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New Jimmy Stewart Biopic Depicts Life and Faith of Hollywood Actor: 'Show Me the Way, God'

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Photo Courtesy: Paramount Movies via YouTube

A new movie documenting the life of actor and WWII Air Force officer Jimmy Stewart is being developed by a Hollywood production company with the help of Stewart's family.

The movie titled A Truly Wonderful Life will showcase Stewart's story filled with valor, purpose, and faith. 

Aaron Burns, who is a director/producer at Burns & Co., and his team have been developing the project with Stewart's daughter, Kelly Stewart-Harcourt, according to Deadline.

After winning the 1940 Academy Award for Best Actor for the film The Philadelphia Story, Stewart answered his country's call by enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941, earning his wings as a combat pilot. He worked his way to squadron commander and helped to lead fellow Americans through combat missions over Germany.

According to Movie Guide, Stewart clung to Psalms 91 while overseas. It was written in a note his father gave him before he left to serve his country.

"My dear Jim, soon after you read this letter, you will be on your way to the worst sort of danger. I have had this in mind for a long time and I am very concerned… But Jim, I am banking on the enclosed copy of the 91st Psalm," his father's note read. 

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"The thing that takes the place of fear and worry is the promise in these words. I am staking my faith in these words. I feel sure that God will lead you through this mad experience … I can say no more. I only continue to pray. God bless you and keep you. I love you more than I can tell you. Dad," the letter concluded. 

"From that day, the little booklet was always with me. Before every bombing raid over Europe, I read some of it, and with each reading, the meaning deepened for me," Stewart recalled. 

When Stewart returned home after the war, Frank Capra asked him to star in the now iconic It's A Wonderful Life

"It's simply about an ordinary man who discovers that living each ordinary day honorably, with faith in God and a selfless concern for others, can make for a truly wonderful life," Stewart once said about the role of George Bailey. 

What he experienced during the war helped him to play the story's main character and audiences were transfixed. 

"At the lowest point in George Bailey's life, Frank Capra was shooting a long shot of me slumped in despair," Stewart once described. "In agony I raise my eyes and, following the script, plead, 'God… God…dear Father in heaven, I'm not a praying man, but if you're up there and you can hear me, show me the way. I'm at the end of my rope. Show me the way, God…'"

He recalled, "As I said those words, I felt the loneliness, the hopelessness of people who had nowhere to turn, and my eyes filled with tears. I broke down sobbing. This was not planned at all, but the power of that prayer, the realization that our Father in heaven is there to help the hopeless, had reduced me to tears."

Stewart's standout performance would lead to an Oscar nomination for the film and he would go on to be nominated for several awards through his career.

But the Pennsylvania native wanted to be remembered for one thing. 

"I want to be remembered as someone who believed in hard work and love of country, love of family and love of community," he expressed. 

Burns is a producer and director specializing in family films and expressed excitement about the upcoming film production on Stewart's life. 

"I am so honored Kelly and her family are trusting us with their father's legacy," Burns said. "We are excited to take moviegoers on a journey to discover the real Jimmy, and how his father's prayers and his collaboration with Frank Capra guided him through his darkest hours. Jimmy came to truly embody the characters he played, as husband, father, and citizen."

Stewart-Harcourt will executive produce the movie.

"Our family is thrilled that Aaron and his team approached us about bringing Dad's story to life on the big screen," said Stewart-Harcourt. "Everyone loved him as George Bailey. Now they can learn how that movie intertwined with other parts of his life in so many important ways." 

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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.