Entertainment

Every James Stewart Movie, Ranked Best to Worst  

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List Rules Vote for your favorite movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

The best James Stewart movies of all time prove that he was one of the top actors of his generation. Active from the 1930s up to the ‘90s, Stewart has appeared in plenty of blockbusters and critically-acclaimed movies, earning awards and accolades along the way. His highest grossing movies have been well-received at the box office as well, as he was voted as one of the most popular stars for a number of years.

Born in 1908, James Stewart was the oldest of three children. While he wanted to attend the United States Naval Academy, his father was able to persuade him into enrolling in Princeton University. At Princeton, he became attracted to drama and eventually joined a troupe.

During World War II, he enlisted in the Army and went on to serve in the Army Air Force. While he did not see combat for several years—much to his chagrin—he eventually had the opportunity to lead air combat missions over Europe. After the war, he returned to acting and became a leading man. Some of his best work, such as It’s a Wonderful Life and Vertigo, were from this period.

So what are the best James Stewart movies of all time? Is it Rear Window or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington? See what fans have ranked as their favorite James Stewart movies below. Movie trailers have been included below if you want a preview of the film. If you think the best James Stewart role isn't at the top, then vote it up. Don’t see it listed? Add it so that others may vote for it. After all, this list of the best James Stewart movies should be as comprehensive as possible. 

James Stewart worked with many famous directors, including big names like Alfred Hitchcock and John Ford. Is Stewart your favorite person to watch on the big screen? If so, you might also want to vote on our best Gregory Peck and Henry Fonda films lists too.

James Stewart worked with many famous directors, including big names like Alfred Hitchcock and John Ford. Is James Stewart your favorite person to watch on the big screen? You might also want to vote on our best Gregory Peck and Henry Fonda films lists too.

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1
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James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
It's a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy comedy-drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra, based on the short story "The Greatest Gift", which Philip Van Doren ...more
2
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Grace Kelly, James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock
Rear Window is a 1954 American mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by John Michael Hayes based on Cornell Woolrich's 1942 short story. Originally released by Paramount ...more
3
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James Stewart, Claude Rains, Jean Arthur
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a 1939 American political comedy-drama film, starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur, about one man's effect on American politics. It was directed by Frank Capra ...more
4
Vertigo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Every James Stewart Movie, Ranked Best to Worst
James Stewart, Kim Novak, Alfred Hitchcock
Vertigo is a 1958 American psychological thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock. The story was based on the 1954 novel D'entre les morts by Boileau-Narcejac. The screenplay was ...more
5
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John Wayne, James Stewart, Lee Marvin
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a 1962 American Western film directed by John Ford starring James Stewart and John Wayne. The black-and-white film was released by Paramount Pictures. The ...more
6
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James Stewart, Fess Parker, Cecil Kellaway
Harvey is a 1950 film based on Mary Chase's play of the same name, directed by Henry Koster, and starring James Stewart and Josephine Hull. The story is about a man whose best friend is a pooka ...more
7
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Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart
The Philadelphia Story is a 1940 American romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor, starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart and featuring Ruth Hussey. Based on the ...more
8
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James Stewart, Frank Morgan, Margaret Sullavan
The Shop Around the Corner is a 1940 American romantic comedy film produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan, and Frank Morgan. The screenplay was ...more
9
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James Stewart, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis
Winchester '73 is a 1950 American Western film directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea, and Stephen McNally. Written by Borden Chase and Robert L. ...more
10
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James Stewart, George C. Scott, Lee Remick
This film is a 1959 American courtroom drama film. It was directed by Otto Preminger and adapted by Wendell Mayes from the best-selling novel of the same name written by Michigan Supreme Court ...more
11
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James Stewart, Katharine Ross, George Kennedy
Shenandoah is a 1965 American film starring James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett, Patrick Wayne, and, in her film debut, Katharine Ross. The picture was directed by Andrew V. McLaglen. The ...more
12
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James Stewart, Doris Day, Alfred Hitchcock
The Man Who Knew Too Much is a 1956 suspense thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring James Stewart and Doris Day. The film is a somewhat altered remake in widescreen VistaVision and ...more
13
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James Stewart, Louis Armstrong, Marion Ross
The Glenn Miller Story is a 1954 American film about the eponymous American band-leader, directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart in their first non-western collaboration. ...more
14
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James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Ernest Borgnine
The Flight of the Phoenix is a 1965 American drama film starring James Stewart, produced and directed by Robert Aldrich, and based on the 1964 novel The Flight of the Phoenix by Elleston Trevor. ...more
15
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James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock, Cedric Hardwicke
Rope is a 1948 American psychological thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, based on the 1929 play of the same name by Patrick Hamilton and adapted by Hume Cronyn and Arthur Laurents. The ...more
16
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James Stewart, Murray Hamilton, Marc Connelly
The Spirit of St. Louis is a 1957 biographical film directed by Billy Wilder and starring James Stewart as Charles Lindbergh. The screenplay was adapted by Charles Lederer, Wendell Mayes, and ...more
17
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James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Ann Miller
You Can't Take It With You is a 1938 American romantic comedy film directed by Frank Capra and starring Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart, and Edward Arnold. Adapted from the Pulitzer ...more
18
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James Stewart, Thelma Ritter, Lee J. Cobb
Call Northside 777 is a 1948 documentary-style film noir directed by Henry Hathaway. It is based on the true story of a Chicago reporter who proved that a man in prison for murder was wrongly ...more
19
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James Stewart, Debra Paget, Will Geer
Broken Arrow is a western Technicolor film released in 1950. It was directed by Delmer Daves and starred James Stewart as Tom Jeffords and Jeff Chandler as Cochise. The film is based on these ...more
20
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James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan
The Naked Spur is a 1953 Technicolor American western film directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart, Janet Leigh, and Robert Ryan. Written by Sam Rolfe and Harold Jack Bloom, the film ...more
21
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John Wayne, James Stewart, Debbie Reynolds
How the West Was Won is a 1962 western film written by James R. Webb and John Gay and directed by John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall and Richard Thorpe.
22
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James Stewart, Jack Elam, Arthur Kennedy
The Man from Laramie is a 1955 American Western film directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp, and Cathy O'Donnell. Written by Philip Yordan and Frank ...more
23
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James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Billy Gilbert
Destry Rides Again is a 1939 western starring Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart, and directed by George Marshall. The supporting cast includes Mischa Auer, Charles Winninger, Brian Donlevy, ...more
24
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John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, James Stewart
The Shootist is a 1976 Western film directed by Don Siegel and starring John Wayne in his final film role, about a gunfighter who spends his last days looking for a way to stop with the least ...more
25
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James Stewart, Walter Brennan, Harry Morgan
The Far Country is a 1954 American Western Technicolor romance film directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart, Ruth Roman, and Walter Brennan. Written by Borden Chase, the film is ...more