Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Cary Grant - the leading man of Hollywood's classic movies

Cary Grant was born in Bristol, England, in the year 1904, and had an ordinary lower-middle-class life. That all changed when, at fourteen, he forged his father’s signature to join a troupe of knockabout comedians to America. He was on the same ship as a famous director, Douglas Fairbanks, and then got inspired to get into the movies, but didn't till 1933. In the US, he learnt acrobatics and pantomime before gaining fame in the Broadway show ‘Good Times’. After the show, he was selected by Mae West to appear in her film She Done Him Wrong (1933). Then began his career.  His good looks and superb acting made him the leading man in many comedy and dramatic roles, playing against legendary actresses such as Grace Kelley, Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn and Ingrid Bergman.


Cary Grant (1904-1986) in North by Northwest (1959)

What lessons does he have to teach us? Do what you think (is) right, and be humble about it.

Here are his best films:

BRINGING UP BABY (BLACK AND WHITE, 1938)
Grant and Katherine Hepburn come together in a screwball comedy with a leopard, a dinosaur bone, a dog, and a ripped-up dress? Definitely one of his best films with Hepburn, and it is a zoo of its kind.

THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (BLACK AND WHITE, 1940)
Again with Katherine Hepburn, he makes a perfect role as her ex-husband, C.K. Dexter Haven, and then reporter Maculay Conor (played by James Stewart) falls in love with the bride set to marry George Kittredge (John Howard).

HIS GIRL FRIDAY (BLACK AND WHITE, 1940)
Cary Grant’s turn to be a reporter, people! Well, at least he edits a newspaper. Now, he has to stop his ex-wife from remarrying insurance salesman Bruce (Ralph Bellamy). How? Maybe asking her to go and report on a murdered (John Qualen) may help.  

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (BLACK AND WHITE, 1944)
Mortimer Brewster has always been against marriage but he’s now going to marry Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane). However, he finds out that his aunts are both murderers, and that insanity runs through his family.

NOTORIOUS (BLACK AND WHITE, 1946)
More Ingrid Bergman then Cary Grant. Alicia Huberman (Bergman) has been asked by Devlin (Grant) to go to South America to spy on a group of Nazis. Marriage is as far as she’s gone, and the marriage makes Alexander Sebastian thinks they’re really in love. Wrong. Huberman and Devlin have an affair…

TO CATCH A THIEF (COLOUR, 1955)
Cary Grant is suspected for stealing jewellery. Of course he hasn’t done it. He now falls in love with Grace Kelly, and must ferret out the thief at the same time.

NORTH BY NORTHWEST (COLOUR, 1959)
Well, he stars as Roger O. Thornhill, and after all he has done (just drinking and driving), he tries to find the guy who stuffed bourbon in his mouth. He realises he has been mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and he needs to find a way to survive without being murdered. How? Somewhat under Lincoln’s nose.

THAT TOUCH OF MINK (COLOUR, 1962)
That touch of mink is on Doris Day, not Grant. When she comes to look for the millionaire who wet the dress, they fall in love instead. And what’s worse? A holiday in which the airplane has only one occupant?

CHARADE (COLOUR, 1963)
Playing charade is what Peter Joshua (Grant), Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) and Hamilton Bartholomew (Walter Matthau) are doing. With comedy and mystery added. 


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