My guest today is Robert Matzen, author of "Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe."
Robert shares why Stewart’s family history instilled an iron sense of duty towards serving his country in the military and how Stewart spent his single day off as an actor training to be an Army pilot in the years leading up to WWII. We also discuss how Stewart had to fight military brass and his boss at MGM Studios to ensure that he actually saw combat instead of staying stateside to make propaganda films.
Robert then gets into detail about the combat missions Stewart flew during WWII, his leadership style as an officer, and how the war took a toll on him physically and emotionally.
We end our conversation talking about how the war influenced Stewart’s film career when he returned home and how it may have helped him create one of cinema's most iconic characters, George Bailey.
If you’re a fan of Jimmy Stewart, you don’t want to miss this show.