Scott Eyman’s HANK AND JIM Review and Giveaway

UPDATE: WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

Hot off the presses is the latest book by acclaimed biographer, Scott Eyman, Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart, which chronicles the lives and careers of two of Hollywood’s most admired actors. I just finished Hank & Jim and couldn’t wait to share my thoughts on it. But first I must extend a thank you to Elizabeth Breeden of Simon & Schuster. Not only did Ms. Breeden send me a review copy of Hank & Jim, she offered three copies to give away on Once Upon a Screen. More on that in a moment.

I was particularly excited about reading Hank & Jim I adore the work of both Henry Fonda and James Stewart immensely. Individually each man’s filmography is astounding; collectively the two appeared in some of the greatest motion pictures ever made. Scott Eyman offers backstories for many of the outstanding productions they appeared in with enough detail to satisfy the historian in all of us. Most entertaining to me, however, is the chronology of the relationships both in and out of pictures for both men. For instance, the dynamics between Fonda and Margaret Sullivan and Margaret Sullivan and Stewart are particularly interesting.

Hank & Jim covers the entire span of both men’s careers. From stories of the two would-be actors become leading men, to the two going off to war and later returning forever changed – as were the industry and people they’d left behind.

 

Playing ping-pong – Hank and Jim enjoyed hobbies as well as a fondness for storytelling during their five-decades-long friendship

The one constant throughout Hank & Jim is the friendship, however, one that persevered despite the different ideologies and temperaments of Fonda and Stewart. I enjoyed reading as much about their affection for cats and kite flying as I did about the parallels in their careers. Heartwarming stories abound such as those about an elderly, ill Hank Fonda complaining about the way Stewart forgets details of stories or the latter bringing vegetables from his own garden to his sick friend. Eyman’s book recounts two fascinating journeys honestly and vividly and by doing so ultimately explains why we ourselves are connected to Hank and Jim.

After having read several of Mr. Eyman’s books, all of which I’ve enjoyed, I can tell you he is one of those rare authors who appeals to the intellectual and the fan alike. He does it again with Hank & Jim. This is a compelling, entertaining read that possesses the solid, complex presence of Fonda and the laid-back charm of Stewart drawn from the author’s meticulous research. With little time on my hands I was barely able to put it down. I suspect I will be referring back to Hank & Jim again and again. 

 

Giveaway!

I have three copies of Scott Eyman’s Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart from Simon & Schuster to give away. I guarantee you that this is one you want to try for. All you have to do is…

  1. Leave a comment below – what are your favorite Fonda and Stewart roles?
  2. Share this post on either Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr and tag me @CitizenScreen or Citizen Screen

That’s it!

Each share on another social media platform in one entry and you can enter as many times as you like. Each winner will be chosen at random on Sunday night (October 29). I will announce each week’s winner on this post and share it on the social media platforms mentioned above. If the winner turns out to be you, please be sure to contact me within a couple of days of that announcement by sending me your mailing address via email to:  citizenscreenclassics (at) gmail.com. I will then forward that information to Elizabeth Breeden at Simon & Schuster so you can get your book as quickly as possible.

Note: This give-a-way is open to residents in the continental U.S. only. My apologies to my Canadian friends or those who live in Hawaii, Alaska or other far away places.

THE WINNERS!

Here is a picture of the advanced technological method by which the winners were chosen…

I put the names in my TCM hat and my neighbor, who just happened to come by, agreed to pick three names. Here they are in order:

Amanda Garrett

Danny Miller

Rhonda (I don’t have a last name, but will search for it)

CONGRATULATIONS to the three of you and THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by for a visit and/or for joining the contest!

32 thoughts

  1. Aurora, I can’t wait to read this book. Scott Eyman selected one of my famous Nebraskans. I love his other books and I’m sure this one will be great.

  2. Favorite Henry Fonda roles: “The Grapes of Wrath” is my all-time favorite but did he ever give a bad performance? Off the top of my head I’d also mention “My Darling Clementine,” “How the West Was Won,” “Stage Struck,” “On Golden Pond,” and — don’t make fun of me, it’s a guilty pleasure — “Yours, Mine, and Ours.” For Jimmy Stewart, “The Philadelphia Story” is one of my favorite films of all time so that’s #1 but again, was there ever a bad performance? Others I’d cite this second would include “It’s a Wonderful Life” (obviously), “Rear Window,” “Mr Smith Goes to Washington,” “Destry Rides Again,” “The Mortal Storm,” “How the West Was Won,” and “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” Such great actors, I wasn’t aware of their cost friendship.

    1. I asked a silly, but torturous question. I’m not sure if I could choose just one myself. Love all the ones you mentioned. My guilty pleasure is MR. HOBBS TAKES A VACATION. 🙂 good luck!!

  3. I’m so excited about this book. It’s hard to pick a favorite role, but I loved Fonda in Spencer’s Mountain. I also adore Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and his drunk scene in The Philadelphia Story.

