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Cary Grant and Comedy

Isn't Romantic Comedy redundant?

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RedRiver
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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby RedRiver » November 29th, 2011, 5:49 pm

When someone dashing and elegant looks foolish, it's much funnier than when a silly actor does it. When Cary Grant dons a woman's bathrobe, it's a perfectly normal thing to do. But it looks ridiculous! Dick Van Dyke approached this territory on his TV show. "Rob, bring that cannon over here! Rob, put this gorilla mask on!" A normal person in a really crazy world!

But Dick Van Dyke is no Cary Grant. Nobody is.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby charliechaplinfan » December 1st, 2011, 6:59 am

In our weekend paper was an interview with both Jennifer Grant and Dyan Cannon, both to promote their books, Dyan has an axe to grind but to Jennifer he was an adored father and beautiful man. I'd like to read her memoir of him, little is known about the man, I think he gave what he wanted the world to know and as a result has been knocked over the years by people with axes to grind, Jennifer gives us chance to see a man that no one else really saw.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby RedRiver » December 1st, 2011, 1:57 pm

And did that man know when to retire! Again, perfect timing.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby charliechaplinfan » December 2nd, 2011, 7:59 am

The master of timing I think, comic and otherwise.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby CineMaven » December 17th, 2011, 10:43 pm

TCM showed all four Cary Grant / Kate Hepburn pairings this Saturday:

Bringing Up Baby
The Philadelphia Story
Holiday
Sylvia Scarlett


So I'm in for the night (a Saturday nite...shocking!) checking them all out. In "The Philadelphia Story" it's like Kate & Cary leave their 1930's selves behind. They're both more mature here, and never worked together after this. Now I know she's a favorite around these parts so I'm focusing on the great Ruth Hussey, since she's the least actor-y actor in the movie...not arch or mugging like everyone else:

Image

She quietly deals with her unrequited love for Jimmy Stewart in the background. And I think that even as imperious as Hepburn is in this movie, Ruth Hussey could tear her apart with one...good...line.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby Lzcutter » December 18th, 2011, 12:01 am

She matches Grant for every second in the scene where Jimmy Stewart proposes to Kate. She could have played it for laughs or could have looked stricken beyond words. Instead, she looks briefly as if the wind has been knocked out of her and as if she paused to catch her breath.

I like to believe that her reaction caused Grant to rethink his reaction and he reigned himself in as he gives us the male version of Hussey's reaction without any of the histrionics that often pass for emotions in the rest of the film.
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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby RedRiver » December 18th, 2011, 5:44 pm

Hussey's character is the best conceived in this clever comedy. Her glib, acidic way of evading the real issue is both charming and sad. It reminds me of the stock George S. Kaufman character in his classic plays, or the film role often assigned to Eve Arden. Ms. Hussey delivers it in fine form.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby charliechaplinfan » December 18th, 2011, 5:53 pm

That's one heck of a roster of movies, all excellent with Grant on top form.

I love Ruth Hussey's character in The Philadelphia Story, I've always thought she's quite pivotal and is a parellel to how Dexter behaves. The Philadelphia Story contains great performances from all, Cary Grant weas offered the choice of roles, choosing Dexter even though Jimmy's role had more meat on it, his Dexter is a great lesson in considerate acting, allowing the others performers to shine. I love the opening to the film, I just wonder how many actors and directors might have liked to changed places with him to push Kate Hepburn to the floor.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby CineMaven » December 19th, 2011, 8:26 am

Add a studio head or exhibitor to that list when she was deemed box office poison. Aye yi yi.

I'm not crazy about "The Philadelphia Story" and it is absolutely NOT humanly possible for me to sit through "Sylvia Scarlett" but I tell you this...Katie is fearless.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby charliechaplinfan » December 19th, 2011, 5:52 pm

The first time I watched Sylvia Scarlett I wasn't sure, the second time, I loved it. It's not Kate that makes it although she is fearless taking on this role, it's Cary, he steal it. He steals The Philadelphia Story too, for me at least.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby Rita Hayworth » December 19th, 2011, 6:08 pm

charliechaplinfan wrote: He steals The Philadelphia Story too, for me at least.


