Who Was the Biggest Movie Star of 1951?

In 1951, Hollywood was at the peak of its glory, producing some of the most iconic films and stars that are still revered today. The movie industry had reached a new level of sophistication and glamour, and the competition for the title of the biggest movie star was fierce.

Nevertheless, one actor stood out from the crowd, captivating audiences with his charm and talent. So who was the biggest movie star of 1951? Let’s take a closer look.

The Contenders

The year 1951 saw many great performances from legendary actors like Humphrey Bogart in “The African Queen,” Marlon Brando in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and Montgomery Clift in “A Place in the Sun.” These actors were at their prime, delivering outstanding performances that left audiences spellbound.

The Winner

However, one actor emerged as the biggest movie star of 1951 – none other than James Stewart. He had starred in three films that year – “No Highway in the Sky,” “The Jackpot,” and “Broken Arrow” – all of which were commercial successes.

Stewart’s Popularity

Stewart’s popularity can be attributed to his versatility as an actor. He had already established himself as a leading man in romantic films like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “The Philadelphia Story.” But in 1951, he showcased his range by playing different roles in each film he starred in.

In “No Highway in the Sky,” he played an engineer who predicts a plane crash but is not taken seriously until it’s almost too late. In “The Jackpot,” he portrayed a small-town accountant who wins a lottery but struggles to adjust to his new lifestyle. And finally, in “Broken Arrow,” he played an Indian agent trying to negotiate peace between settlers and Apache tribes.

Stewart’s Enduring Legacy

Stewart’s performance in these films solidified his status as a Hollywood icon. He went on to star in many more successful films and became known for his natural acting style and likable personality.

Stewart’s legacy continues to this day, with many of his films being considered classics. His performances in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” and “Vertigo” are still celebrated by audiences around the world.


In conclusion, although there were many great performances by talented actors in 1951, James Stewart was undoubtedly the biggest movie star of that year. His versatility as an actor and likable personality made him a fan favorite, and his enduring legacy is a testament to his talent.