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CARY GRANT

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charliechaplinfan
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CARY GRANT

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 5th, 2009, 2:11 pm

I can't believe I've searched this topic and not found a thread dedicated to Cary Grant, I'm sure there was one someplace, anyhow I can't find it.

I'm never good at extolling the virtues of the great actors, there is too much to say about them and their work often speaks for itself. Cary Grant has long been one of my favorites, many of his films would feature in my top 100. He worked with some of the greatest directors, could do comedy and drama with equal success, never won an Oscar for a performance, more's the pity. I love the man that is Cary Grant, he's the closest thing to male perfection on screen. Sometimes I feel there can be something missing, although giving good performances, he's doesn't give off warmth and although one of the most beautiful men to grace the screen he's not always sexy like Clark Gable, he is for me in comedy and the occasional straight roles with the right costar. I can say I've never watched him in a dull film.

I've never been able to get through a biography of him. The first one I chose was by a biographer who went out of his way to prove that Cary was gay. His evidence being his cohabitation with Randolph Scott and Virginia Cherrill's diaries, I wasn't convinced. The other I chose the author didn't like Cary so I don't know why he chose to write about him. I hesitate trying to read another. Cary seems to be one performer that I would like to belive in being the perfect gentleman.

I'd love to know what others think of him.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

feaito

Re: CARY GRANT

Postby feaito » June 5th, 2009, 6:18 pm

Cary Grant has been my top one star and actor for years. Whenever someone asked me about my top-favorites I always said Grant & Kate Hepburn. When my brother got interested in Classic Films -thanks to my influence I think- he became immediatley his favorite as well and I'm sure that still today Grant is his favorite actor. He wants to have every film Grant starred in.

The single thing that is most impressive -to me- from what I've read about Grant is that he created a different, new person in real life. With the years he ceased to be Archie Leach and he became 100% Cary Grant. It was not just a change of name. His persona lived outside the films. It's pretty scary in a way if you think of it carefully. It's almost like a split personality case. I also sympathize very much with the traumatic childhood Cary Grant had to go through, especially the loss of his mother and all his feelings in relation to it.

In his time I think that his acting talent was -unfairly- underrated and I feel that he wasn't much liked by his peers.He also had an amazing career and string of hits since 1937 and he aged better than no one else, but perhaps Gilbert Roland, who is another runner-up in that category.

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Mr. Arkadin
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Re: CARY GRANT

Postby Mr. Arkadin » June 5th, 2009, 7:59 pm


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JackFavell
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Re: CARY GRANT

Postby JackFavell » June 5th, 2009, 8:08 pm

I personally stay away from the Cary biographies. I don't want to know. Anything they say would be demeaning of a man who so obviously wanted to be seen in certain way. The biggest compliment I can give to him is simply to watch his movies and appreciate him for what he made himself into, which must have been somewhere inside him all along, so it really was what he was(hope that makes sense). I once accidentally read some things about Cary and Dyan Cannon in a magazine, and IF it is true, I chalk it up to paranoia and great personal sadness on his part. Nothing that I read made me feel that he was a bad man, just maybe horribly scarred by life. I will never read anything about his private life again.

I have said before that there are many stars who were only able to do that one thing well.... and that's OK with me. I appreciate them because I am the audience, not a family member. I make no judgments.

Now to the topic at hand.... Cary.

My favorites are:

Mr. Lucky (He's absolutely great.)

His Girl Friday

Only Angels Have Wings

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer

Penny Serenade (I cannot get through this one without bawling, because it's Cary Grant, and he is crying)

Topper

Holiday

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: CARY GRANT

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 6th, 2009, 4:35 am

Thanks for the link Mr Arkadin. Don't know why I couldn't find it :roll:

I do feel like you Jackfavell. It's only when I started reading a biography of him that I discovered that I didn't want to destroy the image of Cary Grant. Apart from his beginnings the biographies remain unread.

