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Jimmy Stewart or Henry Fonda?

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Jimmy Stewart or Henry Fonda?

Old 08-06-07, 09:21 PM
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Jimmy Stewart or Henry Fonda?

So TCM had a Jimmy Stewart day and I dvr'd a few westerns I hadn't seen. Far Country, Bend of the River, and Naked Spur among them...as well as Who Shot Liberty Valance and Anatomy of a Murder. watching them all I was reminded just what a great actor he was, and how in some of the westerns (especially w/ Ford and Mann directing) he really sheds the aw shucks routine and shows a darker side.

Meanwhile, there's Henry Fonda, particularly in Once Upon A Time in the West. Both are great, legendary actors. but which do you prefer? I've always considered Fonda one of my favorites, second only to Paul Newman. But Stewart was much more versatile than he gets credit for, and his westerns were almost unanimously very very good. The man's run from the 50s into the 60s is really quite amazing.

So who's the better cowboy? Of course, John Wayne kicks everyone's ass, and there were many others that could be added here, but i'm just curious to hear thoughts on these two in particular.
Old 08-06-07, 09:45 PM
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Eastwood
Old 08-06-07, 09:45 PM
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Clint
Old 08-06-07, 09:49 PM
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I like Henry Fonda better, cowboy or not.
Old 08-06-07, 10:11 PM
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Damn, I LOVE James Stewart - especially his westerns.

But Fonda in My Darling Clementine, The Tin Star, Once Upon a Time in the West, and one of my all time favorites, Warlock, was just brilliant.

This question is just not fair. It's like asking a parent to choose between his/her kids!
Old 08-06-07, 10:13 PM
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Henry Fonda by a mile.
OUATITW, the grapes of Wrath, Young Mr. Lincoln, OX-bow, My darling Clemintine, 12 angry men, etc.
as far as i am concerned Fonda is THE MAN. My favorite classic film star.
Jimmy Stewart doesn't really do it for me for some reason.
Old 08-06-07, 11:23 PM
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James Stewart. Winchester '73 is my favorite of his Westerns (did they show that one?), not to mention being in the greatest Hitchcocks.
Though Fonda was good in OUATITW.
Old 08-07-07, 12:00 AM
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Jimmy Stewart is my all time favorite actor, but it's a tough call for who did better westerns. I'm gonna vote a slight edge to Stewart, but really it doesn't matter, they both gave us great films (not a western, but Mister Roberts is in my top ten all time list with Fonda).

And yeah John Wayne and Clint Eastwood are worlds above both in the western movie world.

Last edited by The Cow; 08-07-07 at 12:05 AM.
Old 08-07-07, 08:03 AM
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I voted for Fonda...did Stewart ever play a bad guy like Fonda did?
Old 08-07-07, 12:36 PM
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Fonda's a good actor, and has been in many great films, but he was kind of a dick in real life, so I'll have to go with Stewart, who I think was a better actor and was in even more great movies, and he was an all around swell guy too boot.
Old 08-07-07, 02:26 PM
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If one were to evaluate them only on their work in westerns, it would be close. But when you add Stewart's work with Hitchcock it becomes a simple decision. I don't think Eastwood's work as an actor comes close to either of these gentlemen.
Old 08-07-07, 04:39 PM
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Glenn Ford was better than both of them. I voted for Jimmy.
Old 08-07-07, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
If one were to evaluate them only on their work in westerns, it would be close. But when you add Stewart's work with Hitchcock it becomes a simple decision. I don't think Eastwood's work as an actor comes close to either of these gentlemen.

The poll doesn't ask about their body of work. It asks who is the better cowboy. Eastwood was better than both as a cowboy.
Old 08-07-07, 06:31 PM
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I was all set to vote for Stewart - until I clicked on the thread and saw the question was cowboy. Once Upon A Time In The West trumps anything Stewart ever did in spurs.
Old 08-07-07, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Lt Ripley
It asks who is the better cowboy. Eastwood was better than both as a cowboy.
No, he wasn't.
Old 08-07-07, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by B5Erik
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But Fonda in My Darling Clementine, The Tin Star, Once Upon a Time in the West, and one of my all time favorites, Warlock, was just brilliant.
I didn't like Warlock, even the high-voltage cast can't energize that slow-paced "adult" Western, with a lack of action and instead concentrating on the homosexual aspects of the relationship between Fonda's and Quinn's characters. Richard Widmark is all about lost in the background as the sheriff.
Old 08-07-07, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
No, he wasn't.
Uh huh!
Old 08-07-07, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by FRwL
I didn't like Warlock, even the high-voltage cast can't energize that slow-paced "adult" Western, with a lack of action and instead concentrating on the homosexual aspects of the relationship between Fonda's and Quinn's characters. Richard Widmark is all about lost in the background as the sheriff.
For me it's a great character piece. (And I think that "homosexual" aspect is overblown - there is a bit of that played under the surface, but it's more a strong admiration with some affection from Quinn's Tom Morgan for Fonda's Clay Blaisdell since Blaisdell is the only person who's ever looked at Morgan and not seen a "cripple." Blaisdell clearly doesn't reciprocate those feelings exept for brotherly friendship, and it is also made clear that Morgan had an affair with Dorthy Malone's Lily Dollar.) It IS a character piece more than an action/adventure western, so it may seem a bit slow to some - but for me the thing just flies by! I think it is one of the most mature and sophisticated Westerns of that era.

And Fonda is in warmup mode for Once Upon A Time In The West - only he didn't know it!
Old 08-10-07, 03:25 AM
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I voted for Jimmy.
Since this seems to be based on Westerns, Jimmy gets the nod because of his Radio Series "The Six Shooter". 39 episodes in 1953-54.
Old 08-10-07, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by will travel
I voted for Jimmy.
Since this seems to be based on Westerns, Jimmy gets the nod because of his Radio Series "The Six Shooter". 39 episodes in 1953-54.
No doubt - that is one of the greatest radio shows ever. It was incredibly well written, but most noteworthy because it was brought to life by simply amazing performances from Jimmy Stewart. I've got a set with 20 episodes on CD. Great, great stuff.

They SHOULD have made a movie out of that - it would have been great seeing Jimmy Stewart playing Britt Ponsit on screen. I'm sure someone thought about it back then, but it just never got made.

If they had filmed a Six Shooter movie this debate would have been over before it started. Jimmy was that good in the role.

Last edited by B5Erik; 08-10-07 at 08:57 AM.
Old 08-10-07, 02:25 PM
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Henry Fonda in Once Upon A Time in the West is one of the greatest roles I've ever seen on film. That's my vote.
Old 08-11-07, 02:41 AM
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Thanks for mentioning "The Six Shooter"! I'd never heard of it, but I love Jimmy Stewart so I googled it and found that it's available for download here:

http://www.archive.org/details/OTRR_...hooter_Singles

I'm looking forward to checking it out.
Old 08-11-07, 02:43 AM
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I voted Henry Fonda for Clementine, Ox-Bow, OUATITW, even though Winchester '73 is my favorite western. It was close, though.
Old 08-11-07, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by kitkat
Thanks for mentioning "The Six Shooter"! I'd never heard of it, but I love Jimmy Stewart so I googled it and found that it's available for download here:

http://www.archive.org/details/OTRR_...hooter_Singles

I'm looking forward to checking it out.
"The Silver Buckle," has always been one of my favorite episodes....
Old 08-11-07, 11:10 AM
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I've always found Jimmy Stewart slightly irritating.

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