On this date, in 1908, James Stewart was born in Pennsylvania. Over the course of a long career that saw him become a favorite of every director from Frank Capra to John Ford to Alfred Hitchcock to Anthony Mann, Jimmy Stewart gave a series of amazing performances. My favorite Stewart film is, of course, It’s A Wonderful Life. But I also love Stewart’s performance in 1959’s Anatomy of a Murder. Playing a somewhat cynical attorney, Stewart received his final Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his work in this classic and influential film.
In today’s scene that I love, James Stewart explains to his client (played by Ben Gazzara) that there are four ways that he can defend a murder charge. The contrast between Stewart’s classic style and Gazzara’s intense method style makes for an intense scene between two very talented and unique actors.
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