The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters.

Cary Grant and Comedy

Isn't Romantic Comedy redundant?

Moderators: Sue Sue Applegate, movieman1957, moira finnie, Lzcutter

User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby JackFavell » December 20th, 2011, 4:53 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mI9KhPJ-utE

Can I be Barbara Bain if I say yes?

User avatar
CineMaven
Posts: 3818
Joined: September 24th, 2007, 9:54 am
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Contact:

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby CineMaven » December 20th, 2011, 5:18 pm

Why of course, Barbara.

:)
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby JackFavell » December 20th, 2011, 5:40 pm

SO.... not to be dumb or sumpin....

what's the assignment? Should I have figured that out already?

kingrat
Posts: 2207
Joined: August 20th, 2009, 2:46 pm

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby kingrat » December 20th, 2011, 8:21 pm

Not to interrupt the assignment--but I feel that Mr. Lucky and Sylvia Scarlett give us more of Archie Leach than any other Cary Grant films I've seen. In Sylvia Scarlett he's not quite a star yet, hasn't got the suave mid-Atlantic upper class sophisticated charm worked out yet. The working-class origins are still visible. There's some of the Archie Leach who had shared a small New York flat with an Australian guy named Jack Kelly, who wasn't yet Orry-Kelly.

Archie had certainly worked out the Cary Grant persona by Mr. Lucky, but he has scenes where he can draw on the less than suave and sophisticated parts of his background. He comes closer to playing Cary and Archie both in this film, and this may be my favorite of all his performances. In None But the Lonely Heart he has another chance to draw on his background, though he was from Bristol and not a Cockney. However, to me he's no longer quite comfortable in the role. I say this despite loving the film, which is odd because it's the only film Clifford Odets directed and I basically don't like any of the films made from Odets' plays. Ah, but this one was based on a Richard Llewellyn novel (author of How Green Was My Valley), and lacks the Odets stylization and theatricality which I dislike.

User avatar
intothenitrate
Posts: 398
Joined: January 11th, 2010, 3:12 pm
Location: Cincinnati

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby intothenitrate » December 21st, 2011, 6:15 am

In some of those Paramount pre-codes, his performances border on thick-necked thug...very odd to watch, given the benefit of hind-sight.
"Immorality may be fun, but it isn't fun enough to take the place of one hundred percent virtue and three square meals a day."
Goodnight Basington

User avatar
movieman1957
Administrator
Posts: 5481
Joined: April 15th, 2007, 3:50 pm
Location: MD

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby movieman1957 » December 21st, 2011, 10:19 am

Having seen the short "Singapore Sue" (which also stars a very young Millard Mitchell) you're quite right. Very thick accent and stiff acting.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby JackFavell » December 21st, 2011, 1:13 pm

I agree with you kingrat - I think that's why I'm drawn to both films, and None But the Lonely Heart too, which is another favorite for me. They don't really answer any questions for me, but we certainly get a glimpse of something "other" in Grant. His range seems broader to me in Lucky than in any other picture.

RedRiver
Posts: 4209
Joined: July 28th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby RedRiver » December 21st, 2011, 1:46 pm

There's a book about men knitting. It's called KNITTING WITH BALLS!

"Two bottles and stoppers arrived unexpected. What's going on with our supplier?" MR. LUCKY is a challenging, if not fantastic film. Funny and sad. Unpredictable. It is one of Cary's more complicated roles, and he comes through beautifully. The same is true of the Odets film. I'm so-so on the movie. But the actor shines. Cary has done so much fine work it's almost redundant to praise it. But these two performances are a little beyond his usual assignment. They exemplify his impressive reach and skilled interpretation.

User avatar
charliechaplinfan
Posts: 9087
Joined: January 15th, 2008, 9:49 am

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby charliechaplinfan » December 21st, 2011, 3:45 pm

Mr Lucky is top of my list to watch after Christmas, I haven't seen it before. I think I read that he liked to stretch himself in roles like None But the Lonely Heart and Mr Lucky, he put his all into Lonely Heart but didn't get recognised and the box office preferred the other Cary but it's interesting to see these glimpses of what Archibald Leach might have been if Hollywood hadn't taken him into the fold.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

User avatar
charliechaplinfan
Posts: 9087
Joined: January 15th, 2008, 9:49 am

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby charliechaplinfan » January 10th, 2012, 2:14 pm

I watched Mr Lucky today, I was very much impressed by his perfromance and the film in general, I agree it's not the easiest to watch because it keeps you guessing as to his motives which are quite plain at the beginning but begin to change, I love the speech he gives in Laraine's grandfather's house, after she has threatened to marry him, it's so impassioned.

