“Star Of The Month (August 2022)” Featuring Audrey Hepburn in… Charade (1963)

Well, now that we’ve gotten into the month of August with my focus on Audrey Hepburn as my Star Of The Month, it’s time to take a look at one of her films! So, we’re going to start off with her 1963 classic Charade, which also stars Cary Grant!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Niagara Fools (1956)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Woody Woodpecker Screwball Collection from Universal Studios)

(Length: 6 minutes, 12 seconds)

Woody decides to try going over Niagara Falls in a barrel, but a guide forbids him from doing so. This one was VERY funny! Most of the time, the guide’s attempts to stop Woody from going over result in HIM going over instead! I know I got a good chuckle over seeing the guide’s reactions (especially once he was resigned to going over after several failures), and it was even funnier when he accidentally dragged over many other guides! Plus, there’s the guide’s nonsensical trip back to the falls (after getting accidentally sent to the North Pole) as he travels through many different sections of the world (all while yelling “Mush!”). I had a lot of fun with this one, and I certainly know I would gladly come back to it again and again!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) has just returned to Paris following a holiday in the French Alps with her friend Sylvie Gaudet (Dominique Minot). On the trip, Regina had told Sylvie that she was planning to divorce her husband Charles, but, upon returning to her apartment, she learns that he had been murdered, and had sold off all their furniture. She is quickly summoned by the police inspector, Edouard Grandpierre (Jacques Marin), who questions her about her husband (and in the process, she learns that he had been living something of a double life, with multiple passports under different names). At her husband’s funeral, three men show up, all of whom act strangely. Regina is later summoned to meet with Hamilton Bartholomew (Walter Matthau) at the U.S. embassy, who reveals that her husband was part of a group of men (which included the three strangers at the funeral) that had stolen a quarter of a million dollars during the war and hidden it. Apparently, her husband had gotten back to it before the others and took it, leaving them to go chasing after him. Mr. Bartholomew tasks her with trying to find the money and return it to the government before the men can do anything to her. With the three men, Tex Panthollow (James Coburn), Herman Scobie (George Kennedy) and Leopold W. Gideon (Ned Glass) threatening her over the money, Regina turns for help to a man she had met in the French Alps, Peter Joshua (Cary Grant), but he doesn’t seem to be who he says he is either. As a result, she keeps calling Mr. Bartholomew for advice about what to do. Mysteriously, the three men are murdered, and it’s up to Regina to keep herself safe while trying to figure out what her husband had done with the money. But can she do it and stay alive?

Peter Stone and Marc Behm originally wrote a script with the title The Unsuspecting Wife, and they tried to peddle it to the various movie studios (who all turned them down). It took Peter Stone turning into a novel (which was serialized in Redbook magazine) under the new title Charade before the studios gave it a second look. Director Stanley Donen, who had wanted a property that he could use to make an homage to director Alfred Hitchcock with, got the film rights, intending to make it at Columbia Pictures. He wanted Cary Grant for the film, but Cary was looking to make Man’s Favorite Sport (1964) with Howard Hawks and was thus unavailable. They tried several other big stars, but they were too expensive, and Columbia gave up on the picture (so it was sold to Universal Studios). Since he had decided that he didn’t like the script for Howard Hawk’s film, Cary Grant was once again back in the running for doing Charade. However, he was faced with being cast opposite the much younger Audrey Hepburn (he was nearly sixty, and she was in her early thirties at the time), an age gap that bothered him (and had been the reason why he had declined roles in Audrey Hepburn’s earlier films Roman Holiday from 1953, Sabrina from 1954 and Love In The Afternoon from 1957). The writers were able to circumvent his worries by giving all the romantically aggressive lines to Audrey Hepburn. Filming took place in Paris, France (where Audrey had just finished filming Paris When It Sizzles, which would actually be released after Charade) as well as Megève and the French Alps. The end result was a hit with audiences, becoming the fifth most profitable film from that year. In spite of that, it ended up being the only film that Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn would make together (technically, he tried to get her for Father Goose, but she was unavailable because she was doing My Fair Lady).

