Friday, 9 November 2007

Man Friday: Cary Grant

Cary Grant & Rosalind Russell
"His Girl Friday" (1940)


Cary Grant (Born Archibald Leach, Bristol 1904, Died Iowa 1986) does not need any introduction, being one of the most famous film stars ever.

He started off as an acrobat, and got into films whilst the company he was with were touring the US. Early films of his that are worth watching include, of course, Mae West's "She Done Him Wrong", and "She's No Angel". At that stage he hadn't quite perfected the "Cary Grant" character that he was going to spend the next 30-odd years playing.

A lot of the films that he made in the 30s and 40s were screwball comedies, such as "Arsenic and Old Lace", or "Bringing Up Baby" (one of Helena's favourites). However in 1941, looking for a change, he starred in Alfred Hitchcock's film "Suspicion". Unfortunately, as with Ivor Novello in "The Lodger" the studio bosses wouldn't let his character be the murderer as intended, and the ending had to be altered. (Hitchcock finally got to make a film where the hero was the villain the following year, with Joe Cotton in "Shadow of a Doubt").

CG made another 3 films with AH - "Notorious", "To Catch a Thief", and "North By Northwest".

My favourite of his films is currently "Only Angels Have Wings", in which like "An Affair to Remember", or "The Grass is Greener" he has a more serious part.

Helena's current obsession is watching him and Myrna Loy in "Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House" (she's insisted on watching it the last 3 weekends in a row) - this is a gentle comedy. The plot is in the title...

I'm not sure why he's such a popular actor. It must be because we like the character that he plays (it's always the same one, after all). I'm not sure how many hours I've spent in total watching his films, and I've probably not seen half of them yet, but none of that time has been wasted.

20 comments:

Bee said...

Cary Grant, he was the perfect man we dreamed about.
He had such a sarcastic wit to him, he never gave in to his leading ladies in that he didn't go all googley gagga over them (Dontcha love my description?) but when the time came to show his love for them, he did. ::sigh:: so dreamy.

Anyway, I wish I had added the memory of my little sis and I going thru the CG library at our local Blockbuster one winter to my post.

Jean Knee said...

well, I'm very deprived, the only CG movie I remember seeing is arsenic and old lace.

kewl how your Helena likes old movies, we tried to watch mary Poppins and it was a miserable failure.

Dick van's fake Brit accent was indecipherable ( was the spelling close?)

Brian o Vretanos said...

Jean Knee: Dick Van Dyke:

I'm not sure what his spelling was like, but his accent was appalling - even worse than Keanu Reeves in "Bram Stoker's Dracula".

My ex went through a phase of watching "Diagnosis Murder" - a US TV series about a (never-)has-been actor coming out of retirement to solve murders. Or something like that...

Helena likes the more usual children's stuff as well, but as long as it's not a silent film she's quite happy.

Brian o Vretanos said...

Bee:

Showing his love:

Yes, at the magic moment in To Catch a Thief they cut to a firework display, and in North by Northwest to a train going into a tunnel. So romantic ;-)

Bee said...

Brian, you big softy.

Brian o Vretanos said...

Bee:

I hope you're not questioning my tough "Action Man" reputation?

Bee said...

I am.

Brian o Vretanos said...

I don't want to have to describe what happened to the last person who did that...

Bee said...

Did they get smothered by hugs?

Brian o Vretanos said...

That's Uncanny! How did you know?

Bee said...

[backing away slowly]
OK, you win this round...

Jean Knee said...

you two are just disgusting, ans drivelly

Bee said...

He started it!

Jean Knee said...

I meant and drivelly

Brian o Vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

It's probably just that Friday feeling that we office workers have. Never mind, tomorrow's post should be to your liking - you get a mention, anyhow, and there should be nothing in it to offend even your delicate tastes and sensibilities.

(or should that be "sense and sensibility"?)

Even the picture's tasteful...

Jean Knee said...

hmm.. yes, I probably lack both, however I was never able to read Jane Austin, even though her characters have groovy names.

at present i am reading A Confederacy of Dunces for the 8 or 9 th time. it is more to my liking, although I did enjoy all of the Adrian Mole series


I almost sounded well read for a moment, don't let that fool you


also, did you say i look like a man? keep that up and I will be forced to show a pic of my man flip flops that I wear each and every day, and that will send Bee into a coma

Jean Knee said...

yes I did have to check wiki to make sure Jane Austin was the author

Brian o Vretanos said...

Jane Austen:

I've not read her either. Wasn't her brother the Bionic Man? There's a town in Texas named after them.

Flip Flops and Comas:

Having mentioned this, I expect that not posting the picture will make Bee even wilder. Or would have done. She's about to grow up, you know...

Bee said...

OF-ALL-THE-INSULTING...!!

I am not gonna grow up! Stop spreading those vicious rumours!!





;op

Brian o Vretanos said...

Bee: You won't be able to stop it - It happens to all of us at 35 - you'll end up mature and responsible, just like me.