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Thursday, November 02, 2017

Scott Eyman, "Hank and Jim"


Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart were two of the best actors of the 20th century. Their movie credits include such classics as "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington," "It’s A Wonderful Life," "Rear Window," "12 Angry Men," "Mister Roberts," "The Grapes of Wrath," "Fail Safe," and "Anatomy of a Murder."

Scott Eyman (who has done books on John Wayne, John Ford, Cecil B. DeMille, and Louis B. Mayer) has written a dual biography of the two stars, "Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart." In my conversation with him, we touched on:
  • Whether either of them had any acting lessons;
  • How Stewart insisted the studio not use his World War II experiences in publicity materials;
  • Why Stewart could relate so well to George Bailey in "It's A Wonderful Life";
  • How the only movie Fonda produced was "12 Angry Men";
  • Why no one who made "Mister Roberts" liked the movie, including Fonda;
  • Whether Stewart had an affair with Marlene Dietrich while making "Destry Rides Again";
  • How these two political opposites kept up a lifelong friendship.
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