• Jimmy Stewart

  • The Truth Behind the Legend
  • By: Michael Munn
  • Narrated by: Mark Whitten
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (639 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this definitive biography of one of Hollywood's most beloved stars, Michael Munn reveals the truth behind the diffident, earnest and kindly persona of Jimmy Stewart. Drawn from the author's formal interviews and informal meetings with the star and his friendship with Stewart's wife, Gloria, is this portrait of a man who came from the Presbyterian traditions of Pennsylvania to become one of the silver screen's enduring legends.

An openly right-wing Conservative and super-patriot, Stewart worked for the FBI at the behest of J. Edgar Hoover, directing his undercover sleuthing to crack organised crime in Hollywood. But he was unscrupulously manipulated by the president into flushing out Communists from the film industry. Among these revelations, there are also tales of heady love affairs, hookers and hoodlums, and of Stewart's run-in with the most dangerous of all gangsters, Benjamin 'Bugsy' Sigal. Accusations of racism are explored, as is Stewart's notoriously volatile temper. There is a comprehensive account of his experiences as a colonel in the US Air Force in World War Two - and, of course, there are the films: It's a Wonderful Life, The Greatest Show on Earth, Rear Window, the westerns and his Academy Awards.

©2013 Michael Munn (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Jimmy Stewart

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite actor's life!

Anyone who has ever loved any Jimmy Stewart movie will love this book even if you think you've heard it all before. It is an excellent story because of its excellent chronology.

The only thing I didn't like about this book, and I'm beginning to hear it in more and more audibles narrated by men, is their need to talk in a woman's voice when narrating women's quotes. What is with that? I find it very grating and frustratingly insulting. First they tell you "she said" or the character's or woman's name, then they proceed to try to talk like a female. Is that truly necessary? To me it's almost as annoying as fingernails down a chalkboard and that it takes away from the narration and storyline. I have listened to several women narrators and find they do not do this.

However, with this book, I found the subject matter so wonderful and interesting that I could get passed it. DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK FOR THAT ISSUE. You may find that you'll regret it later.

8 people found this helpful

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Don't waste your money

I couldn't even get very far into this story. The author decided that Jimmy Stewart was racist. Not by anything he had said or done but because his parents enrolled him in a school and only white males were in this school. i wouldn't waste my time on going any further with this book.

7 people found this helpful

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An excellent depiction of Jimmy Stewart

A hallmark of a nonfiction book or a biography is that it reads like fiction. This wonderful portrayal of actor Jimmy Stewart reads as if it was the fictional account of his life. The story is intimate. I could not stop reading it every minute I could spare. And, the narration was near perfect I highly recommend this book!

5 people found this helpful

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Entertaining and very informative

If you could sum up Jimmy Stewart in three words, what would they be?

Uniquely talented actor

What about Mark Whitten’s performance did you like?

He kept my attention

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I had had the time perhaps I might have tried but the book was too long

Any additional comments?

I always enjoyed Stewarts skills. The book helped me get to know the person. I have found few actors I enjoyed more over the years.

4 people found this helpful

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Story Reader Unprepared

Other than the reader mispronouncing many of the names (over and over, until it was quite distracting), it was great. The book itself is wonderful.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Strange choice of narrators

The actor reading this story of Jimmy Stewart is either so young or so out of touch that he has no idea how to pronounce Marlene Dietrich’s or Bette Davis‘s names. That seems very odd. Why was there no director to correct things like that?

2 people found this helpful

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Great Biography to listen to

Really enjoyed this book. I’ve always loved Jimmy Stewart in pretty much anything he did. The only negative I found in this book was the fact that the narrator mispronounced so many names of the actors who populated Jimmy’s life. He attempted to speak a bit like Jimmy in the quotations, but it took him nearly the entire book to finally start sounding like him. Other than that, the book was a great listen. The narrator simply needed a bit of pre-recording research to learn how people and places are pronounced. It got irritating after a while, especially for someone raised in Southern California and whose mother and aunts came to CA to be involved in the movie business. Anyone who watches old movies on TCM even just once in a while knows how these names and places are pronounced. The narrator needs to do his research before he starts recording.

