanks for the comment and the nice words. You will see that those actual numbers are now adjusted box office numbers again. Glad you found our site…..we are going through a massive upgrade currently as we move from static to dynamic web pages. Due to space limitations we generally only have room for 7 columns of information. Overall we like to use the adjusted gross because it really helps you/me understand how big a movie was back then compared to today. Like Bob said in his comment…..we do include our actual grosses in our yearly reviews. We have every year from 1936 to 1952 done….and working on more all the time on making more.

      1. Very cool! It’s a tremendous service you are providing. Feel free to reach out if you ever need a volunteer for some remote grunt work.

  2. hello Bruce
    i saw a lot of films of James Stewart and like a Foreign Affair with Dietrich i discover the Shop around the corner in a movie place classic and it was really a very sweet film and of course with Lubistch as Director and i can tell you it was a very big succes in Paris in the beginning of eighties it was a very good replay too:
    i think he is wonderfull in Rear Window but Grace Kelly is superb too and Thelma so good in the part of the nurse.
    but i am always surprised with the box of Destry because everybody says it was a smah it for the classic year of 1939 and it is so far away from Ninotcka with Garbo in your base
    and dont forget that the great battle of legends in the classic “30” was between Garbo and Dietrich;
    i saw the story for Oscar 2017 fo Lalaland and i think it is just a human story and in the mean time i think Mr Warren Beatty was very high class when he was triying to explain after the problem and i saw it he was very interrogatif when he had to read the “winner”
    but you are right that was a very big moment for TV, everybody for the two team film were great:
    have a good time
    Pierre

    1. Hey Pierre.
      1. Thanks for speaking about the Paris success of Shop Around the Corner.
      2. Rear Window is one of my favorite Stewart movies….you are 100% correct about Kelly and Ritter in the movie.
      3. Destroy Rides Again was a hit back then just not a monster hit…a very crowded field for sure.
      4. You are “spot on” about Beatty…I thought he did right about explaining what happened too.
      5. That video clip will be watched forever.
      Thanks for a great comment.

  3. STEVE

    1 Among the few directors whose movies are mostly well known to me is Anthony Mann because of his extensive collaboration with James Stewart who has long been one of my top 3 movie favourite stars. I am aware of 8 Mann/Stewart movies and you have selected 7 of them and your average rating for them is a pleasing 74.3. El Commandant does even better giving the same 7 an average of 79.9% for critic/audience.

    2 The Mann/Stewart movie that you have excluded is the harmless entertaining adventure yarn Thunder Bay (1953) and that disappointed me as you had plenty of room left within your usual quota of 30 odd selections. The Supremo rates it 63.7 for critic/audience. My 3 very favourite Mann movies are among your choices though –Stewart’s Bend of the River and Far Country and Hank Fonda’s Tin Star.

    3 Pick of the posters here was for me the Far Country, Man from Laramie, Man of the West, T Men and Raw Deal. When Cooper appeared on the screen in the trailer for Man of the West the catch-line was “West Here is your greatest Man.” That would have pleased John but I’m sure that the likes of the Duke and Randy would have had something to say about the accolade not to mention the would be Cowboy of the Century Robert Taylor

    4 Your Top 5 are solid selections and I am sure that choosing the No 1 was a labour of love for you! Seeing the posters for the Stewart westerns in their entirety was a trip down Nostalgia Lane for me so 9.5/10 PS Where did the title Johnny Colorado come from? I never knew it was an aka for Naked Spur

    1. Thanks Bob, appreciate the rating, review and info. I’m not sure where Johnny Colorado came from, The Naked Spur might have been re-released during the spaghetti western boom of the 1960s and they gave it a new title in certain European countries, maybe?

      I may have boosted El Cid’s rating slightly, I do mention on each video page that “occasionally my own score will be thrown into the mix too.” That makes it more unpredictable, interesting and exciting eh what? [cue Bob rolling his eyes]

      For instance on my fresh new straight out of the oven Ronnie Colman video I had a choice between Prisoner of Zenda, Lost Horizon and A Tale of Two Cities to place at no.1, all three had near enough identical scores. With creator’s prerogative I picked the one you’d least expect at numero uno and it felt good. 🙂

      Btw none of those three films were no.1 on Bruce’s Colman chart. It’s good to be different.

