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spencerl964

CARY GRANT & The hypocrisy of the ACADEMY & AFI!!!

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1stly, most on here are well aware that it's finally Cary Grant's turn as TCM's Star of the Month-(seems like it's happened already though?) Anyhow, I wanted for you fans-(cinephiles/buffs,etc) to select your own personal favorite five flix of Mr. Alexander Archibald Leach-(next time you catch "His Girl Friday,' you'll see him name drop that in it, towards the final) aka: Cary Grant-(1904-86)-(NOTE: He died of a massive stroke backstage at 1 of those marvelous college retrospectives they have for the heavyweights left of Hollywoods Golden Age! It was in Iowa I believe.)& given the disrespect Tinsel-Town has for anything, his fmr homes are likely gone & he was cremated & ashes scattered, so there's virtually no place to visit, connected to Mr. Grant. Unless, his Star on "Walk-of-Fame," is enough for fans? Although, there is a nice lady>ELIZABETH ALLEN of www.reelclassics.com of whom had the rare chance to visit his birthplace in Bristol,England-(they seem to have more respect for the past, than we do in our country?) Plus, Cary Grant was never really tied down to 1 Studio-aka: Dream Factory! Like, the general 7yr. contract & later the 4yr. contract.

Although, he did a lotta' work at 1st for: Paramount & on same lot-(RKO) Unlike his contemporaries: *Gable/ *Tracy/ *Bogart/ *B. Davis & or *J. Crawford-(all of which were mainly at M-G-M & WB for many years!) He was basically a free agent for his era. I mostly wanted to touch on the stunning in your face of oth the A.M.P.A.S. & AFI-(both of which ignored the super star while he was alive! But, put him on a pedestal now in death) 1stly, OSCAR.the only nominated the actor twice & then, of course for only heavy-(though powerful dramas): 1941's "Penny Serenade"-(must be 1 of the saddest pix ever!) & 1944's "None But the Lonely Heart") As opposed to his superb comedic timing-(the sole actor of whom could handle both so easily, was he & *"The Great: Spencer Tracy") & The American Film Institute-(AFI) In it's 2nd-(my own fav.) of the "100yrs specials"-("AFI's 100yrs...100 Stars" from 1999) Actually voted Cary, runner-up all-time actor to only: *Humphrey Bogart-(1899-1957)! & yet, like a handful of other giants, never even gave him it's annual AFI Lifetime Achievement Award??? Only stars I think more deserving, that were also ignored-(P.S. they must accept award in person. Hence no>Garbo or *K. Hepburn) Are: *Charlie Chaplin & *John Wayne in that order.

It's pretty dispicable! Some tid-bits, you may not be aware of. Tony Curtis was such a fan as a teenager in NYC-(Cary was his Idol & he went all the time to 1943's "Destination Tokyo" & ultimately, got to star in another submarine picture & ironically with his Hero. 1959's terrific "0peration Petticoat" Obviously quite a different sub. movie, but still a true story!)

& this is not gossip, but well-documented jazz. For some bizarre reason, in the mid to late 1960's-(maybe even earlier?) His doctor put him on the drug LSD/Acid! It was 1 of the major points for then wife: Dyan Cannon-(1937-) sueing for divorce around that time, as a matter of fact!

I forget the rational for prescribing Mr. Grant on the meds. but he did.) Anyway, submit your own favs. of his. If you want? Also, most kinda' associate Cary & Alfred Hitchcock-(also along with: *Jimmy Stewart) Hitch, liked to use these 2 actors more than any other. (4) movies each. However, I had just recently & to my surprise, heard he slightly preferred Mr. Grant over *Mr. Stewart to work with. For reasons I don't know???

(Definitive Cary Grant);

1. "Bringing Up Baby" (1938) (RKO Radio) (D-H. Hawks)

2. "His Girl Friday" (1940) (Columbia) (D-Hawks)

3. "North by Northwest" (1959) (M-G-M) (D-Hitchcock)

4. "0nly Angels Have Wings" (1939) (Columbia) (D-Howard Hawks again!)

5. "Arsenic and 0ld Lace" (1944-filmed in '41) (Warner Bros.) (D-Capra)-(NOTE: It's said, he disliked doing this brilliant screwball-comedy. You'd never know it though. I personally think he deserved the OSCAR for this role!)

