TFTMM Presents “Star Of The Month (May 2021)” Featuring Cary Grant

Well, we’ve had a month off, but it’s time to get back to our Star Of The Month blogathons!  And for the month of May 2021, Cary Grant is the featured star! I’ll be doing things a little differently this month, as this post is strictly for Cary Grant, and I’ll be having a more formal announcement for next month’s star for anybody that’s interested in signing up!

Table Of Contents

Quick Film Career Bio

Birth: January 18, 1904

Death: November 29, 1986

Following years in vaudeville and in various theatrical shows, Archibald Alexander Leach signed up with Paramount Pictures after a successful screen test (and changed his name to Cary Grant at the urging of the heads of the studio). He made his feature film debut in the 1932 comedy This Is The Night. He wasn’t fond of the role (and almost decided to leave the movies then and there), but, after a critic from Variety had kind words to say about his performance, decided not to. Over the next few years, he made nearly thirty movies (mostly at Paramount, although he was loaned out to a few other studios), picking up steam with the two films he did with actress Mae West. Particularly after he did Sylvia Scarlett with Katharine Hepburn for RKO studios, he enjoyed some success, although he decided, after his contract at Paramount ended with his 1936 film Wedding Present, to try freelancing (instead of being under contract to one studio). With mixed results from his attempt at freelancing, he signed a joint contract with RKO and Columbia Pictures.

During this time, he was loaned out to Hal Roach for the 1937 movie Topper, which became his first major comedy hit. He continued with The Awful Truth at Columbia, and followed up with two more movies opposite Katharine Hepburn (Bringing Up Baby and Holiday), which didn’t do *quite* as well, although that is generally attributed to Katharine Hepburn being labeled “box office poison” at the time. In spite of those failures, his star continued to rise, as he proved quite adept at screwball comedies as well as dramatic/action films. He was nominated for Best Actor with his 1941 movie Penny Serenade, and he also started working with director Alfred Hitchcock that year in Suspicion. Over the next few years, he enjoyed some success, including a second Oscar nomination for his 1944 movie None But The Lonely Heart. However, he wasn’t quite as successful as he had been, and, in the early 50s,things started going rough enough that he almost left Hollywood then.

He came back for the Alfred Hitchcock movie To Catch A Thief, and, having gone independent, had a lot more choice in what movies he would do (as opposed to being forced to do them by the studios). He had a few big hits, with the likes of An Affair To Remember, Operation Petticoat, North By Northwest, and Charade over the next few years. He tried to get away from his famous screen persona for the 1964 film Father Goose, with some success. He made one more film, Walk, Don’t Run (1966), but he finally decided to retire from the movies as a result of the then-recent birth of his daughter, Jennifer Grant. And that retirement stuck.

My Own Feelings On Cary Grant

To be honest, I’m not really sure what the first Cary Grant movie was that I saw.  My best guess is that it was North By Northwest (if it wasn’t that, it was probably The Philadelphia Story). Whichever it was, at that time, neither left much of an imprint with me. The Bishop’s Wife was probably the first Cary Grant film that I saw and really enjoyed, but I didn’t really start to look into his films until I started looking around at some of the classic screwball comedies (in particular, Bringing Up Baby and Arsenic And Old Lace). Ever since, I’ve been trying to see a lot of his films. So far, I’ve enjoyed most every one of them that I’ve seen (and even enjoyed some of those I saw earlier that I didn’t care for as much after the first viewing). I will admit to preferring the movies he made after he established his screen persona, but the handful of earlier films that I’ve seen have been decent, too. Still, I’m looking forward to hearing what others think of him and the movies he did through this blogathon!

Filmography

This is a list of all the films that I personally have reviewed from his filmography so far. Obviously, I will be adding to it throughout the month of May, and it is my plan to add to it as I review more and more of his films even beyond this month’s celebration.

Blonde Venus (1932)

The Eagle And The Hawk (1933)

Alice In Wonderland (1933)

Ladies Should Listen (1934)

Big Brown Eyes (1936)

Wedding Present (1936)

The Awful Truth (1937)

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Holiday (1938)

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Once Upon A Honeymoon (1942)

Notorious (1946)

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)

Room For One More (1952)

An Affair To Remember (1957)

Operation Petticoat (1959)

Charade (1963)

Father Goose (1964)

Entries For This Month

Thoughts From The Music(al) Man –

Ladies Should Listen (1934)

Big Brown Eyes (1936)

Wedding Present (1936)

Room For One More (1952)

Operation Petticoat (1959)

Father Goose (1964)

Rules:

Since this blogathon lasts a month, I’ll keep the rules here in case anybody is still interested in joining in:

  1. At this point, I am not putting any restrictions on topics related to the various stars, whether it be any of their films, or biographies, lists of favorites, etc.
  2. These celebrations are intended as tributes to these stars (even if they aren’t being done in the months of the stars’ birthdays), so I would ask that any participating posts be respectful of the stars themselves. Obviously, if you don’t care for that specific star, that would probably not be a good month to join in.
  3. I’m requesting that all posts would be new material, and not any previously published ones.
  4. As previously indicated, these celebrations of the stars and genres will last a whole month each, so you will have that whole month to work with. I myself will be publishing about four or five posts per month (depending on the number of Sundays and whether there are any recent disc releases that would fit the bill), so you can decide how many you want to do (within reason).
  5. If you are interested in joining, I would certainly suggest you either comment on this post, email me at astairefan7@gmail.com, or, for the Facebook savvy, contact me at my FB page. And feel free to use the banners I have put together (I’m still unsure of how much space I will have to work with over time on pictures, so for now I am doing one each).

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