      1. 1 Thanks for the additional information which is always welcome.

        2 It has been said that on the set of The Young Lions director Edward Dmytryk thought Brando was turning his character into too much of a martyr so he called Mr M aside and cautioned him that “When Monty Clift’s in a movie there is room for just one Christ figure.”

        3 I in turn am cautioning you that on the Cogerson site Only One Person Shall be Known as The Creator.

        1. Understood Bob, but what shall we call Bruce than? ‘Friend of the Creator’? ‘The Creator’s stats crazy film bud’? “American movie guy who has viewed the Creator’s videos’? ‘The Michael Caine fanclub who dares question the Creators ‘all over the place and flip of a coin’ movie ratings?’ 😉

          1. We have had The King of Hollywood [Gable] The King of Rock n Roll [Elvis] The King of Horror [Lugosi] so what about The King of Stats for Bruce – or would he think that we were attaching limits to his expertise that did not apply?

          2. Oh Bruce is definitely The King of Stats, Bob.

            Even the stats have stats on this epic movie site. 🙂

            I googled “Queen of Hollywood” just for a laugh and this website came up, interesting.
            Do you think Bruce and John had anything to do with it? 😉

            http://www.bestmoviesbyfarr.com/articles/myrna-loy-pictures/2015/07

            “In the late ‘30s, when MGM famously crowned Clark Gable “the King of Hollywood,” the press anointed her his queen, and nobody grumbled. She seemed just right for the part.”

            oooh!

          3. Hey Steve….I am impressed that you found my other website…..lol. Good find on Myrna Loy….she looks awesome in those attached photos.

            King of Stats?….actually I view myself as the Bill James of Movie Stats….Bill James was a security guard in Kansas City that during his down time at work started playing with baseball stats….’creating baseball stat formulas” that people had never seen before. Eventually he started doing a yearly report (he called them his Abstracts) and was giving them to his friends…a publisher got his hands on his Abstracts and started publishing them. Those Abstracts then got into the hands of MLB general managers…and they started using his stats to make decisions. James became a stat hero….eventually the Boston Red Sox hired him to do stats for them…..the result? The Red Sox have won 3 World Series…which included breaking the Curse of Babe Ruth…and ending their 70 year plus championship drought.

            Wow…talk about getting off subject…lol. What was your comment? 🙂

        2. Hey Bob….of all your nicknames for me…I think I like “The Creator” the best….:) Good behind the scenes story on The Young Lions.

      2. Hey Steve…..so you have a new Ronald Colman video?….will have to check that out. So we do not have the same Top 1…that actually does not happen too often. Now that has me curious….sorry you got it wrong…lol.

    2. Hey Bob
      1. A few times I have thought about doing a page on Anthony Mann.
      2. Unlike Steve’s video….you WILL find Thunder Bay on my James Stewart page….lol.
      3. Thunder Bay has often been called “a western on a oil rig”.
      4. I still have not seen Tin Star.
      5. Good review on Steve’s video.

  4. James Stewart starred in 37 color movies. His first color movie was the mainly b/w Ice Follies of 1939 which had a color climax. His first full color movie was Rope in 1948. He had 19 color movies in total through 1959.

    While most of his better movies are b/w, he had classics with Anthony Mann and Hitchcock, especially Rear Window and Vertigo, in color.

    There were also MfTV movies and cameos in the later years, pushing him above 40 color appearances in movies.

    1. Hey John…..his 37 color movies pretty much makes his career 50% color movies and 50% black and white movies. I bet he is one of the few actors that can make that claim. I think his great movies are evenly spread out between the two types of movies. I love Rear Window….yet I have never been much of a Vertigo fan…yes the movie is good…..but the best of all-time? Not in my book….so all 4 of his Hitchcock movie were color…..very interesting…thanks for putting together this information.

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