Friday, 9 November 2007
Man Friday: Cary Grant
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.