James Stewart - The Signature Collection

In his early years, Jimmy Stewart came to personify the Everyman. "Hollywood dishes out too much praise for small things,'' Jimmy once said. "I won't let it get to me, but too much praise can turn a fellow's head if he doesn't watch his step.'' - Through a Hollywood career spanning 50 years James Stewart has thrilled, touched and delighted audiences with over 80 films.

 

Titles

 


 

Synopses:


The Naked Spur
A bitter Howard Kemp heads westward to the Rockies from Abilene, Kansas on the trail of murderer Ben Vandergroat and the $5000 reward on Vandergroat's head, money after which Kemp lusts in order to re-purchase the ranch that his absconding fiancée had sold during his stint in the army. Kemp unexpectedly crosses paths with an old, star-crossed gold miner, Jesse Tate, and with a recently-discharged soldier of questionable repute, Roy Anderson. Teaming up, they nab Vandergroat and his girl, Lina Patch, but Vandergroat tries to turn his three distrustful, avaricious captors against each other during the return trip.

The FBI Story
The story of the FBI unfolds through the eyes of one of its agents. During his career he investigates gangsters, swindlers, the klu klux klan, Nazi agents and cold war spies.

The Stratton Story
The movie is about Chicago White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton (Jimmy Stewart), who in the 1930s, compiled a 37-19 won-loss record in three seasons. After he became the winningest right-hander in the American League, his major league career ended prematurely when a hunting accident in 1938 forced doctors to amputate his right leg. With a wooden leg and his wife Ethel's (June Allyson) help, Stratton made a successful minor league comeback in 1946, continuing to pitch in minor leagues throughout the rest of the 1940s and into the 1950s.

The Spirit of St. Louis
Biography of Charles Lindburgh from his days of precarious mail runs in aviation's infancy to his design of a small transatlantic plane and the vicissitudes of its takeoff and epochal flight from New York to Paris in 1927.

The Cheyenne Social Club
John is working as a cow poke for very little money with his friend Harley when he gets word his brother, DJ, has left him The Cheyenne Social Club. He and Harley ride for nearly a thousand miles to his inheritance only to find he is now the owner of a first class brothel.

Firecreek
The folk of small western town Firecreek stand up for their rights after gunmen abuse them, leading to an extravagant final battle between good-guy Jimmy Stewart and bad-guy Henry Fonda.

Posters

Theatrical Releases: Various from 1935 - 1940

  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC
Audio English (2.0), All have French DUBs except The FBI Story
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios 

Edition Details:

 

The Naked Spur

• Featurette 'Things We Can Do Tonight'
• Little Johnny Jet - Tex Avery cartoon
• Theatrical trailer

The FBI Story

• Trailer

The Stratton Story

• Pest Control (Dave O'Brien short comedy)
• Batty baseball - Tex Avery cartoon
• Lux radio Broadcast
• Theatrical trailer


The Spirit of St. Louis

• Premiere footage
• 'So Your Wife Wants to Work'
• 'Tabasco Road' Speedy Gonzales cartoon


The Cheyenne Social Club

• Featurette - The Good Time Girls
• Theatrical Trailer


Firecreek

• trailer


DVD Release Date: August 15th, 2006

5 Keep Cases inside a cardboard box
Chapters: various

 

 

Comments:

The five DVDs are all sold separately but come at a handsome discount if purchased together in the James Stewart Signature Collection boxset. They are all housed in full (standard) keep cases. All are coded for regions 1,2,3 and 4 in the NTSC standard. Each have original audio and optional English, Spanish and French subtitles in an off-white font with black border. All offer a French DUB except The FBI Story. All transfers are progressive (and anamorphic where widescreen) in their original aspect ratio(s). There are no commentaries offered.

NOTE: The Cheyenne Social Club is offered on one side of the last DVD while Firecreek (also with his buddy Henry Fonda) is on the opposite side.

Aside from The Naked Spur, these films represent somewhat of a patchwork of also-rans from Stewarts magnificent career which includes such classics as It's A Wonderful Life (1946), Winchester '73 (1950), Rear Window (1954), The Man from Laramie (1955), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Vertigo (1958) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). The cohesive part of this collection is that none have ever been released on DVD before.

As I have already indicated in my individual review I was most disappointed with the way that The Naked Spur looks (hazy, muddy, dull), but the rest of the films in the James Stewart Signature Collection look acceptable to very good. Firecreek may have had some black/red boosting - ditto to a lesser extent The Cheyenne Social Club The FBI Story, The Stratton Story and The Spirit of St. Louis look the best - very sharp and good contrast.

Audio (which is generally a Warner strongpoint) was consistent and clean on all five films - I noticed not excessive hiss or pops and dialogue was always audible.

Extras - unfortunately there are no commentaries offered with the films in this boxset. There are however some sporadic and unrelated supplements of which I enjoyed the Tex Avery cartoons the most - the rest might be considered filler. 

For more specific details please cross-reference our individual reviews.

Overall, a James Stewart Signature box would be a no-brainer purchase, but with the weak quality of The Naked Spur, (I consider it to be THE film of the collection), one might give second thought. But   The FBI Story, The Stratton Story and The Spirit of St. Louis are strong enough films to warrant buying. Tack on the fun Cheyenne Social Club and a decent western on its own merits; Firecreek and you have a reasonable enough reason to raise the value for an acceptable deal - actually a strong deal at less than $7/film. Although not Jimmy's best work - we still recommend!

Gary W. Tooze

 





DVD Menus



 

Screen Captures

 

The Naked Spur Directed by Anthony Mann USA 1953


Starring Jimmy Stewart, Janet Leigh and Robert Ryan

 

DVD REVIEWED IN FULL HERE

 

 


The FBI Story Directed by Mervyn LeRoy USA 1959


Starring  James Stewart, Vera Miles and Murray Hamilton 

 

DVD REVIEWED IN FULL HERE

 

 


The Stratton Story Directed by Sam Wood USA 1949


Starring James Stewart, June Allyson, Frank Morgan and Agnes Moorehead

 

DVD REVIEWED IN FULL HERE

 

 


The Spirit of St. Louis  Directed by Billy Wilder USA 1957


Starring  James Stewart , Murray Hamilton and Patricia Smith 

 

DVD REVIEWED IN FULL HERE

 

 

 


The Cheyenne Social Club Directed by Gene Kelly USA 1970


Starring James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Shirley Jones and Sue Ane Langdon 

 

DVD REVIEWED IN FULL HERE

 

 


Firecreek Directed by Vincent McEveety USA 1968


Starring James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Inger Stevens, Gary Lockwood and Dean Jagger

 

DVD REVIEWED IN FULL HERE

 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC




 

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