Cary is my favorite actor of the classic period, I think his appeal is universal, men women and children could like him especially in the comedies. My favorites
:wink:
SYLVIA SCARLETT
BRINGING UP BABY
HOLIDAY
ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS
HIS GIRL FRIDAY
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY
THE AWFUL TRUTH
MY FAVORITE WIFE
NOTORIOUS
TO CATCH A THIEF
NORTH BY NORTHWEST

Too many really
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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silentscreen
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Re: CARY GRANT

Postby silentscreen » June 6th, 2009, 8:09 am

Cary was a terrific actor! I always like seeing him on screen, you feel like you're seeing the personification of class and sophisticated charm.There was no one like him, and unfortunately never will be again. If he did create "Cary Grant" from Archie Leach, he did a splendid job! Charlie Chaplin created "The Little Tramp" too, and they both started out as travelling comedians, and they both learned physical comedy and timing there. My favorite Grant movies are his comedies, although I think he could've gone farther in his career with character roles rather than thinking that people only loved him as a romantic lead.
"Humor is nothing less than a sense of the fitness of things." Carole Lombard

feaito

Re: CARY GRANT

Postby feaito » June 6th, 2009, 9:10 am

Alison and Wendy, I undertsand your feelings about Cary's biographies and the demeaning of his person, but in my case, I don't care whatever the might say about Cary, Kate, Humphrey et al, because nothing can diminish or affect their films, talent and brightness on the silver screen. For me one thing was the person and another the professional, the actor, the star, so if by any chance I have read anything demeaning about any of them, it doesn't count, I don't know if you know what I mean; it's just presumed, alleged, assumed data/info on their personal lives, which we will never know for sure if they are true or false. On the other hand, I always tend to favour books and biographies focused on their films and work, rather than their personal lives.

As for Cary, I have only read one (British) biography about him, when I was 17-18 years old: "Haunted Idol" by Geoffrey Wansell and although I can't recall it well, I remember that it wasn't a sensationalistic bio. In fact, I remember feeling so connected with Archie's isolation and loneliness when he was a kid (I had a very lonely, isolated childhood and it has been very rough for me over the years from a psychological point of view- so I did felt connected with the man) and Archie Leach just came out as a melancholic man under the facade of Cary Grant.

As for favorite Grant films I can list them ALL. All of his films are at least good, even such underrated films as "The Howards of Virginia" (1940) I have liked and enjoyed completely.

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Re: CARY GRANT

Postby stuart.uk » June 6th, 2009, 9:33 am

Alison

IMO Cary is 2nd only to Chaplin as Britain's greatest actor.

One of his talents was his ability to play a masculine hero in one film and a feminine one in another (though I give Jimmy Stewart the edge here, because he was able to play both within the same character in the same film)

As regards his sexuality I remember Simon Callow on The Parkinson Show say as a matter of fact he was homosexual and had an affair with Randolph Scott. However, I think as a gay man it suited Simon to believe that. On the other hand with more credibility Randolph's Scott's son asked his father's doctor in that was possible. The reply was there was medical evidence to prove this was not the case

It's funny in his career Cary felt awkward starring oppisite younger actresses like Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn and Leslie Caron, yet he had a relationship with Sophia and married Dyan Cannon, though he did feel uncomfortable with Dyan wearing sexy modern day clothes when out in public with her. Though I have to say he didn't, because of his youthful looks, look out of place with those younger actresses. Yet I don't forget the likes of Katy Hepburn, Irene Dunne, Deborah Kerr, Ingrid Bergman and Anne Sheridan were some of his great screen partners, In fact it would have been nice to see him, though he was with Deborah in An Affair To Remember, have done a film with those more mature actresses in the 50s and 60s

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Re: CARY GRANT

Postby Birdy » June 6th, 2009, 9:54 am

Cary Grant is just about the brightest star of them all, in my book. His natural charm, grace, good looks and physique made him a dream come true. Some of my favorites are:

Notorious
Holiday
Topper
My Favorite Wife
Bringing Home Baby

Only he could pull off a fur trimmed sheer negligee and still be a hunk!
B

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silentscreen
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Re: CARY GRANT

Postby silentscreen » June 6th, 2009, 1:25 pm

In regard to Cary's feelings about younger actresses and his relationships with younger women, he did seem to finally find his match in his last wife. She seemed very classy and elegant, and far more suited to him tempermentally.
"Humor is nothing less than a sense of the fitness of things." Carole Lombard