That's true to me! :)

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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby JackFavell » December 20th, 2011, 11:47 am

Oh, it makes me so happy to see Ruth Hussey appreciated in this way! She's a great favorite of mine, someone I'd love to be like. She reminds me of my mom in so many ways. I'll join the gang and say that she is my favorite character, though I love Kate in this film.

Favorite line:

Dexter: "Can you use a typewriter?"

Liz: "No thanks, I've got one at home."

I would dearly love to have seen Shirley Booth as Liz Imbrie on stage, she originated the role.

Sylvia Scarlett is one of my favorite movies, though most would call it a disaster. I really like the whole idea of it, Kate is, as you say, fearless, and she really does well at playing the boy, plus I love her haircut. It really suits her and looks very modern. I even like Brian Aherne in this picture. But best of all is watching Edmund Gwenn and Cary do their vaudeville/music hall bits and characters. I feel that they really KNOW this life, and know the characters they play. Gwenn is completely heartbreaking to me - an actor who could play anything. He's especially amazing in some of his British productions, where he is not typecast as much. He can do everything from the purest evil to Santa Claus.

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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby CineMaven » December 20th, 2011, 1:15 pm

Charlie, Jackie...you two are better Mavens than I am, Gunga Din. I was so unsettled by "Sylvia Scarlett" and Cary Grant...in "Mr. Lucky," I might just have to hang up my "Maven" moniker. I have to get over myself. Branch out. See my favorite stars playing it 'differently.' I will say I was loving Kate's look in "Sylvia Scarlet." Kinda sorry she had to share it with old nasally Dennie Moore. I've recorded the movie for posterity but I don't know if I'll ever be able to finish it. Saw him in "Mr. Lucky." My gosh, he was devastatingly handsome...but such a cad. I mean no scruples at all. Stealing a dead man's identity. Ready to rook a charity...fleece it of EVERYthing. Jesus! But Laraine Day catches his fancy. He uses his nefarious ways to the charity's advantage. I love the little cat and mouse between Grant and Day. I must say, I thought Day was very..."knowing" I dunno...something...in this movie. She wanted the bad boy, didn't she. I loved her tying his tie into that Windsor knot...and learning that Aussie slang. Her willingness to learn after she stopped putting up her defenses against him.

A STITCH IN TIME -

Grant knitting. Wow! It was really something how emasculating that was deemed to be. I loved how he handled those knitting needles, and how uncomfortable he handled the idea of being asked to knit. And then later, he noticed a knitted tea cozy. Was Laraine rubbing off on him? I liked his way, though it was a little discomfitting and I kept looking for my Cary to be Cary. But here he was: loud ties, slang talk, lying, cheating and then redemption. Oh yeah, ye olde redemption. I liked Paul Stewart in this. One doesn't have to look like Eduardo Ciannelli to be tough. And Stewart was tough and not going to let Grant be a do-gooder and lose out on all that money. I liked how torn Grant was when he just had to get Day out of that room when the heist was in progress. I like when Cary Grant gets mad...or should I say hurt. He tells off Day (class warfare). And when things get patched up, and she does admit she loves him...he leaves her. I was in shock. Is this really the 1940's? He's leaving her. Yep, right there on the dock.

Oh wait. No wait.

I don't quite know if I liked "Mr. Lucky" or not. But I did see a different side of Cary Grant and what he has in him. And Laraine Day with her fresh clean face and bright bright eyes, and pretty smile...Maybe you can teach an old maven new tricks. They both opened my eyes.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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JackFavell
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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby JackFavell » December 20th, 2011, 2:05 pm

Oh, Maven!I'm glad you dipped your toe in the water, even if you aren't sure about it.

I love bad boy Cary.... He does walk a pretty fine line in Mr. Lucky, doesn't he? He's so callous at first, all the way up to the casino night. But it's nurture not nature. He's lived the worst possible life, unwanted, and made himself the best he knows how. If he's not nice, it's not really his fault. He never had any Laraine Day's in his life before. I like the suspense of it - which way will he fall?

But oh what a redemption! I think he runs away because he's gotten a glimpse of himself, and he can't face her. He's withholding, but because he can't believe she would ever really be happy with him as he is. As he says, "You just got a little dirt on your dress" or words to that effect. It's so painful, I get a lump in my throat just thinking about it.

