The Hope College Knickerbocker Theatre will show four films featuring Jimmy Stewart during its “One Night Only” series every Monday from Nov. 19 to Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. The series will screen “Harvey,” “Rear Window,” “The Shop Around the Corner” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Stewart is routinely acclaimed as one of the greatest actors of all time. He was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one for “The Philadelphia Story” as well a “Lifetime Achievement” award. Along with his Academy Awards, Stewart won two Golden Globes.
“Harvey” will open the series on November 19. The 1950 comedy-drama, based on the play by Mary Chases, stars Josephine Hull, Peggy Dow and Charles Drake, alongside Stewart. Elwood P. Dowd (Stewart) is a middle-aged man whose best friend is an invisible 6-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey. Due to her desire to have a normal life and marry her daughter off, Elwood’s sister, Veta Louise Simmons (Hull), attempts to have Elwood put in a mental institution. However, after a mix-up occurs, Veta finds herself committed to the institution instead, leaving Elwood and “Harvey” to straighten out the mess. The film received two Academy Award nominations, winning one for Best Supporting Actress.
The series will continue on November 26 with “Rear Window,” a 1954 mystery-thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter and Raymond Burr alongside Stewart. Professional photographer L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies breaks his leg while getting an action shot at an auto race. Confined to his New York apartment, he spends his time looking out of the rear window observing the neighbors. He begins to suspect that a man across the courtyard may have murdered his wife. Jeff enlists the help of his girlfriend, Lisa Freemont (Kelly), and his visiting nurse, Stella (Ritter) to investigate.
With Christmas nearing, the series will feature “The Shop Around the Corner” on December 3. The 1940 romantic comedy, which inspired the 1998 “You’ve Got Mail,” stars Stewart, Margaret Sullavan and Frank Morgan. Alfred Kralik (Stewart) is the top salesman at a leather-goods shop owned by the high-strung Mr. Hugo Matuschek (Morgan). One day, Klara Novak (Sullavan) shows up to the shop asking for a job. Despite Alfred’s annoyance with Klara, Hugo hires her. As the days leading up to Christmas go by, Alfred and Klara’s dislike for each other grows. However, Alfred and Klara are also anonymous pen pals, and despite their continuous annoyance with each other begin following in love through their correspondence.
The series will conclude on December 10 with a free showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a 1946 Christmas fantasy drama starring Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore and Stewart. George Bailey (Stewart), is overwhelmed by family obligations and a sense of responsibility toward his community, feels tied down to a company for which he never had an interest in working and a life he never wanted to live. When he attempts to end his life, he is saved by his bumbling guardian angel who grants him the wish to see what life would have been like if he never existed. The Christmas classic, rarely seen on the big screen, was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Tickets are $5 for the first three films. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is being shown for free. Tickets for the first three films will be sold at the door.
The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. Eighth St.