Hank and Jim : The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart
by Scott Eyman

Overview - New York Times bestselling author Scott Eyman tells the story of the remarkable friendship of two Hollywood legends who, though different in many ways, maintained a close friendship that endured all of life's twists and turns.

Henry Fonda and James Stewart were two of the biggest stars in Hollywood for forty years.  Read more...

  • Retail Price: $29.00
  • $23.39
    (Save 19%)
Add to Cart
+ Add to Wishlist
In Stock.

FREE Shipping for Club Members
> Check In-Store Availability

In-Store pricing may vary

New & Used Marketplace 42 copies from $6.87

This item is available only to U.S. billing addresses.

More About Hank and Jim by Scott Eyman
New York Times bestselling author Scott Eyman tells the story of the remarkable friendship of two Hollywood legends who, though different in many ways, maintained a close friendship that endured all of life's twists and turns.

Henry Fonda and James Stewart were two of the biggest stars in Hollywood for forty years. They became friends and then roommates as stage actors in New York, and when they began making films in Hollywood, they roomed together again. Between them they made such memorable films as The Grapes of Wrath, Mister Roberts, Twelve Angry Men, and On Golden Pond; and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Destry Rides Again, The Philadelphia Story, It's a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, and Rear Window.

They got along famously, with a shared interest in elaborate practical jokes and model airplanes, among other things. Fonda was a liberal Democrat, Stewart a conservative Republican, but after one memorable blow-up over politics, they agreed never to discuss that subject again. Fonda was a ladies' man who was married five times; Stewart remained married to the same woman for forty-five years. Both men volunteered during World War II and were decorated for their service. When Stewart returned home, still unmarried, he once again moved in with Fonda, his wife, and his two children, Jane and Peter, who knew him as Uncle Jimmy.

For Hank and Jim, biographer and film historian Scott Eyman spoke with Fonda's widow and children as well as three of Stewart's children, plus actors and directors who had worked with the men--in addition to doing extensive archival research to get the full details of their time together. This is not another Hollywood story, but a fascinating portrait of an extraordinary friendship that lasted through war, marriages, children, careers, and everything else.

  • ISBN-13: 9781501102172
  • ISBN-10: 1501102176
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publish Date: October 2017
  • Page Count: 384
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.35 pounds

Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Entertainment & Performing Arts - General
Books > Performing Arts > Film - History & Criticism

BookPage Reviews

Glitzy gift books from La La Land

This season’s Hollywood-themed offerings shine a spotlight on golden age stars, a timeless Italian beauty, an iconic ’60s film and an atlas of cinematic favorites.

We’ll start with the cleverly titled Cinemaps, which delineates the physical settings, plotlines and the comings and goings of characters from 35 beloved films.

This stylish coffee-table book offers guides to films such as King Kong (1933), Star Wars, Terminator 2 and Pulp Fiction. Artist Andrew DeGraff, who previously gave us Plotted: A Literary Atlas, explains his work in captions. The maps for Raiders of the Lost Ark reference the film’s “frantic, fast-paced nature.” The circular cemetery in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is akin to “a gladiatorial arena attended by an audience of the dead.” Accompanying essays by A.D. Jameson remind us why these films have endured.

Speaking of endurance, it’s been 50 years since moviegoers first lined up to see The Graduate. Anticipated to be a small art house film, the story of Benjamin Braddock—just out of college and facing an uncertain future—became a box office hit, made Dustin Hoffman a star and earned an Academy Award for director Mike Nichols. Seduced by Mrs. Robinson traces the film’s journey to cultural benchmark with savvy insight and scholarly acumen.

Author Beverly Gray utilizes special collections and open access to Hollywood producer Lawrence Turman and his papers in order to chart his hunt for financial backing, the script, the director and stars. Finalists for the plum role of Benjamin included Robert Redford and Charles Grodin, but Hoffman, who couldn’t envision himself as a romantic lead at the time, won the role. The fact that this all happened during the seismic shake-up of the ’60s makes the film’s ambiguous ending all the more compelling.

Scott Eyman’s Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart reveals that the legendary actors were best buddies, despite their disparate views and lifestyles. Stewart was a staunch Republican; Fonda was a lifelong supporter of liberal causes. Stewart married late (at 41) and for life; Fonda married early, then four more times. Stewart’s image was warm and welcoming; Fonda’s was chilly and remote. Still, theirs was an unshakable 50-year friendship.

They met while working on the stage in the 1930s and later shared a New York apartment that Fonda called “Casa Gangrene.” Both went on to have roles in enduring classics: Fonda as Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, Stewart as George Bailey in the perennial holiday favorite It’s a Wonderful Life. Eyman interviewed the pair’s family members—including famed Fonda kids Jane and Peter—friends and industry folk, and mined existing sources to deliver an endearing portrait of their intersecting lives and careers. The friends’ devotion lasted until Fonda was on his deathbed, with Stewart making daily visits. This detailed account of Fonda and Stewart off camera is a testament to the power of friendship.

(From Grace Kelly, an MGM portrait used to promote The Swan, 1952. Courtesy MPTV. Reprinted with permission from HarperCollins.)

A salute to a woman who was as disciplined as she was determined, Grace Kelly: Hollywood Dream Girl offers what authors Manoah Bowman and Jay Jorgensen call an “alternative story” by focusing on her Hollywood years. More than 400 photographs, some never before seen, accompany the eloquent text, which takes us from her work on TV to her success on the big screen. She co-starred with the era’s biggest actors (having affairs with a number of them, including Clark Gable and Ray Milland) and worked with leading directors. She made three films for Hitchcock—Dial M for Murder, Rear Window and To Catch a Thief—which the authors credit with transforming her into a glamour girl. The show-stopping Hitchcock chapters include wardrobe test shots, behind-the-scenes candid photos and pages from campaign manuals (which were sent to exhibitors).

Of course, it all wraps up with her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco—though Hollywood remained close to her heart. For die-hard Kelly fans, or those angling for an introduction to the gal from Philadelphia who became a real-life princess, this beautifully designed book is a must-have.

Sophia Loren: Movie Star Italian Style is a largely pictorial celebration of the Italian diva and her six decades in the spotlight. Cindy De La Hoz, who has authored similarly lavish tomes on icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Lana Turner, offers a mini-biography followed by a compendium of Loren’s film roles. Loren made popular films such as Houseboat opposite Cary Grant, with whom she had an affair. But it’s the Italian entries, largely unknown to American audiences, that are the highlights of this book. Loren won a Best Actress Oscar for Two Women (1960), and was the first performer from a foreign film to win in that category. Now a proud grandmother, Loren remains a head-turner. As critic Bosley Crowther put it, “[T]he mere opportunity to observe her is a privilege not to be dismissed.”


This article was originally published in the December 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

BAM Customer Reviews