JOHNNY CHAZZ: Who wouldn't want to be
Grant? At the age of 62, actor Cary Grant made his final film. Yet, a career such as his could never be overstated as his performances were consistently charming, witty, timely and utilized a humor that was perfectly polished. Known primarily for his box-office hit "North by Northwest", Cary Grant made a number of films that made him one of the top actors in film history. Grant first appeared on the big screen across Marlene Dietrich in "Blonde Venus" in 1932. However, it was MGM's "Topper" in 1937 that really put Cary Grant on the map. Cary
This week I would like to pay tribute to
Grant and a few of the films that I feel were his best. Cary
|Grant and Hepburn: THE PHILADELPHIA STORY|
STORY": What a cast to say the least. Not only was PHILADELPHIA Grant the lead, but James Stewart and Katharine Hepburn also played major roles. "The Cary Philadelphia Story" was originally set on Broadway and the idea of marrying and then re-marrying was becoming a hot topic on the big screen during the 1940's...and “ Story” did not stray from that theme. The film is smartly directed, well performed by all and is an outstanding example of a comedy (much unlike comedies today) that was carried out in good taste. Philadelphia
|Hitchcock's NORTH BY NORTHWEST|
2. "NORTH BY NORTHWEST": Released in 1959, this film offers an outstanding cast with the likes of
Grant, James Mason and Eve Marie Saint. It would be safe to say that most people have either viewed this film countless times or have, at the very least, stumbled across it on AMC or TCM. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this could easily be considered on of his and Grant's best pictures. Elements of suspense balanced with paranoia and creative camera angles made it a classic which has stood the test of time. The climactic scene is also a signature of this film and set the stage for future films to follow. Cary
3. "HIS GIRL FRIDAY":
Grant and Rosalind Russell hooked up in this 1930 comedy with some very intelligent and witty writing to hold it up. The comedy is quite tongue in cheek and the dialogue is a rapid banter throughout the films which really propels the plot and holds audience interest. Grant's role in “His Girl Friday” was convincing, yet relaxed and natural. Cary
Enjoy the original trailer for HIS GIRL FRIDAY!
4. "NOTORIOUS": Many critics and film fans feel as though this may have very well been
Grant's best film. It's hard to disagree considering the suspense implemented by Hitchcock in this 1946 picture. Ingrid Bergman stars across Cary Grant and the two become tangled-up in an international espionage thriller. Focused on the era post WWII, "Notorious" is without a doubt one of Grant's top performances and the film must be considered one of Hitchcock’s best achievements as well. Cary
5. "BRINGING UP BABY": This All-American comedy hit the theaters in 1938 and starred
Grant along with Kat Hepburn yet again. Grant plays the witty role of a scientist who becomes romantically involved with Hepburn's character who is equally witty, but quite eccentric and outrageous at the same time. While trying to qualify for a $1 donation, Cary Grant must learn to get along with Kat's character and her irritating ways as she trolleys along with her pet leopard named "Baby". "The love impulse of man frequently reveals itself in terms of conflict" serves as one of the classic lines in the film. Cary
6. "CHARADE": Filmed in color, this 1963 film was directed by
Donen and featured both Carey Grant and the lovely Audrey Hepburn who was perhaps the "actress of the decade" in American Cinema. Who could forget the profile of Audrey with her classic 60's hair-style in the arms of Stanley Grant in the film? James Coburn and Walter Matthau also add to the film with their appearances. "Charade" was full of suspense and romance at the same time, but the strength of the film relied primarily in the writing as Hepburn and Grant are handed dialogue exchanges that are second to none. Henry Mancini wrote the score that gave the film an additional boost with all the flavors of Paris, France in the early 60’s. Cary
It would be safe to say that the three names which immediately come to mind when we think of the classic actors in cinema are: Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, and of course - Cary Grant. Grant had bee nominated for an Oscar twice and was never declared a winner during the awards. However, in 1970 an honorary award was given to him by the Academy. The comedy-aspect of his films may have hindered his chances (and we see the same trend today), but there is little doubt that
Grant was overlooked at the awards for at least 2 or 3 of his films. This week CINEMA: COUNTERPOINT wishes to acknowledge the lifetime achievements of on of Cary America's greatest screen actors: Grant. Grant passed away in 1982 at the age of 86 and is regarded as one of the top-10 actors of all times. His films will always be regarded with the highest degree of merit. Cary
JER: Gary Grant will always be considered, in my eyes, an “actor’s actor.” Meaning, he was the role model for what Hollywood titled as the ‘Leading Man’: Grant had the physical qualifications from his chiseled face down to his physique, his interesting accent stemming from his early years growing up in Bristol, England and his sense of timing when delivering lines. Grant could do straight drama and goofball comedies and one thing never changed about him no matter what the role required: he remained a gentleman. Even the name roles off the tongue with a regal flair… good thing he changed his name from his original birth name of (wait for it…) Archibald Alexander Leach!
I would have to agree with the likes of J.C.’s choice of films that best describe the body of work that Grant left behind. In particular, I must say that I have always enjoyed his collaborations with famed director Alfred Hitchcock. There were a number of films that both director and actor teamed up for, they include: SUSPICION (1941), NOTORIOUS (1946), TO CATCH A THIEF (1955) and NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959). Come to think of it, Grant acted quite often in returning roles for other directors including Frank Capra,
Donen and Howard Hawks. Stanley
A wonderful tribute created by amal19. Thanks!
Noted actor, leading man and the overall role model of a gentleman, a reporter once told him, “everyone would like to be Cary Grant”… his reply was said to had been, “so do I.”
Dear readers, do you feel that Cary Grant is one of Hollywood's best Leading Men? Or was he just an overly- rated actor that got lucky? What is your favorite Grant moment or memory? We always look forward to your comments and we reply to ALL!
Tune in next time when JER types up a storm on his following turn and make sure you check back on Wednesday July 25th! As always, thank you so much for checking in.
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