“Hank & Jim” Author Set For Henry Fonda, Jimmy Stewart Presentation

By On November 6, 2017

Scott Eyman, author of Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart, will focus on stories from the book during an author event at the Burbank Buena Vista Library on Wednesday, November 8.

“It’s the story of two men with an unbreakable bond despite their differing politics and attitudes about religion and the movie industry,” commented Eyman. “I find this fascinating and admirable, especially in light of our current environment, where we hurl invective across an apparently unbridgeable divide over precisely those issues.”

Hank & Jim

James Stewart was a decorated bomber pilot and commander in WWII. Fonda served in the Navy in the Pacific during the war. This photo shows Stewart visiting Fonda on the set of the art western “The Ox-Bow Incident” shortly before he was deployed to his post in England. (Photo Courtesy Leonard Maltin Collection/Simon & Schuster)

“I’ll be talking about their practical jokes, their hobbies, their tensions, and I’ll show a segment from On Our Merry Way, an obscure comedy film in which Fonda and Stewart act, and which shows their rapport in hilarious fashion,” he added. “It’s basically a love story between two heterosexual men – a Howard Hawks movie.”

Eyman has published 15 books on the movie industry and its major players, including John Wayne, Robert Wagner, Cecil B. DeMille, Louis B. Mayer and John Ford.

“Eyman talks about how Hollywood worked, and changed, during this period of the 20th century when Fonda and Stewart were rising, and then established major stars,” said Librarian Hubert Kozak. “But he also explains how the country changed, and how what qualities it wanted in its ‘stars,’ changed.”

Hank & Jim

Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart in their kite-flying casuals. Building and flying kites was a hobby they pursued together at Fonda’s home. This photo was taken in 1947, shortly before Fonda left Los Angeles for New York to pursue stage roles. (Photo Courtesy Photofest/Simon & Schuster)

“What really hooks you about this book is that it is interesting not just as a Hollywood story, but as a very fundamental human story,” Kozak also said. “Eyman in the course of this book explains what held this unlikely relationship together, and in doing so, he brings you to a real understanding of the character of both men.”

“You are taken below the surface of the public image, and discover a rather moving story to which all of us can relate. So this book isn’t just for movie fans, or fans of Fonda and Stewart, I think it has something to say to all of us.”

Hank & Jim

(Photo Courtesy Scott Eyman/Simon & Schuster)

“I didn’t set out to write a Greatest Generation book, but I ended up with one,” Eyman said. “What modern show business icons would throw over their careers to fight a war?”

The author event begins at 7:00 p.m. and Eyman will sign books, which will be available for purchase, after the presentation. The Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library is located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street. Free parking on site is available.