2 people found this helpful

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Superb

Munn's research and telling are excellent and Whitten's narration is superb. Highly recommended and absolutely required for any fan of Jimmy Stewart's.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Uninspired biography

This is worthwhile if you just want basic info about Stewart's life plus a few observations from his contemporaries, but the author really doesn't offer much in the way of insight regarding Stewart's character or his performances.

2 people found this helpful

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Informative

I found this book to be interesting and informative. The stories within this book gave me a new insight into the life of Jimmy Stewart.

1 person found this helpful

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  • crispin70
  • 11-06-16

Very Very good!

This is an excellent book. I listened to it in a week of long, dark early morning runs through the countryside and it's gripping from beginning to end. The reading is superb and some of the best I've heard on any audio book and the book itself is perfectly balanced and never long winded. Clearly it helps if you like James Stewart though I don't think it's essential as the biography brings in so many other interesting famous and non famous people and also describes war time and the politics of Hollywood and indeed the USA so well that anyone interested in 20th century Popular culture would enjoy this.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Sandor
  • 03-21-15

Fascinating listen

If you could sum up Jimmy Stewart in three words, what would they be?

Gentleman, film star, human

Who was your favorite character and why?

James Stewart himself

Have you listened to any of Mark Whitten’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I found his vocal performance to be excellent but I have not heard him before

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

As a fan of James Stewart I found the book fascinating and found him even more endearing.

Any additional comments?

Naturally if you don't like James Stewart ( could there be anyone ?) you're not going to enjoy this, but if you love him you'll find it a great listening experience, informative and entertaining.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Teresa Cooper
  • 02-22-16

The real Jimmy Stewart.

With Jimmy Stewart what you see is mostly what. This book is from conversations and interviews with Jimmy ( himself ), his wife, family and friends. The thing that soon becomes apparent is that Jimmy is a man who is liked by most of the people he met. This is definitely a read again, and one I recommend and hope you enjoy the book as much as I have.

2 people found this helpful

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  • m van scott
  • 10-10-21

Interesting and detailed

A great book for any Jimmy Stewart fan. Michael Mann’s performance/reading is absolutely excellent.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MrPiccolouk
  • 08-23-22

a good review of the life of Jimmy stewart

Mark Whitten's Reading of the book and the actor's impression of Jimmy's voice is spot on. Thankfully this account is not a sugar-coated version of a remarkable man's life; but I have a sneaky feeling that some aspects of Mr Stewarts life have been omitted. None the less the book details in some detail the extraordinary life and works of the humble legend that was Jimmy Stewart.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-24-22

Interesting

Brilliant my first choice on Audible would definitely recommend this I love it all the way Thro

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  • Nigel Dale
  • 07-12-22

Superb insight

Great stories and insight into a Great American Actor and War Hero
Great Listen

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Honest reader
  • 06-21-22

Spoiler alert: feet of clay

The authors personal insight definitely brings new light and a new perspective to the life of Jimmy Stewart. I take issue with his (the authors) takes on Hitch and a few of JS’ movies (and I’m not alone judging by other critics and IMDb) but I can’t deny the research that supports his account of Stewart’s political naïveté and his feet of clay. It’s party my own fault, I always thought he was George Bailey!

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  • asqmad2
  • 06-20-22

Great listening

Such a wonderful listening about a great actor and human being . Interesting period too. Highly recommended.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Graham G.
  • 06-16-22

Really enjoyable

Agree or not with his politics, this is the story of a truly memorable actor who gave so many good memories. Simply, an honestly nice man.

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  • Cindy -Hamilton
  • 05-11-22

A joy to listen to.

It is a very worthwhile read. It brought back a lot of memories for me.

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  • Joshua
  • 01-10-22

A wonderful book for a wonderful life.

Jim truly did live a wonderful life. And it’s well told in a book a ran through in 1 sitting. Engrossing from start to finish

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  • Megan Stewart
  • 08-31-18

An interesting life

After listening to this, I would love to watch a movie about Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fondas lives and friendship. What an interesting pair of friends.