I’l admit quite freely, that once I made the choice to pick Audrey Hepburn as one of my “Stars Of The Month”, Charade was one of her films that I absolutely HAD to get in! I’ve seen the film several times over the years, and I’ve enjoyed it very much! It’s been said many times that this film is considered “the best Hitchcock movie Hitchcock never made,” and it’s very hard to disagree with that sentiment! As those who read my review of Notorious (1946) can tell you, I’m not exactly fond of Hitchcock’s films beyond the four he did with Cary Grant (although one of these days, I hope to see Hitchcock’s lone screwball comedy, the 1942 film Mr. And Mrs. Smith). Of course, this is Cary Grant’s “fifth Hitchcock film,” which is certainly part of the appeal. The other two factors that, in my mind, make this one Cary Grant’s best “Hitchcock movie” are the film’s score by Henry Mancini, and Audrey Hepburn. Henry Mancini’s music really works well for all the various situations that occur throughout the movie, and the title tune is a bit of an earworm (and you certainly won’t find me complaining about that). But it’s the chemistry between Audrey and Cary that makes this film work so well (and makes you wish they had been able to do more movies together). Their relationship proves to be humorous and loving, while also being potentially dangerous (since he seems to be such a mysterious character). To me, it speaks volumes about their performances that I’ve seen this film multiple times, and yet, in spite of knowing what the truth is, I always fear for her character’s safety during the final moments of the film when she is on the run. The movie even has a fun little Easter egg when Cary Grant references a song title from My Fair Lady, which Audrey would start filming after this one was done. I know I love to come back to this film every now and then, and it’s one that I can recommend with perfect ease!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Criterion Collection or Universal Studios.

Film Length: 1 hour, 54 minutes

My Rating: 10/10

*ranked #7 in Top 10 Movies Watched In 2022

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Operation Petticoat (1959)Cary GrantFather Goose (1964)

Love In The Afternoon (1957)Audrey HepburnParis When It Sizzles (1964)

Walter Matthau – Hello, Dolly! (1969)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2021) with… Bringing Up Baby (1938)

It’s time to look into a screwball comedy that I’ve long looked forward to getting to! That, of course, would be the 1938 film Bringing Up Baby, starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant!

Coming Up Shorts! with… When The Wind Blows (1930)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Little Rascals: The ClassicFlix Restorations, Volume 1 (1929-1930) from ClassicFlix)

(Length: 19 minutes, 47 seconds)

On a windy night, Jackie (Jackie Cooper) accidentally locks himself out of his house, and is mistaken for a burglar as he attempts to get into the homes of the various Rascals. This was another fun one, which provided quite a few good laughs! Farina (Allen Hoskins) provides a few of them as he gets scared by the wind (especially when he assumes Jackie is a ghost trying to get in). Edgar Kennedy is back as Kennedy the cop, who keeps claiming that he “always gets his man” (even as he himself keeps getting scared by every little thing). Another fun one for sure, and one I look forward to revisiting again in the future!