It struck me that this performance, along with Sylvia Scarlett and None But The Lonely Heart sit as a threesome. In all his other performances, once he was established, at least the ones I've seen, he plays a man with a veneer of sophistication, sometimes with lashings of it, some times it's just below the surface. In these roles he plays a chancer, a gambler, a man making his way in the world by any means he can, a man that owes the world nothing because it hasn't been particularly kind to him. He's really good in these roles, possibly because he can draw on the experience of being poor and neglected, he knows these men, that I'm sure of, perhaps his father wasn't a million miles from these characters or perhaps he could have been one himself. He's convinced me that if he had have chosen that life he'd have been very convincing.

I think these are some of the best of Cary's work, unlike other actors with longevity he seemed to change track a few times in his career. He had the first few years as a contract actor assigned to what the studio gave him. Then he branches out, with Sylvia Scarlett and the Awful Truth, he enters as phase of comedies, then he's taken in hand by Hitchcock and plays a colder more cruel man, he tries his hand at the roles he would like, Lonely Heart and Mr Lucky being two, then I get a bit hazy, mainly comedies, some very good ones, especially for Howard Hawks, as it gets in to the early fifties he takes on the persona that I see as Cary Grant, he becomes thinner in the face, more tanned and plays men only with a hint of sophistication up until Father Goose. For me this is my least favourite Cary Grant period, he's still very good and I will watch anything he's in but there's less variety to me in these roles. I haven't seen all of his movies so there might be more variety than I realise but what a guy and how he could almost reinvent himself without really changing.

Archie Leach/Cary Grant, I salute you :D
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

RedRiver
Posts: 4209
Joined: July 28th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby RedRiver » January 10th, 2012, 5:38 pm

In Moss Hart's autobiographical ACT ONE, the young playwright has an actor friend named Archie. You don't realize till late in the story, it's Cary Grant!

User avatar
charliechaplinfan
Posts: 9087
Joined: January 15th, 2008, 9:49 am

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby charliechaplinfan » January 11th, 2012, 7:20 am

Ah, that's interesting. I think Cary is like an onion, lots of layers to peel away, I don't think anything is necessarily covered up but the early Archie Leach is as far away from the later Cary Grant as you could be. I wish he'd talked about his 'transformation' but I think he was quite reticent about it.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby JackFavell » January 11th, 2012, 10:20 am

Oh, you and I definitely see the same things in Cary.

I do love those three movies, it never occurred to me to place them together like that! But I actually like them a bit more than the other Grant films, although you can't beat some of his more sophisticated or humorous roles. I just happen to like this "man that owes the world nothing" better than the others. I think you totally captured the appeal of those movies, the less glistening Cary, the one with a little mud on him.

User avatar
charliechaplinfan
Posts: 9087
Joined: January 15th, 2008, 9:49 am

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby charliechaplinfan » January 11th, 2012, 2:24 pm

I do like bad boys that have a sense of the redeemable about them and a cheek. I'm also terribly partial to the screwball Cary and then earlier Hitchcock roles. More than any other actor he seemed to develop into another character in his first few years from his start in movies until around the time of Sylvia Scarlett, he was a thick necked yob in a couple of his early movies, then he was often second male lead, attractive but at some point he changed, it's been down to a change in his parting but I can't help but feeling it was more than that. I think Cary never stopped developing as an actor, a pity he was never given the chance of more roles like Mr Lucky which has shot up to the top of my list of favourite Cary movies.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: Cary Grant and Comedy

Postby JackFavell » January 11th, 2012, 3:58 pm

I am so happy! And I agree, he was subtly changing all the time, refining and strengthening his acting and his persona. I happen to like the hurt, boy of the streets Cary a little more. I am sure you've probably already noted the comparison to Chaplin's childhood.


Return to “Comedies”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest