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Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  435 ratings  ·  111 reviews
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 N
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Hardcover, 367 pages
Published October 24th 2017 by Simon Schuster (first published October 10th 2017)
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3.97  · 
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 ·  435 ratings  ·  111 reviews


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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
As a BIG fan of Henry Fonda was I eager to read this book. I liked the idea of the book that it's a book about Hank and Jim, two very different men who became friends when they were young actors and stayed friends throughout their lives.



It was fascinating reading about how they started out in the theater, their lives before they become famous, dating women, marriages (Jim one time while Hank 5), WW2 and how they were decorated for their services, the high and low of their careers. And, of cours
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Jim
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scott Eyman is an excellent biographer. His focus is generally on film personalities of the so-called Golden Age, and here he tackles two at once. That two of Hollywood's biggest stars were life-long pals presents Eyman with a unique opportunity to examine not only their lives but the nature of friendship in the context of enormous talent and enormous success. Henry Fonda and James Stewart, in many ways near-polar opposites, became good friends as very young men, and remained so for the rest of ...more
Scott Southard
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
There are many things I was expecting with this book and hoping for.

First, I was hoping for a double biography, learning about both men, Henry Fonda and James Stewart. Learning about what made these men who they are, what made them tick. Second, I hoped to learn about their experiences in Hollywood (for example, working with Hitchcock, classic movies, etc.). Their friendship and misadventures were probably third of my list. Still, wasn't I promised all this?

Little did I expect I would really n
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Jim
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, net-galley
Scott Eyman has done us a favor with the writing of his book Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart (Simon Schuster, 2017).

First, he has chronicled through interviews with their family members and friends and archival sources, that two individuals, especially two well-known celebrities who hold well-defined and differening political perspectives, can be friends, work together, raise their families together, still care and support one another when one is riding t
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Dick Reynolds
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First, a confession. I’ve been a fan of Henry Fonda and James Stewart for many years. I’ve not seen them perform on the stage but I’ve seen many of their movies. The big surprise for me was learning that they had been close friends for fifty years, starting with being roommates and stage actors in New York as young men.
Stewart had been a pilot before the start of WWII and it was the right thing for him to be drafted into the Army Air Corps. (The U. S. Air Force would be formed after the war.)
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Colleen
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ww2, history, old-movies
My grandmother hated Jimmy Stewart--his voice drove her up the wall--and she could only take a few minutes of any movie with him before demanding it be turned off. Frankly, his voice never bugged me, but did learn 3 rather interesting (to me) facts about Jimmy's voice:

1) He would deliberately ham up the stuttering, much like any star of his day (Davis's mannerisms, Crawford's masochism, Garland with song, etc.), he knew his idiosyncrasies were what his audience grew to expect
but
2) It was absolut
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Donna Davis
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the actors
Fans of Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart will want to read this biography, written by the author that recently wrote a biography of John Wayne. I was invited to read and review by Net Galley and Simon and Schuster, and so I read it free in exchange for this honest review. It’s for sale now.

The book is well crafted, and multiple aspects contribute to its success. The first is the unglamorous but essential research. Eyman used extensive interviews with both actors’ families as well as directors and o
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Katy Noyes
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Behind the scenes of 'old Hollywood' with some favourite actors

Intriguing stuff, once it gets going. Henry Fonda and James Stewart, two actors I admire greatly, in some of my all-time favourite Hollywood films. I never knew their relationship off the screen, and I was keen to learn about their lives, their craft, their friendship.

Told from both their perspectives, we learn about each in turn - how they grew up and into the acting 'scene', how they met, the initial struggles breaking into films,
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Natalie
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it
First of all, I very seldom read nonfiction so I probably rated this lower than someone who loves to read nonfiction.

This book was mentioned on TCM - I think the host mentioned it when he did an intro to Rope (an amazingly directed movie with incredible acting by Stewart, but a less than stellar plot) and I was interested to pick it up. I think I knew going in that Hank and Jimmy were friends but I was interested to learn more about it.

They were true friends in every sense of the word. Friends
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JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)
If anyone knows classic films at all, then these two actors' names will be right up there with John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant. While their films, for the most part, of all these actors were very different, their onscreen presence was palpable. There was no mistaking that you were in the presence of a great actor when you sat down to watch.

I have always known that Fonda and Stewart were best friends - anyone who claims to be a classic film buff would know this. And, I m
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John Yingling
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I feel that I am fairly well versed on Old Hollywood and its stars, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover how close a friendship James Stewart and Henry Fonda had for so many years. It's a generally honest look at both men and their lives off and on screen. I'm glad the author devoted a fair amount of the book discussing both men's military careers. Their service during World War II made me respect them even more. I knew something about Mr. Stewart's time as a bomber pilot, but I didn't know ...more
Mollie
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much although it seemed to me that the author picked a favorite. Mr. Stewart, despite some youthful character lapses, comes out the perhaps not better but easier of the two gentlemen. Still, the thought of each of them having a true friend in a business where I don't think that is often possible, warms my heart. Mr. Stewart was godfather to Mr. Fonda's Jane and Peter, and Jane speaks of him with true affection here. Yeah it's kind of lightweight and different from my usu ...more
John Smiley
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very enjoyable read---I love to read books about artists, geniuses, legends---and these two guys were all of those.

The acting profession fascinates me.

What I got most out of the book was the way these 2 guys aged---Henry Fonda was looking for ore acting work while dying of cancer. Jimmy spent the last 3 years of his life depressed that all of his friends (and wife) died.