And Now For The Main Feature…

At the Stuyvesant Museum of Natural History, paleontologist Dr. David Huxley (Cary Grant) is looking forward to his wedding to his assistant Alice Swallow (Virginia Walker) and to the coming arrival of an intercostal clavicle, the final bone from a brontosaurus skeleton he’s been trying to put together for years. Before their wedding, Alice pushes him to talk with lawyer Alexander Peabody (George Irving), an advisor to a Mrs. Carleton Random (who is considering donating one million dollars to the museum). Over a game of golf, David tries to talk to Mr. Peabody, only to be interrupted constantly by Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn), who first plays through with David’s ball and then tries to take his car. That night, David tries to meet with Mr. Peabody at a restaurant, but, once again, he runs into Susan, who causes trouble for him and makes him miss his appointment. The next day, a package containing his intercostal clavicle arrives, and with his looming wedding, he is quite happy. Then Susan calls, asking for his help with a leopard named Baby (Nissa) that had just arrived from her brother. David refuses, until she fakes being attacked by Baby, and he runs right over. He’s furious when he finds out she fooled him about being “attacked,” but she pushes him to help take Baby out to her home in Connecticut. Along the way, they run into a truck carrying crates of chickens, and when they stop to buy some meat for Baby, Susan takes someone else’s car (mainly because Baby had jumped into the back). While David tries to clean himself up at her home, Susan sends his clothes out to the cleaners (hoping to delay him from returning to the city for his wedding). While he dons her dressing gown so he can walk about the house (and try to find some more appropriate clothes), Susan’s aunt Elizabeth (May Robson) arrives. She quickly comes to the conclusion that David is crazy (not helped by Susan’s attempts to explain what was going on), so when David learns that Elizabeth is the Mrs. Carleton Random who was considering donating to the museum, he asks Susan not to reveal who he is. To make matters worse, Susan’s dog George (Asta) finds David’s intercostal clavicle (which he had brought with him) and buries it somewhere. David and Susan try to follow George everywhere and dig it up, but they only find other stuff that George had buried. Meanwhile, one of the servants, Mr. Gogarty (Barry Fitzgerald), accidentally releases Baby. With David and Susan now also trying to find Baby, they quickly find themselves in trouble with the law when they come upon the home of psychologist Dr. Lehman (Fritz Feld) and are quickly arrested. Will they be able to get themselves out of this mess and find both the bone and Baby?

In 1937, producer and director Howard Hawks was in the midst of trying to work on the movie Gunga Din. Casting and script problems left him with a desire to do something different. He was recommended a short story called “Bringing Up Baby” by Hagar Wilde (which had appeared in a 1937 issue of Collier’s magazine), which he liked. He planned to do the film as a vehicle for Katharine Hepburn, who hadn’t really done much in the way of comedy up to that point, and needed a change in direction for her failing career. At first, she struggled with the comedic aspects of the film by trying to act funny (and failing), so the director asked vaudeville comedian Walter Catlett to help coach her. With his help, she was able to act more natural (and actually be funny), and she returned the favor for Catlett by insisting he be retained (by playing the part of Constable Slocum in the movie). While he wasn’t the first offered the role of David Huxley, Cary Grant ended up taking the role at Hawks’ insistence, using silent film comedian Harold Lloyd as an inspiration. The film suffered a number of delays, partly because the two leads would ad-lib and frequently have laughing fits. At the time, Katharine Hepburn had been branded as “box office poison,” and this film did little to mitigate that. She was essentially given the choice to either star in the film Mother Carey’s Chickens or buy out her contract (she chose to buy it out, and went to Columbia to make Holiday, also with Cary Grant).

For those that have been reading my blog for awhile, you’ve seen that I have a fondness for films of the screwball comedy genre, second only to my love for film musicals. But, that hasn’t always been the case. Sure, for a number of years, I had seen (and enjoyed) the Astaire-Rogers film Carefree (which is the one in the series most closely associated with the screwball genre), but I didn’t really actively seek out other screwball comedies. It wasn’t until I got a one-two punch of seeing the Cary Grant films Arsenic And Old Lace and Bringing Up Baby that I started seeking out more of the genre. Coming off Bringing Up Baby for only the second time, I find it’s still just as good!! I haven’t really seen much of anything Katharine Hepburn did before this film, but I can certainly say that whatever Walter Catlett did to help her as a comedienne worked! This is just about the funniest role that I’ve seen her do. And Cary Grant is equally as fun here (and, now that I’ve finally seen it a second time, I understand the Harold Lloyd reference better, as I hadn’t seen any of Harold Lloyd’s films/shorts yet when I first saw this film). The gags are fun, as everything slowly builds up, from the torn dress bit early on (which, as I recall, was later done by Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds in It Started With A Kiss, although not as well as here), to all the mishaps both with Baby the leopard and George stealing the bone, to the jail scene at the end. By the end of that jail sequence, I’m guaranteed to be in stitches, with all the madness going on! I know this is one of those movies that some will love, some will hate, and others’ opinions will vary depending on their mood/timing in watching it. For me, it lives up to the hype of being one of the greatest film comedies, and I would certainly not hesitate in recommending it!!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Criterion Collection. This new transfer utilizes a 4K scan from a 35 mm nitrate duplicate negative (from the British Film Institute) and a 35 mm safety fine-grain positive. With the original camera negative long gone, these were the best options still available. In restoring this film, a lot of mold had to removed from the nitrate negative to get the best possible image from that, and the fine-grain positive was several generations away from the original negative. Personally, I think this film now looks fantastic after all their hard work! The film might be a little grainier than some would prefer, but that comes with the territory, considering what they had to work with. Short of something better eventually being discovered or somebody managing to pull off time travel, this IS the best we can hope for. I certainly have no qualms in recommending this release!!