(Honorable-mention): "Gunga Din" (1939) (RKO)-filmed in: Lone Pine, where lots of memorable stuff was also filmed. Gene Autry B-Westerns & "Bad Day at Black Rock")-(Director: George Stevens, but once again: Howard Hawks was hired to start this grand adventure)

Thank You

 

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Well, I'll have to start by saying I think he was THE most gorgeous man from that era. I hope what I read about his relationship with Randolph Scott was malicious gossip...not that there's anything wrong with it. But whether his persona was manufactured or not, whether he dabbled in LSD for fun or medicinal purposes, he was one of the most beautiful, talented men in the history of Hollywood. He segued from comedy to drama without breaking a sweat, which can not be said for many other actors of that or any other era.

 

My favorite of his movies?

 

Topper, although he's in competition with that gorgeous Cord.

The strong female lead movies, In Name Only, The Awful Truth, and My Favorite Wife. Wonderful movies.

His Girl Friday and Arsenic and Old Lace, for their manic pace and his supremely delightful physicality.

Mr. Lucky, for "**** for tat" and "bottle and stopper"...delightful.

Penny Serenade, which I cannot watch without crying, no matter how many times I see it.

The Bishop's Wife, only because Loretta Young was possibly more beautiful than he in this movie.

All his Hitch movies, but especially North by Northwest...especially with the volume turned up really loud. Loved his 'mother' in this movie.

All of the biggies, of course, Holiday, Bringing Up Baby, etc.

The last 'recent' one I liked him in was Charade, I didn't like his last two. And bless his heart, unlike some other actors, he knew when to bow out gracefully.

 

He was an amazing actor, we'll never see his equal again, and I hope he knew how wonderful he was while he was alive.

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Just 5 huh? Just off the top of my head:

Holiday

Penny Serenade

Bring up Baby

Bachalor and the Bobby-soxer

His Girl Friday

 

Just to get it out of my system, my top ten would have:

Room for One More

My Favorite Wife

Philadelphia Story

Talk of the Town

In Name Only

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I don't follow all the speculation about Grant & Scott --

so what! Now if you really want to know about him (Grant)

then read his autobiagraphy. What I like is what he answered when asked about his strange accent; he said it was because he lived 6 years in Brooklyn. Some of you people have little humor (sometimes) about issues. Frankly, I just think that he, as some of us, merely became WHO we THINK we are! That's all..>

Leo

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I wish there could be a viewing of some of Grant's movies from other studios. I'd love to see BORN TO BE BAD, MADAME BUTTERFLY, etc on the air. It always seems when someone does a video tribute to Mr. Grant, his work from other studios is not included. Unfortunately, this covers some of his earliest work in the 1930's.

 

Is there a reason, other than the fact that Paramount owns the film and doesn't choose to release it, that we never see Grant's early work?

 

I love to add to a list. Here's my top 5 Grant movies, in no particular order:

**HIS GIRL FRIDAY

**BACHELOR & THE BOBBY-SOXER

**HOUSEBOAT

**TO CATCH A THIEF

**NORTH BY NORTHWEST

An eclectic list, to say the least.

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Hi alex, it's good to see you on the boards again.

I notice that you prefer the lighter side of Cary Grant in choosing your favorite 5 films. There are no dramatic roles such as "None But the Lonely Heart", "Notorious",

"Only Angels Have Wings", "In Name Only", "Suspicion", "Penny Serenade" etc.

I myself prefer a mix (variety) of his roles.

 

Mongo

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Yes, I think he had an awesome comedic touch. I almost kicked myself for not including ARSENIC & OLD LACE and SUSPICION. I enjoy both of those films a lot.

 

"There is a happy dale, far, far away"

 

Speaking of Grant working his real name into things, I think I read that in the grave yard near the dear old aunts house in ARSENIC, one of the tombstones has "Archie Leach" on it. Can anyone confirm this?

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Yes, Alix, it's there, but boy howdy do you have to be quick to catch it. If you have it on tape, do a pause to freeze a few frames, and even then it's hard to locate.

