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The Cary Grant Bio

The Cary Grant Review –

by Nate Lee


Take Your Pick...

The only thing for sure is that except for Charade none of Grant's nominated films are anywhere near his best. He did half the work in re-creating the sophisticated romantic comedy, as with Bringing Up Baby and Philadelphia Story. But you are no doubt going to love him for either or both the Hitchcock films or the romantic films – in which case, Charade, the Stanley Donen picture that everyone supposes is Hitch's, would be the perfect blend.
Great Performances You May Not Have Seen:
The Awful Truth (trying to make Irene Dunne jealous)
I Was a Male War Bride (a French Captain during WWII, opposite Ann Sheridan)
That Touch of Mink (opposite Doris Day)
Monkey Business (a scientist who discovers a youth drug, with Marilyn Monroe and Ginger Rogers)
Penny Serenade (Oscar-nominated performance of a life in song with Irene Dunne)
My Favorite Wife (must choose between two wives)
The Awful Truth (ex of Irene Dunne, trying to ruin her second marriage before she does his)
Only Angels have Wings (pilot in the Andes)
The Hitchcock Cary:
North by Northwest (the adman mistaken for a spy)
Notorious (a spy who recruits Ingrid Bergman to spy on some Nazis in Rio)
To Catch a Thief (a notorious supposedly retired cat burglar, opposite Grace Kelly)
Suspicion (suspected by wife Joan Fontaine of harboring murderous intentions)
The Romantic Cary:
Charade (Golden Globe-nominated performance as a supposed spy, opposite Audrey Hepburn and Walter Matthau)
An Affair to Remember (with Deborah Kerr and the Empire State Building)
The Bishop's Wife (an angel, with Loretta Young and David Niven)
Indiscreet (Golden Globe-nominated cat and mouse with Ingrid Bergman).
The Comedic Cary:
Philadelphia Story (opposite James Stewart and Katherine Hepburn)
Holiday (wealthy socialite torn between stuffy fiancée and her sister, Hepburn)
Bringing Up Baby (opposite Katherine Hepburn and her leopard)
Gunga Din (British sergeant in India)
Operation Petticoat (Golden Globe-nominated performance as the commander of a pink submarine)
Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House (a NY adman buys a money pit of a Connecticut house)
Father Goose (a drunk forced to rescue Leslie Caron and company)
His Girl Friday (Rosalind Russell's newspaper editor, a version of "The Front Page")
The Grass is Greener (Golden Globe-nominated performance as a poor British lord, with Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr)
Arsenic and Old Lace (his least favorite performance)
Topper (a ghost trying to save his friend)
That Touch of Mink (Golden Globe-nominated performance opposite Doris Day)
The Real Cary Grant:
Sylvia Scarlett / Everything Else...

Grant really was an East End acrobat/vaudevillian, which he plays in Sylvia Scarlett. But, the real, real Grant was the one he readily admits he fashioned himself into, the magnificently suave creature who is in every other film.
Acting Style:
Suave. It seems uncanny that the century's brightest movie star didn't have a mansion full of gold statues, but, besides embroiled in even worse politics, the Academy must have felt that Grant was just playing Grant. For the world, that was and probably will always be enough; it certainly was enough for the notoriously actor-hating Hitchcock, who declared that Grant was the only actor he ever loved. Likewise, Cary was often portrayed as a man at whom women wouldn't hesitate to throw themselves. Plus, he did comedy, and even comic pratfalls, with the best of them..
Bits and Quirks:
As noted above, scene-stealing physical routines, including falls, cartwheels, and circus tumbling. Of course, one of the most imitated voices ever (and even the butt of jokes in Some Like it Hot, where Jack Lemmon declares "nobody talks like that" to a Grant-imitating Tony Curtis). More subtle bits include the wry smile with the gentle eyes; sophisticated stances, even poses; and, a squinty determined look; tilt of the head forward. Sometimes clunky, stiff walk.
Great Scenes:
North By Northwest

> Dodging the crop duster in the field
> Climbing around on Mt. Rushmore
> Going into the tunnel at the end


> The stand-off, with Audrey Hepburn and Walter Matthau
> "You know what's wrong with you?" scene

To Catch a Thief

> In the car on the mountain roads, with Grace Kelly
> On the roof, chasing the cat burglar

The Philadelphia Story

> Lecturing Hepburn on being intolerant
> Pushing Kate through the door in the break-up scene at the beginning
> conversation with drunken Jimmy Stewart


> Spelling out his attitude toward money to his fiancée and future father-in-law
> Meeting Kate, the other sister
> Generally, the repartee with Hepburn
> The tumbles
> The circus act with Hepburn

Bringing Up Baby

> Traipsing around in Hepburn's bathrobe, confronting the woman at the door
> In the car with Hepburn and "Baby"
> Covering up Kate's torn dress
> The dinosaur collapsing


> Carrying the glowing milk


> Helping the poisoned Ingrid Bergman down the stairs and out of the house and into the car, with Claude Raines in jeopardy
> The park bench
> The love scenes
> Caught kissing by Claude

Father Goose

> The wedding scene with Leslie Caron
> Sucking the snake venom out of Caron's foot
> At night in the dinghy between the Japanese ships.

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