Film Length: 1 hour, 43 minutes

My Rating: 10/10

*ranked #8 in Top 10 Disc Releases Of 2021

**ranked #10 in Top 10 Movies Watched In 2021

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Katharine Hepburn – Holiday (1938)

The Awful Truth (1937)Cary GrantHoliday (1938)

Alice In Wonderland (1933) – Charles Ruggles – Balalaika (1939)

Barry Fitzgerald – The Sea Wolf (1941)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2021) with… Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)

Well, I’m a little late (by about a week) in talking about this movie (considering one of the film’s stars was featured last month), but let’s get into it anyways! I’m talking, of course, about the 1948 film Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy!

Coming Up Shorts! with… The House Of Tomorrow (1949)

(Available as an extra on the Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House Blu-ray from Warner Archive Collection or as part of Tex Avery Screwball Classics Volume 2 Blu-ray or DVD from Warner Archive Collection)

(Length: 6 minutes, 51 seconds)

We are given a tour of the house of tomorrow by the narrator. A very fun cartoon, as we see what types of contraptions that Tex Avery visualized for the future. Of course, there’s a running gag about the unwelcome “mothers-in-law” (which may be overdone just a little). Some aspects are dated, in between how it treats housewives, plus the image of the bikini-clad girl (possibly looks like Virginia Mayo, but I’m not 100% sure) for the “tired businessmen.” Apart from those issues, it looks like a lot of fun (just don’t start asking questions, or you’ll have a toilet plunger thrown at you)!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Advertising executive Jim Blandings (Cary Grant) lives in an increasingly cramped apartment in New York City with his wife Muriel (Myrna Loy) and their daughters Joan (Sharyn Moffett) and Betsy (Connie Marshall). One morning, their lawyer and friend Bill Cole (Melvyn Douglas) comes over to talk with Muriel about remodeling the apartment, but when Jim hears the $7000 price tag, he rejects the idea completely. At work, he is given a new advertising account that one of his colleagues had failed to satisfy. While looking over some of his colleague’s previous ideas, he sees an ad for a home in Connecticut, and decides to look into it. He and Muriel become enamored with the place, but the real estate salesman, sensing a golden opportunity, misrepresents the place (and sells it to them for more than it’s worth). Bill quickly figures out they paid too much for less than they were told, but, they want the house more than anything, so Jim decides not to push against the idea. They turn to a few experts to see what improvements can be made to the house, but every one of them suggests tearing it down and starting fresh. So, that’s what they do (although they get in trouble with the owner of the mortgage for not asking him first). Further troubles arise as they try to get the house designed like they want but within a decent budget. And then, of course, there’s all the difficulties (and rising costs) that come about as they try to build it. Plus, they’re evicted from their apartment before the house is complete. With all these problems (and an advertising campaign that Jim is struggling to put together while he focuses on the house), will he be able to stay sane, or will they lose everything?