I'd rather go down kicking and fighting like Henry.

To Jimmy, I would say get some young friends and develop those relationshi
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Raquel
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Renowned film historian Scott Eyman explores the lifelong friendship between two Hollywood legends: Henry Fonda and James Stewart.

I have mixed feelings about this one. The subject matter is fascinating but the book kind of fell flat to me. Well-researched, well-organized and the transitions were smooth. Something was lacking though.

My full review here: http://www.outofthepastblog.com/2018/...
Dana Stabenow
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
An amiable amble through the lives and friendship of Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart, with brief informative asides about the economic boom of the 1920's, the Depression, World War II and the evolution of the Hollywood business model as seen through their experiences. Fonda's inability to process his own feelings except on stage and screen and the effect the loss of Stewart's stepson in Vietnam has on him achieve real poignance.
Lori
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This is a pretty good biography. I think that Scott Eyman keeps it fair and not go to mudslinging gossip. Like most biographies he uses interviews, and articles about the actors to write this book. I like both of the actors and have read before that Henry Fonda and James Stewart were friends for fifty years. They met in New York and were roommates. This book takes them from that time up to each of their deaths. He writes of their friendship but also their careers over the years. Other friends t ...more
Alan Lemke
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Outstanding story about one of Hollywood's most enduring friendships
Jnagle4
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Good, but I would really like a comprehensive biography on both men. Because Eyman had to split between the two, everything kind of felt glossed over.
Sarah Andreotti
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I saw this book was coming out, I put it on my to-read list because I like both of these actors and did not know they were such close friends. I have enjoyed Eyman's other biographies, so I was excited to read this for my summer #classicfilmreading. I thought it was a fun look at both men: how they got into acting, their friendships, their WWII service, their marriages and children, how they dealt with aging in their profession, and the end of their lives. I thought this book was well-resea ...more
HistoryGeek 42
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
It took me a long time to get into this book. About 30 pages in I put it aside and read 2 other books. Fortunately it got better
Janet
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Per the publisher;
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.
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
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James
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Scott Eyman writes some of the best books on film history and filmmakers. This latest work is about the decades long attachment of souls that Fonda and Stewart had for each other. From their early beginnings up until the death of one of the two, Eyman traces their steps along the way in their profession, their love for each other, their circle of friends that influenced and changed both their lives, and the amazing facts about their years in military service during WWII. In fact, the chapter rec ...more
Phoef Sutton
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A terrific book. Insightful in both its looks at these complex men and its look at acting as an art form. Recommended.
Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir
Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart are two of my all-time favorite actors. So HANK AND JIM: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart, by Scott Eyman? What a great holiday present for movie fans.

Eyman, who specializes in biographies on some of Hollywood’s greatest figures --- John Ford, Cecil B. DeMille and John Wayne, to name just a few --- does a sweet job in portraying how these two icons came to their profession, contrary to the desires of their fathers (who eventually came aroun
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Lois R. Gross
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
In Hollywood, where marriages last for days and weeks, a fifty year friendship is something remarkable. So the remarkable relationship between Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda is a affirmation of loyalty, friendship, and sometimes ignoring big differences to stay in each others lives.

the two laconic men--tall, quiet, the very portrait of American values -- met as young collegiate in a college theatre group that hatched some of the icons of show business including Joshua Logan and Leland Heyward. Th
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Gigi staub
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, arc-netgalley
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 fil
...more
Terri Wangard
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’d always heard about Henry Fonda’s poor relationship with his daughter, Jane, but didn’t understand why it was so. I still don’t. Jane describes him as a pent-up guy, but his friendship with Jimmy Stewart was as intimate as he ever got with anyone. Together, they relaxed and had fun, which they couldn’t do separately.

They were both tall and skinny, laconic and shy, loners, with the same sense of humor―wry and goofy. They shared an apartment in New York in the 30s with Myron McCormick and Josh

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Russell Sanders
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With Hank and Jim, author Scott Eyman has provided us with a remarkable Hollywood biography. In telling the fifty year friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart, the writer uses a unique pathway into a fascinating look at two iconic actors’ lives. Most movie star biographies are simply tales of “what movie he made and when he made it.” This can make for interesting reading, but to tie that with two intertwined lives makes for excitement. Two polar opposites—Stewart was an extreme political con ...more
Dana
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart are the stars of two of my favorite movies: It’s A wonderful Life and 12 Angry Men. I never knew they were such good friends and was pleasantly surprised by the way the author depicted their lives in Hank & Jim. These men might be idolized as Hollywood heavy weights who stole every scene they were in, but off screen they were humble, honorable, and loyal men who were great friends with each other.
This had lots of aspects. First of all, it was a condensed biograp
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Kevin
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Scott Eyman's engrossing, comprehensive and nuanced dual biography of Henry Fonda (1905-1982) and James Stewart (1908-1997) chronicles the Oscar-winning actors' private lives, careers and 50-year friendship. The two were a study of contrasts: Fonda was a fierce liberal, agnostic and workaholic who wed five times; Stewart was a Republican, church-going family man who was happily married for 45 years. Both were loners who found the right profession. "Acting allowed them to express emotions neither ...more
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Scott Eyman has authored 11 books, including, with Robert Wagner, the New York Times bestseller Pieces of My Heart.

Among his other books are "Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer," "Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford," "Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise," and "The Speed of Sound" (all Simon & Schuster) and "John Ford: The Searcher" for Taschen.

He has l
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