 

I would just like to add that I really enjoy the comedic side of Cary Grant most of all. I frequently watch "Arsenic and Old Lace", or "Bringing Up Baby" (among several others) when I feel the need for some good laughs. Next would follow his romantic side, as in "An Affair to Remember". Well, this is just a typical "woman's point of view", of course, and why I also loved "Penny Serenade", which was also a wonderful love story. Although he did some of his best acting in the Hitchcock movies, they don't rank very highly on my personal "must see" list. For sure, he was a very versatile actor, who left us a lenghty and wholesome body of work. I miss him. ML

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classicsfan, I too enjoy Cary Lite above his serious performances. The movie 'People Will Talk' comes to mind as one that made me uncomfortable, yet I valued his performance.

 

I love him in the 'Awful Truth', 'Favorite Wife' type of movies, and from there the broader slapstick of 'Arsenic and Old Lace'. I also admired him in the Hitchcock movies. He constantly amazes me with his ability to make it ALL look so easy. James Cagney is another actor with this ability, imo.

 

I did not realize that he had a moral ethic in his choice of roles, as outlined in the TCM special the other night, and that he turned down a role with Judy Garland due to her personal demons. Interesting.

 

I also miss him.

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Dee&...thank you for finally bringing it out that Cary Grant was one of those special and somewhat rare actors who could "make it all look so easy"! That was what I really love best about him, no matter what role he played. And, yes, there were more than a few other actors from the Classic Era who could also make the art of acting "look easy" or at least "natural"...God love 'um!

 

That he was one who held fast to his high standards and avoided movies where other actors (for whatever the reasons) had lost theirs, is indeed commendable. It saddens me greately now to see so many actors just out to make the almighty buck, and to hell with ethics or standards concerning the actual film-making process, the quality of the movie, or the behaviors of the actors also being cast. A sign of the times, I fear. ML

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Although I'm a big Cary Grant fan, I was totally surprised about his old fashioned notions about women. However, he didn't seem to want any of his own until he was in his 60's. But his reasons for it were sound. He did wait til he was finished with films before he became a parent. I guess Dyan Cannon was just a little too young for him. Too bad Jennifer Grant didn't participate. I remember seeing her in some sitcom on Fox or the WB or something and she had her mother's looks. Quite attractive. I can't see where there was anything discussed that wasn't already in the press somewhere and she could have chosen to decline to answer things she wasn't comfortable with. I guess, though, if I was Cary Grant's only child I would be reluctant to share those memories with anyone either.

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I'm so stupid--it looks like I was trying to say he didn't want any women until his 60's--I meant to say children--sheesh I'm a dummy.

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My Favorite:

 

Only Angels Have Wings

Topper

Arsenic and Old Lace

Bringing Up Baby

Mr. Lucky

The Bishop's Wife

Gunga Din

Sylvia Scarlett

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Everything Cary did was excellent...from "I'm No Angel", "She Done Him Wrong" and "Blonde Venus"....TO:

 

"Holiday"

"Bringing Up Baby"

"Only Angels Have Wings"

"Arsenic and Old Lace"

"Once Upon a Time"

"Talk of the Town"

"Notorious"

"To Catch a Thief"

"North by Northwest"

"People will Talk"

"Gunga Din"

"Suspicion"

"Mr. Blandings Builds His DreamHouse"

"The Awful Truth"

"My Favorite Wife"

"Penny Serenade"

"Topper"

"Sylvia Scarlett"

"In Name Only"

"Hot Saturday"

"Philadelphia Story"

"Operation P?tticoat"

"Charade"

"I was a Male War Bride"....as you can see he's my absolute fave actor...he acted almost only in true-classics...he epitomizes Hollywood!

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Brakenhe, I caught that and was agreeing with you that he "didn't want any women (or men for that matter) in his life until he was finished with acting". At least it has always seemed to me like with so many of these Stars, the career comes first, the wife and kids come second, or maybe third after the mistress, and in some regards it was no different for Cary Grant.

 

And, I agree with you about his reasons for not wanting children until later in life were sound.

 

I often think that we overlook just how difficult it is for these actors/actresses to manage a career on screen in Hollywood, and a personal or family life too, so when their marriages fail, and their children have been neglected, they really stand out to the rest of us. And, of course, they can't blow their noses that it's not front page news somewhere, so we "see" everything, not just today but for years and years.