Eric Hodgins, at one time a vice president of Time, Inc., originally tried to build his dream house (in 1939), but the costs skyrocketed from the estimated $11,000 up to $56,000 at completion. After two years, he was bankrupt and forced to sell his home. But he wrote an article on his experiences entitled “Mr. Blandings Builds His Castle” for Fortune magazine in 1946. This article was turned into a novel that same year, and it was quickly picked up for a movie by David O. Selznik. With the funds from the movie rights, Eric Hodgins tried (and failed) to buy back his house. But, back to the movie, David O. Selznik planned to use it to pair up Cary Grant and Myrna Loy (who had worked together previously in two movies), hoping to make them the next (Spencer) Tracy and (Katharine) Hepburn. That didn’t happen (as this was the last film that Cary Grant and Myrna Loy made together), but it was pretty well received by audiences and critics.

While I’d heard of this film before, I can’t say as I’ve ever really had the chance to see it. But, it’s a comedy, it stars Cary Grant, and it also stars Myrna Loy! That was enough of a combination for me to want to see it (especially when the Blu-ray was announced, but more on that in a moment)! Having finally seen it, the movie turned out to be even better than I would have imagined (and I imagined it would be good)! The story overall is fun, and the comedy certainly makes it better! I admit, I get a few Green Acres vibes here (you know, the 1960s sitcom), in between the dishonest real estate salesman, the broken down house, and even the doorknob on the closet! Plain and simple, this one was a good time, and one I look forward to revisiting periodically! So, if you get the chance to try it, do it! You won’t regret it (just make sure somebody is there to get you out of the closet)!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Archive Collection. The Blu-ray features a new transfer from a 4k scan of the original nitrate camera negative. As I said, this was my first time seeing it, but I would say this new Blu-ray is a typical Warner Archive release. In other words, it’s a WONDERFUL transfer, with great detail and clarity! The picture has been cleaned up of all dust and dirt and other debris. Throw in two radio productions of the story, both of which feature Cary Grant (with one featuring Irene Dunne and the other featuring Cary Grant’s then-wife Betsy Drake), and I’m sold on this release! So, if you want to see this movie looking its best, this is the way to do it!

Film Length: 1 hour, 34 minutes

My Rating: 10/10

*ranked #9 in Top 10 Disc Releases Of 2021

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Notorious (1946)Cary GrantRoom For One More (1952)

Song Of The Thin Man (1947) – Myrna Loy

Ninotchka (1939) – Melvyn Douglas

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

“Star Of The Month (May 2021)” Featuring Cary Grant in… Father Goose (1964)

We’re back for one last go-round with Cary Grant to end our celebration of him as the Star Of The Month! Today’s movie is the 1964 film Father Goose, also starring Leslie Caron!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Ventriloquist Cat (1950)

(Available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Tex Avery Screwball Classics Volume 2 from Warner Archive Collection)

(Length: 6 minutes, 41 seconds)

A cat uses ventriloquism to play some pranks on Spike the bulldog. It’s a fun cartoon, with many Tex Avery-style gags. Admittedly, the cat is a little over-reliant on using sticks of dynamite, and the ventriloquism kind of disappears for a moment or so. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as that can only work just so many times before it loses its humor (and it doesn’t). It was worth a few good laughs, and is worth recommending!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Early on in the second World War, Salamua is being evacuated by the Royal Australian Navy. Walter Eckland (Cary Grant) tries to take advantage, and “borrows” some supplies. However, he is pushed by his “friend” Commander Frank Houghton (Trevor Howard) into working as a coast watcher on the deserted island of Matalava. To make sure that Walter stays there and does his job, Frank has his ship “accidentally” create a hole in Walter’s boat. He also has his men hide bottles of liquor throughout the island, promising to reveal the locations of the bottles if Walter reports in on any Japanese aircraft (with the reports confirmed elsewhere). Soon, Frank finds that another coast watcher on the nearby Bundy Island is being surrounded by the Japanese, and, unable to send any military craft to get him off that island, asks Walter to go after him in his dinghy so that the other watcher could replace him. In exchange for the location of all the hidden booze, Walter accepts. So, off he goes. On the island of Bundy, he discovers that the other watcher had already been killed by Japanese planes, and had been buried by a stranded schoolteacher, Catherine Freneau (Leslie Caron). She is stuck there with seven younger girls, and so Walter has no choice but to bring them back to Matalava. Wanting to be left alone, Walter tries to convince Frank to get Catherine and the girls off his island, but Frank can’t get anybody there to do so for some time. So, Walter is forced out of the shack he was living in, and continues to clash with Catherine. However, with time, they do start to get along. When she thinks she is bitten by a snake (which was actually just a stick with thorns), Walter tries to make her comfortable by letting her drink some of his booze, and in the process, they get to know each other better. Once they realize she is okay, they decide to get married, and get Frank to have a chaplain marry them over the radio. However, during the ceremony, a Japanese plane spots them, and tries to shoot them. Now in need of getting everybody out of there, Frank sends a submarine to get them all off the island. But with a Japanese patrol boat arriving first, can they all get out of there alive?