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: CARY GRANT

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 6th, 2009, 1:44 pm

feaito wrote:Alison and Wendy, I undertsand your feelings about Cary's biographies and the demeaning of his person, but in my case, I don't care whatever the might say about Cary, Kate, Humphrey et al, because nothing can diminish or affect their films, talent and brightness on the silver screen. For me one thing was the person and another the professional, the actor, the star, so if by any chance I have read anything demeaning about any of them, it doesn't count, I don't know if you know what I mean; it's just presumed, alleged, assumed data/info on their personal lives, which we will never know for sure if they are true or false. On the other hand, I always tend to favour books and biographies focused on their films and work, rather than their personal lives.

As for Cary, I have only read one (British) biography about him, when I was 17-18 years old: "Haunted Idol" by Geoffrey Wansell and although I can't recall it well, I remember that it wasn't a sensationalistic bio. In fact, I remember feeling so connected with Archie's isolation and loneliness when he was a kid (I had a very lonely, isolated childhood and it has been very rough for me over the years from a psychological point of view- so I did felt connected with the man) and Archie Leach just came out as a melancholic man under the facade of Cary Grant.

As for favorite Grant films I can list them ALL. All of his films are at least good, even such underrated films as "The Howards of Virginia" (1940) I have liked and enjoyed completely.


I have to agree with you Fernando, it doesn't bother me a whit what they have or haven't done as long as they've stayed within the law. I prefer biographies that deal with their films as well as their personal lives. I've always appreciated the advice regarding what books to buy that I've received through this forum.

I think what annoys me most of all is that people like to make so many assumptions about Cary, he was a private person and managed successfully to construct the persona of Cary Grant from a lonely childhood. Stuart has mentioned Simon Callow saying that Cary and Randolph Scott were gay. There is no evidence I've ever read apart from the fact it made good copy. To me it's putting today's journalism on yesterday's morals. My own take on it is that if they were in that kind of relationship they probably wouldn't have lived together. Plus I've never heard any other male partners mentioned in relation to either man. it was even mentioned last night on our most popular soap opera, so it must have entered popular legend.

Stuart, is Cary 2nd to Charlie's 1st, perhaps it's like comparing apples and pears, Cary had a greater range but Charlie was master at his art. They are always wrapped up in my mind because of their childhoods.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: CARY GRANT

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 6th, 2009, 1:46 pm

Birdy wrote:Cary Grant is just about the brightest star of them all, in my book. His natural charm, grace, good looks and physique made him a dream come true.

Only he could pull off a fur trimmed sheer negligee and still be a hunk!
B


Birdy I have to agree, he looked gorgeous in that negligee.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

feaito

Re: CARY GRANT

Postby feaito » June 6th, 2009, 2:14 pm

Great Thread Alison!

I have to say that since I'm reading Hawks' Bio, and I've been reading chapters devoted to films he made with Cary (Bringing Up Baby, Only Angels Have Wings and His Girl Friday) I need to watch those goodies again, especially Only Angels Have Wings.

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Re: CARY GRANT

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 6th, 2009, 3:58 pm

I feel the same, the Hawks films are brilliant. It's been a while since I've seen Only Angels Have Wings, a rare departure for Cary in the late 30's he plays a serious role rather than a screwball comedy one. Don't forget I Was A Male War Bride I sat through it yesterday, I laughed so much.

Let me know about the Hawks book :wink:
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: CARY GRANT

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 6th, 2009, 5:42 pm

Just watched Hot Saturday with Cary Grant, Nancy Carroll and Randolph Scott which has been relased as part of the Forbidden Hollywood series. It's struck me before when I've watched early Cary movies and I haven't been able to put my finger on it but I think he had some work, definetly on his teeth, perhaps too on his nose. He's still gorgeous in this film but not quite got the complete Cary look. Maybe he didn't, maybe his face filled out a little as he got a little older.

The set that has Hot Saturday also has Merrily we Go to Hell, I'd recommend renting them.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin


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