Saturday, 10 September 2011

The Ultimate Cary Grant Marathon

Now that fall is upon us, and Girlfriend has returned to her campus life, I have a lot of extra time on my hands in the evenings.  This time is filled in part by community theatre (definitely something I will talk about in future posts), reading, and copious amounts of time in front of the television.  This TV-time always includes knitting (with Christmas approaching, I have a lot of knitting to do!  just like an old lady!) and so can be counted as a productive use of my time.

Over the next week or so, I'm planning on conducting a serious Cary Grant Marathon.  I've always loved Cary Grant.  He's probably my favourite actor (followed by Jimmy Stewart, Jack Lemmon and Robert Downey Jr.; for actresses, Katherine Hepburn leads the list) and several of his movies are high on my list of top films of all time.

Cary Grant started out life as Archie Leech, born in England in 1904 (he died in 1986 at the age of 82).  His movie career spanned 4 decades.

My marathon list is as follows (not necessarily in viewing order, or in order of preference):

1. "Bringing Up Baby": probably THE best screwball comedy from the golden age of movies, this film pairs Grant with Katherine Hepburn.  The movie involves dinosaur bones, a leopard named Baby, and features Cary Grant in a pink negligee (at least, I've always assumed it was pink; the movie is black-and-white).  It also spawned my favourite sarcastic comment of all time: "I'm sitting in Central Park waiting for a bus."

2. "The Philadelphia Story": This movie also paired Grant with Katherine Hepburn, and added Jimmy Stewart to the mix.  What's not to love?  (it was remade about 10 years later as the musical "High Society", with Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly; I refuse to watch it)

3. "Notorious": Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman.  This movie came out in 1946 and the censors lost their mind.  At this time, no kiss was allowed to be longer than 3 seconds.  There's a scene in this movie where Bergman and Grant kiss for almost a minute, but their lips part just before the 3 second mark throughout.  Did I forget to mention that this movie was directed by Alfred Hitchcock?  AND Claude Rains is in it.  If you haven't seen it, shame on you.

4. "Arsenic and Old Lace": This movie was made in 1944 and is still hilarious.  Cary Grant is brilliant as always, but it's the supporting cast (including Peter Lorre) who really steal the show.  I adore this movie.

5. "Father Goose": I'm sure serious movie buffs will scoff at this addition.  It's Grant's second last movie, released in 1964.  But it's the first Cary Grant movie I saw, and as such it will always be on my list.  A very old Grant is teamed with the young and gorgeous Leslie Caron (from "Gigi").  Its the story of a drunken captain who ends up stuck on an island with Ms. Caron and a bunch of little girls during WWII.  The premise is a little absurd, but the movie is gold.

7. "Operation Petticoat": while I'm on the topic of silly WWII movies, here's another.  This one also stars a young Tony Curtis (and is where Curtis drew his inspiration for his character "Junior" in "Some Like It Hot" - he is basically playing Cary Grant in these scenes).  Operation Petticoat sees Grant playing a submarine commander during WWII.  Things get a little wacky when the submarine is forced to rescue a group of army WACs.  And then they paint the sub pink.

8. "Charade": This movie was remade with Mark Whalberg in 2002 and was called "The Truth About Charlie".  I also refuse to watch this.  "Charade" is a brilliant mystery, costarring Audrey Hepburn and Walter Matthau.

9. "To Catch a Thief": Another brilliant movie by Alfred Hitchcock.  This movie stars Grant as an aging cat-burglar, forced out of retirement by a bored heiress (played by Grace Kelly; side note - this movie was filmed in Monacco and includes a scene with Ms. Kelly driving on a road where she would later be killed in a tragic car accident).  As I write this, I realize I will have to have another movie marathon of Alfred Hitchcock movies.

10. "North by Northwest": Again, Hitchcock.  Again, brilliant.  It's a case of mistaken identity for Cary Grant when he gets mixed up with a bunch of spies.  Eva Marie Saint is the love interest this time (Hitchcock really did have a thing for blondes).

So many great movies!!!  If I have time, I will also include:

  • "An Affair to Remember"
  • "His Girl Friday"
  • "I Was a Male War Bride"
  • "Suspicion" 
  • "Holiday"
  • "That Touch of Pink"
Well, I'm going to go make some popcorn and start my movie!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Roman Holiday stars Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.

  3. Ahhhh. That would explain why Gregory Peck did not look like himself in that picture of Cary Grant :P