In choosing to do Father Goose, Cary Grant opted to take on a role that was different from his usual screen persona (with some speculating that it was an attempt to win that ever elusive Best Actor Oscar). While he didn’t win (and wasn’t even nominated), Frank Tarloff and Peter Stone won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and, for his acceptance speech, Peter Stone famously said “I want to thank Cary Grant, who keeps winning these things for other people.” The role was indeed different than usual for Cary Grant, as he was dressing a lot more casually (wearing jeans and sporting something of a beard) and was a selfish drunk, bent only on self-preservation without worry about others. Still, Cary made good use of his comedic abilities, as his character gets stuck “volunteering” for the job of coast watcher.

I’m coming off my first time seeing this movie, and it was wonderful! It was a lot of fun watching Cary Grant do something different (while still being funny). The whole opening, as we get him established on the island (with all the things his “friend” Frank does to get him to the island and actually get him to do the job) was pure joy, and got the movie off on the right foot! And while Leslie Caron may not have been the original pick for Cary Grant’s co-star (supposedly, he wanted to work with his Charade co-star Audrey Hepburn), she still does quite well as the schoolteacher (and is rather amusing when she gets drunk when they worry she might be dying from a snakebite). Of course, the movie isn’t pure comedy, as we also deal with the tension resulting from the Japanese coming around, especially near the end when they discover the island is inhabited. It may have been Cary Grant’s second to last movie, but, for my money, this was a wonderful discovery (for me), and one I would heartily recommend!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Olive Films.

And with that, we end our celebration of Cary Grant as the Star Of The Month! Come back in a few days, as we start our celebration of actress Claudette Colbert for the month of June!

Film Length: 1 hour, 57 minutes

My Rating: 10/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Charade (1963)Cary Grant

An American In Paris (1951) – Leslie Caron

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

“Star Of The Month (May 2021)” Featuring Cary Grant in… Operation Petticoat (1959)

We’re back for another Cary Grant movie as we continue the celebration of him as the Star Of The Month! This time, it’s his 1959 comedy Operation Petticoat, also starring Tony Curtis.

Coming Up Shorts! with… The Counterfeit Cat (1949)

(Available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Tex Avery Screwball Classics Volume 2 from Warner Archive Collection)

(Length: 7 minutes, 6 seconds)

A cat tries to pretend to be a dog to get the bird that Spike the dog is guarding. A bit of a fun cartoon, although the whole “cat trying to get a bird that is guarded by a dog” concept is certainly nothing new, especially with all the Sylvester and Tweety cartoons from Warner Brothers. Still, there is some fun to be had (especially with all the bones that the cat keeps offering Spike), and I certainly didn’t expect the ending. All in all, not one of Tex Avery’s best, but certainly enough fun to recommend it just the same!