I never thought of it before, but the story is kind of like A Christmas Carol.... that greek letter to the real Joe from his mother, Grant having to have it read out loud by the priest.... whew! Our Joe gets a good long look at himself and he knows he's no good. I like that hand of fate in Mr. Lucky. What are the odds that he would pick the identity of a man who already has three strikes against him? There is something epic in his journey from good to bad, like God is watching over him, or like a Greek mythological story. Mr. Lucky is right. He could have ended as the real Joe did with no redemption, just hating himself.

I LOVE Laraine Day, so I hope she made a good impression on you. She's a good girl without being so good that you want to throttle her. I think "knowing" is the best way to describe her...honest but with humor. Very American, sure of herself, but in the nicest of ways. She totally intrigues me as an actress. She knows what Joe is, but still wants him, and she's so warm and giving, it would be hard to resist.

Did you stick with it till the end? I think Cary is just great as this character...the dark side to Cary. I just watched Suspicion last night, and found I liked it better than I previously had, but to me, the wastrel Cary is by far more destructive than his criminal Joe Bascopoulos. I can't imagine living with Johnny Ayesgarth, but I can imagine living with Joe B. I'd likely kill Johnny - his cavalier attitude would drive me to send him over the edge of the cliff, no matter how sexy he was. :D

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Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby CineMaven » December 20th, 2011, 4:44 pm

Oh Laraine made a great impression on me. I thought she was excellent in this film. She's very unaffected, very direct, with beautiful eyes and lashes. I found her to be sexy. Ha, I chuckle at myself for even saying this. I mean, after all those years with Dr. Kildare and me never really caring for her, in this movie I think I finally see her. I saw a tiny bit of her in that Robert Young film ("Those Endearing Young Charms "), always enjoyed "The Locket" because of her lethal-ness and the story's unfolding of its triple-decker flashback. I endured her through Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent" b'cuz Hitch is my boy. But now my eyes are wide open to Ms. Day due to this film. I like her pouffy hairstyle and really her unaffected delivery. Again, I loved the scene with her tying Grant's tie. It was sexy to me, grown-up.

When they drive home from the country, her asleep on his big strong shoulders < ( sigh ) > they walk to her gate. She has her arm around her, but he does not hold her. I think her initiation is very sexy and his reticence is so poignant. She kisses him. "Don't you like it?" she says. He doesn't know. (I hear ya Cary, about not knowing). He drives back over the bridge, sees the "NO LEFT TURN" signs and does a dangerous U-Turn and goes back to her. The way he loosens his tie and runs up the stairs and asks her to re-tie his tie, and says he likes it, how boyish and adorable he looked. Oh I could just hug my fellow Capricorn!!! He is such a darling looking man. He can be boyish, he can be an s.o.b., he can be love-sick, and a fool, and oh so charming and roguish. He's so many things, that Cary Grant. And working with different actresses brings out different colors and shades in him. (...Myrna...Deborah...Irene...Kate...Ingrid...Sophia...Eva Marie, etc). I love him...I tell you....I love him. (T.M.I.? Naaaah, I'm sharing him with a hundred million other women since the 1930's).

Hearing the letter changes it all for him. His shame, his redemption. What a good scene. The little angelic music in the background is oh so typical...but it didn't bother me. The scene moved me. A mother writing the son whose disappointed her ( Garfield in "East of the River" ) and giving him something to be proud of with his brothers fighting and dying at Nazi hands. And her mother surviving the Nazi invasion. Joe would be proud. And here is Cary, impersonating the dead man feeling shame and wanting to change. Yes, how ironic picking a man that's a three-time loser. That's just like Karloff in "The Man Who Lived Again" - http://www.archive.org/details/Man_Who_Changed_His_Mind.

I've changed my mind though. I'm making it official after re-watching the last half an hour.

I like "Mr. Lucky."

And since I've come around to that p.o.v., since I've come over to your side...I need you to do me a favor. I'm giving you an assignment; of course, it's if you choose to accept it JackaaAaay. This PM will destruct in thirty seconds...
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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