TV - Movies
How WWII
Permanently
Changed Jimmy
Stewart As An
Actor
By C.M. CROCKFORD
Many famous American actors served in the U.S. military during World War II, but few performers aided in the war effort with as much distinction as the iconic James "Jimmy" Stewart. His service, however, also signaled a change both in his films and his performances.
After WWII, Stewart considered retiring from acting, but instead he starred in his first postwar film, "It's A Wonderful Life." While not a success at the time of its release, the now-classic movie showed that Stewart was capable of truly intense, and even frightening, performances.
Stewart's new darkness seemed to have emerged from his time in combat, which had affected him both physically and mentally. He channeled his trauma into later projects — like Alfred Hitchcock’s "Rope" and "Vertigo," and various Westerns he made with director Anthony Mann.