‘March’ into a new month

In the Audience

‘March’ into a new monthBy NICK ROGERS

As if you weren’t familiar with this film legend, take a look at the very long Wikipedia entry for James “Jimmy” Stewart, an award-winning American film icon and decorated military officer (both World War II and Vietnam).

He is among the most honored and popular stars in the history of motion pictures.

“Known for his distinctive drawl, down-to-earth authentic personas and everyman acting style, Stewart had a film career that spanned over 55 years and 80 films.

“With the strong morals he portrayed both on and off the screen, Stewart epitomized the ‘American ideal’ in the 20th-century United States. The characters he played spanned a wide range of subjects and appealed to large audiences. His emotional film performances contributed to his cinematic acclaim….”

Classic Movie Night’s tribute to this icon of motion pictures, “Jimmy Stewart: Everyone’s Favorite Leading Man” will be a lengthy one—seven features from the various periods of his acting career.

On March 4 at 7 p.m., see Jimmy in one of his very first outings at his early home studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In this 1936 feature, he gets to demonstrate his versatility as one of the suspects in the second of the studio’s famous yarns featuring the detective man and wife team, Nick and Nora Charles, played by William Powell and Myrna Loy. Stewart is part of an impressive ensemble…all acting a bit guilty of the murder of the philandering, parasitic husband of Nora’s niece.

Based on characters created by Dashiell Hammett, this sequel to the 1934 mega hit is every bit as entertaining as the first yarn…. but, produced on a much larger budget. The film’s twists and turns and multiple bad guys make for exciting and humorous entertainment.

On Wednesday, March 18, at 7 p.m., Stewart shows a definite flare for comedy in Frank Capra’s smash hit film version of the very successful, Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.

This Academy Award winner for Best Picture of 1938 is about a man from a family of rich snobs (Stewart) who becomes engaged to a woman (Jean Arthur) from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family.

Eccentric is putting it mildly! Various artists, a wannabe ballet dancer (a very young Ann Miller), inventors, a suspected enemy of the state and a blatant tax evader (the family’s patriarch played by Lionel Barrymore) populate the strange house that sits on valuable land and has developers drooling and scheming.

Edward Arnold, Mischa Auer, Spring Byington and Donald Meek as the wacky inventor round out the cast of this hilarious and heartwarming comedy.

Five more Jimmy Stewart classics will follow in April and May, and the series will conclude just in time for our eighth annual “Summer of Movie Magic,” featuring 10 family-friendly film features…beginning in June and screening every Wednesday through early August.

Admission to all movies is donation, only…but you know how much we appreciate those donations!

Our thrifty Snack Bar opens up at 6:30 p.m. to serve delicious snacks and beverages to hungry, thirsty movie lovers!

Films screen at 7 p.m. For titles, call 760-375-8456 Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., or stop by for a current film schedule.

Movies bring us together … all year long!

Story First Published: 2020-02-28