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I'm not a film critic, but I'll tell you what I think about the movies I watch. I enjoy understanding the history behind the movies we watch, as well as the collaborative effort necessary to produce movies.

Jimmy Stewart: Magic Town (1947)

Over his career, Jimmy Stewart managed to play several characters named Smith. The characters include Jefferson Smith and Bill Smith. In 1947 he added in Rip Smith with the film Magic Town. This movie stars Stewart opposite Jane Wyman, one of the stars of The Lost Weekend. She would later win an Oscar for her performance in Johnny Belinda. Interestingly enough, while filming this movie she was married to Ronald Reagan. For Stewart this was the only film he would make in 1947. This was the second movie he was involved in after returning from his military service during World War II. The following year he would star in four feature films including Rope and You Gotta Stay Happy.

This movie is directed by William A. Wellman, the same director who was behind classics like The Public Enemy (1931) and A Star is Born (1937) which earned him his first Oscar. He would later win another Academy Award for his directing in The High and Mighty.

Rip Smith (Stewart) is a determined man. A war hero with a public opinion firm, he’s looking for a way to best the competition. He may have found his success when a small town he polls appears to predict the views of the entire nation. When he heads to the town he advertises himself as an insurance salesman. While trying to make his business work he’s met with suspicion from a young newspaper editor (Wyman) who seems determined to see him fail.

This is a lighthearted movie with a nice message. It definitely isn’t a highlight in the careers of Wyman or Stewart, but it’s still fun to watch.

The chemistry between Stewart and Wyman is pretty evident in their scenes together. Their characters have a love-hate relationship that plays well into the story. The rest of the cast is also good in their roles throughout the film. This includes work by Wallace Ford who would later work with Stewart in Harvey (1950).

For Jimmy Stewart, this film was the calm before the storm. As his career ramped back up he would go on to have some of the more prolific years of his career. This would include 10 more movies before the end of 1950.


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4 Comments on “Jimmy Stewart: Magic Town (1947)”

  1. vinnieh July 12, 2012 at 1:06 AM #

    Great review, Hadn’t heard of the film until now but as I’m a fan of Jim Stewart I’ll have to try and watch it when I can.


    • jeffro517 July 12, 2012 at 10:03 AM #

      I hope you get a chance to see it. Have you checked out my page devoted to Stewart films?


      • vinnieh July 12, 2012 at 11:12 AM #

        I will check it out soon thanks for the recommendation.



  1. Jimmy Stewart: Broken Arrow (1950) | Did You See That One? - September 23, 2015

    […] level of success in 1950. After closing out the 1940s with a series of less successful films like Magic Town and Malaya he got back on track in a big way. The biggest success of the year came with his […]


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