  4. I love your review and I hope I can pick this book up myself! It’s nearly impossible to pick my favorite Stewart and Fonda roles (ESPECIALLY Stewart), but for James I’d probably have to say Alfred Kralik in The Shop Around the Corner is my favorite, and my favorite Henry Fonda part is definitely Charles “Hopsy” Pike in The Lady Eve. ☺

  5. James Stewart and Henry Fonda, I can’t think of one without thinking of the other. They are, and always will be, two of the finest actors to have ever appeared on the film screen, tv screen, and on stage. We will never see their like again. We, as fans, have their many wonderful performances, that they gave on film for us, to watch and re-watch.
    It is so difficult, for me, to pick one favorite role for each. Favorite Henry Fonda roles: The Grapes of Wrath(1940), The Ox-Bow Incident(1943), My Darling Clementine(1946), Mr. Roberts(1955), 12 Angry Men(1957), Fail Safe(1964), Firecreek(1968), Once Upon a Time in the West(1968), Clarence Darrow(1974), and On Golden Pond(1981). Guilty pleasures, well not very guilty: Yours, Mine and Ours(1968), and The Cheyenne Social Club(1970).
    James Stewart favorite roles: It’s a Wonderful Life(1946), Winchester ’73(1950), The Naked Spur(1953), Rear Window(1954), The Man From Laramie(1955), Vertigo(1958), Anatomy of a Murder(1959), The Mountain Road(1960), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance(1962), Shenandoah(1965), The Rare Breed(1966),and Firecreek(1968). Guilty pleasures, well not very guilty: Take Her She’s Mine(1963), Bandolero(1968), The Cheyenne Social Club(1970), and Fools’ Parade(1971).
    As in all lists, just as soon as I finish, I can think of other roles that could be listed, but I don’t want to be a bore. Thank you James Stewart and Henry Fonda for may years of entertainment pleasure.

  6. So hard to pick just ONE favorite performance from both actors; they appeared in so many great films, and gave equally great performances in them. But for Jimmy Stewart, my favorite is HARVEY, and for Henry Fonda, it’s likely 12 ANGRY MEN.

    1. YAY for HARVEY! The first mention of a heartwarming film. It could not have been easy to portray Elwood P. Dowd convincingly on camera given Harvey is not a skin and bones character. Love it! 12 ANGREY MEN is so memorable too. Good luck.

    1. I love both of your choices. FAIL-SAFE is an underrated, but terrific thriller and ANATOMY is one of the all-time great courtroom dramas. Thanks for joing in and good luck.

  7. Along with Spencer Tracy, Henry Fonda and James Stewart are my favorite actors. I’ve tried to see everything they’ve ever done. I was a fan for years before discovering they were friends. I was thrilled the night Fonda won the Academy Award for On Golden Pond. I also remember that when he died, some of the entertainment news programs showed a very sad Jimmy Stewart coming from Fonda’s house. I read recently that the several-years-long silence between the two was over the fact that Stewart told Fonda, during the red scare, that he was an FBI informant, and a disgusted Fonda called him a few choice names. I wonder if that’s in the book?

    There were many parts that Stewart played that Fonda could have played, and vice-versa. Yet Jimmy could never have played Pierre in War And Peace, or Col. Thursday in Fort Apache, or young Abe Lincoln. And I don’t think he would have been the right type for Tom Joad. And Fonda probably would not have been as entertaining as Jimmy was in Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation, or Take Her, She’s Mine – and he couldn’t sing, so Easy To Love from Born To Dance wouldn’t have been in his wheelhouse.

    A Henry Fonda film not everyone has seen is You Only Live Once, directed by Fritz Lang. He’s brilliant it. And an adventure/action movie that’s rarely shown, that I like, is Spawn Of The North. I also like Trail Of The Lonesome Pine. Though my favorites are The Farmer Takes A Wife, The Story Of Alexander Graham Bell, Young Mr. Lincoln, The Grapes Of Wrath, The Lady Eve, Daisy Kenyon, Mister Roberts, War And Peace, The Wrong Man, Stage Struck, Advise And Consent, and On Golden Pond. I still haven’t seen all of Fonda’s movies,such as Wild Geese Calling, Spendthrift, Blockade, and Way Down East.

    My Favorite movies of Jimmy’s are all the Anthony Mann collabs, especially Bend Of the River, Strategic Air Command, The Glenn Miller Story, The Far Country, and The Naked Spur, all the Hitchcock collabs but especially Vertigo and Rear Window. And The Philadelphia Story, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, The Shop Around The Corner, The Mortal Storm, The Spirit Of St. Louis (one of the first Stewart movies I ever saw, as a kid – for a long time I assumed he was a blond), It’s A Wonderful Life…and, well, on and on.

    1. I love your mention of the roles they each would have been ill-fitted for that the other played. That would have been a terrific question to ask. Thanks for your enjoyable commentary and good luck!

  8. I like that the question is “favorite,” which is preferable to “greatest.” Although in this case, considering how many there are to choose from, citing favorite performances of Fonda’s and James Stewart’s isn’t easy. I’ll go with the deeply nuanced performance Fonda gives in “Fail Safe,” which is basically his being locked in a room with one actor for the duration of the film. And Stewart slays me in Anatomy of a Murder, the ease of his easygoing charm and intelligence never better utilized.

    1. As I mentioned above, I’m particularly fond of the FAIL-SAFE mentions because it doesn’t get the credit it deserves as one of the all-time great thrillers.

      Aurora

  9. Fonda fave: Tom Joad in THE GRAPES OF WRATH with Frank in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST close second. Fave Stewart: Mr. Kralick in THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (he manages to play a Hungarian rather well) with George Bailey in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE in second place.

  10. It’s hard but for the sake of expediency I will choose one for each. Favorite Fonda is Hopsy in The Lady Eve because it’s my favorite movie and he’s so impressive in a type of role he didn’t get many chances to do: straight up slapstick. Favorite Stewart is It’s a Wonderful Life because of the moments of raw emotion that are kinda painful to watch.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s