James Stewart: The James Stewart Collection (UK-import) (DVD)
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Five classic films starring the Hollywood legend James Stewart. In 'Destry Rides Again' (1939), the son of a famous lawman, young Tom Destry (Stewart) is considered something of a joke when he takes up the position of deputy in the lawless town of Bottle Neck. Destry refuses to carry a gun, and prefers a glass of milk to alcohol, which hardly makes him a match for gunslinging saloon owner Kent (Brian Donlevy), the real power behind the town. However, with the aid of drunken sheriff 'Wash' Dimmsdale (Charles Winninger), the soft-spoken Destry sets about cleaning up Bottle Neck in his own inimitable manner, winning the admiration of Kent's blowsy, bar-room singer girlfriend, Frenchy (Marlene Dietrich), along the way. In 'Harvey' (1950), Elwood P. Dowd (Stewart) and his best friend Harvey are inseparable. They go everywhere together, spreading warmth and kindness throughout all the bars in town. The only trouble is that Harvey is a 'Pooka' - a six foot-plus rabbit that only Elwood can see. When Elwood and Harvey embarass the former's social-climbing sister Veta Louise (an Oscar-winning Josephine Hull) once too often, she finally opts to get Elwood the treatment she thinks he needs, and arranges to have him installed in the local mental asylum. However, Harvey's unseen but ever-felt presence ensures that all does not go according to plan. In 'Winchester 73' (1950), cowboy Lin McAdam (Stewart) wins a Winchester rifle in a shooting competition, only for it to be stolen by his opponent, his arch-enemy Dutch Henry Mann (Stephen McNally). McAdam sets off in pursuit of his adversary, determined to settle a feud that dates back many years. In 'Rear Window' (1954), director Alfred Hitchcock playfully explores the role of the voyeur in one of his best-loved suspense thrillers. After breaking his leg during a shoot, photo-journalist L.B. 'Jeff' Jeffries (Stewart) is forced to spend a humid summer recuperating in his Greenwich Village apartment. The wheelchair-bound Jeff whiles away his time observing his neighbours through a telephoto lens, bestowing them with nicknames and growing familiar with their daily routines. However, his society girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly) is exasperated and then alarmed when Jeff becomes obsessed with the notion that Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), who lives in the apartment opposite, has murdered his wife. Finally, in Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' (1958), after his fear of heights indirectly causes the death of a colleague, San Francisco cop Scottie (Stewart) retires. He is subsequently hired by magnate Gavin Elster to follow his wife, Madeleine (Kim Novak), as Elster says he fears for her life. Scottie becomes bewitched by Madeleine, falling in love with her after saving her from a suicide attempt. Then, when Scottie's vertigo prevents him saving Madeleine from a second attempt to kill herself, he becomes obsessed with recreating the dead woman's image.
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