 

What I liked about Grant is that he loved the kids in his life, even those he worked with. He may have waited until late in life to have one of his own, but if he KNEW that he wouldn't have been as "available" to children earlier in his career, I agree with you that he made a good decision to wait. All I have to do is to think of the children of many other stars, and how they grew up, to realize just how smart he was. ML

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Good point, ML, Joan Crawford and Bing Crosby come to mind, if one can believe all the stories. I'm sure the human beings in Hollyweird are no more dysfunctional than the rest of humanity, their problems are just exacerbated by the media and the plethora of money. Then again, one is wont to think "poor little rich girl/guy" when it comes to them.

 

But yes, it seems Grant was a planner when it came to family (although who really knows?), so he made a conscious effort to delay fatherhood. Then again, he was according to that special on TCM, a man of principle when it came to drugs and Judy Garland...um, hello, pot calling kettle black, LSD is okay when it is prescribed?

 

Interesting, how humans justify their own actions, isn't it?

 

Meanwhile, some link on 'John' Orry Kelly brought me to a site that said the openly gay Orry Kelly lived not ONLY with a hermaphrodite...not that there's anything wrong with that...but also lived briefly with a very young Cary Grant.

 

Then again, I guess Hollyweird is ALL about hypocrisy. Never mind, I LOVE the 1930s and 1940s Hollywood, so blinders back on.

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It's true..I read that in the 1920's Grant shared an apartment or a room? with Orry-Kelly, who sold hand-painted ties then?... But that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

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The impression that I've gotten about Grant not wanting to work with Garland was not that he judged her for being a drug addict, but that perhaps Grant didn't have a taste for on-set drama. I love Judy, but from what I've read, one could never be sure if she would show up on time or at all. Just my surmising, I don't have any facts to back that up.

 

Sandy K

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BTW I read about Orry Kelly & Grant sharing home...in Geoffrey Wansell's "Haunted Idol"...Very Good Book..Still gotta read Warren G. Harris's book on Grant!

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Terrific response you TCM'ers-(hey, maybe a new name for us, huh?) Anyway, there is a Cole Porter Biography coming up called: "De-Lovely" & what must rate as among the only completely dull/flat Cary Grant flix is his 1946 version of same>"Night and Day" (**-out of 4 stars) & his final was not exactly a thrill either-(no offense to those whom like it. 1966's "Walk, Don't Run") But, as a couple have also touched-on. He was never really tied down to the general 7 & or 4 year contract to any Studio.

(LITTLE TRIVIA: When ever Cary Grant was asked whom he thought was the greatest within his industry, his reply: Mickey Rooney-(1920-))

(P.S. he's also at present still leading in that new "Motion Picture Hall-of-Fame" site/contest-(the 15th is the end of first section. They only select top 3 in each category.) Thanks

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Great info Spencer thanks!....You're right, in spite of Grant's talents as a seasoned pro., Kathatine Ross's obvious beauty & charm and Jim Hutton's charisma, "Walk don't Run" cannot compare with the ORIGINAL "The More the Merrier", WHICH SHOULD be released on DVD: starring three faves of all time: Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn. Well Cary was wonderful too with Jean in "Only Angels Have Wings" & "Talk of the Town".....Would love to see Jean with E.G. Robinson in "Whole Town's Talking" BTW.

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My son-in-law just got back from a 7 month stay in England. He is a big Cary Grant fan. He told me about a bio on Grant on ITV that aired recently. This bio was so upsetting to my son-in-law, because it reveals a personal life so much worse than homosexuality. They had photos to back up their statements. I've been so upset about all of this. Some things should just be kept quiet. What is the benefit of bringing all this out now. The man died in the 60's for God's sake. His daughter is going to see all of this. Has anyone thought about her? I think not. As far as I'm concerned this is just another way for some idiot to make money. Greed and sensationalism are very terrible things. I'm going back to bed.

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feaito--Samantha Eggar was in "Walk, Don't Run" not Katherine Ross although they have similar looks

 

ladymirabelle--The documentary on Grant shown Jun 2 on TCM did address the rumored homosexuality with a rather witty comment from Betsy Drake. Also they did mention a couple of things that maybe doesn't show him in a good light necessarily but he was no wife beater, drunk or any thing too bad. He probably lead an exemplary life compared to some in Hollywood at the time. Anyway, I'm sorry that ITV in GB decided to do a hatchet job on him. He seems (seemed) quite the humble man.

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