And Now For The Main Feature…

On December 10, 1941, the submarine USS Sea Tiger, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Matt Sherman (Cary Grant), is sunk by a Japanese air raid while docked in the Philippines. Captain J. B. Henderson (Robert F. Simon) wants to have the sub destroyed since he fears the Japanese will overrun the port, but Matt manages to convince him that his crew can get the ship repaired in two weeks. He’s stuck working with a smaller crew, since Henderson had transferred some of his men to other boats, but he is promised some replacements. One of them turns out to be the social-climbing Lieutenant Junior Grade Nick Holden (Tony Curtis). At first, Nick doesn’t seem to be worth anything, but then he sees how much trouble that Matt and his crew are having in trying to get supplies and parts from the Navy. With Nick promising to help get what they need, Matt makes him the supply officer. Soon, everybody has almost everything they need as a result of Nick’s “scavenging.” They are forced to try leaving before they are finished when their position is discovered by some Japanese planes. They find that they can submerge, but they soon discover a leak that forces them to stop at the island of Marinduque. While Matt’s crew works on repairs, Nick is sent to the island, where he discovers a group of five nurses that had been stranded there, and he offers them transportation off the island. Matt is less than thrilled, but he finds himself with little choice. Trouble arises from this situation, with the clumsy Second Lieutenant Dolores Crandall (Joan O’Brien) causing trouble for Matt, the engaged Nick trying to flirt with Second Lieutenant Barbara Duran (Dina Merrill), and Major Edna Heywood (Virginia Gregg) causing trouble in the engine room for Chief Motor Machinist’s Mate Sam Tostin (Arthur O’Connell). Will Matt be able to finish repairing his sub and get back in the war, or will everything fall apart?

While Operation Petticoat was an original story, it borrowed from several actual events from World War II, including the issues with the crew getting toilet paper (which, in light of the pandemic, seems a little too familiar an idea to modern audiences), another submarine (the USS Sea Dragon) with a red coat of paint that made it a prime target for the Japanese, and a few other things. The movie was an early directorial effort from Blake Edwards (before he really hit it big with the likes of Breakfast At Tiffany’s and the Pink Panther films), originally intended as a modest black-and-white film. However, when Cary Grant and his production company got involved, the budget rose, and the movie was filmed in color. In some respects, it was co-star Tony Curtis’ idea to have the two of them work together in a submarine film, as he remembered being influenced by Cary Grant’s performance in Destination Tokyo. For his part in producing the movie, Cary Grant was rewarded a high percentage of the profits, nearly $3 million (more than he had made on any movie before).

Operation Petticoat is a movie that I’ve seen a few times at this point, and it’s one that is among my favorite Cary Grant movies! The story is more or less told from the viewpoint of his character (especially considering it’s being told via flashback, as he reads from a journal he kept from his days as the commander of the sub). Cary Grant manages to be funny by himself, but a good fraction of the humor in the film is derived from his reactions to a lot of the stuff going on around him (particularly both the actions of Tony Curtis’ Nick and the presence of the women onboard)! Of course, one of the moments involving Cary Grant’s character that stuck with me the most in this movie is when they spotted a Japanese tanker and tried to sink it with a torpedo. At the last moment, the clumsy nurse Crandall accidentally fires the torpedo, and, instead of hitting the tanker in the water, it goes on land to hit a truck! HIs reaction right there makes this one of the most hilarious moments in the movie for me!

Of course, the rest of the movie is filled with good fun, too! As Nick Holden, Tony Curtis adds to the fun. At first, we would think he is only a society-climber, incapable of being useful (an assumption shared by some of the other characters). But, when he gets to scavenging, all hilarity breaks loose, as we see not only his methods of scavenging, but also how he is able to avoid being caught! Of course, one of the more memorable moments of scavenging is when he works with yeoman Ernest Hunkle (as played by Gavin McLeod) to steal a pig (particularly with his “oinking” lesson). Quite frankly, the whole situation with the pig (given the name Seaman Hornsby to get by a couple of military police) is also quite memorable. Plain and simple, this is a wonderful comedy (and probably my favorite submarine movie), and I would certainly give it some of my highest recommendations!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Olive Films.

Film Length: 2 hours, 1 minute

My Rating: 10/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

An Affair To Remember (1957)Cary GrantCharade (1963)

Kings Go Forth (1958) – Tony Curtis – Paris When It Sizzles (1964)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2021) with… Room For One More (1952)

We’re pulling double-duty again!  Today’s movie is the 1952 film Room For One More (which was based on the autobiographical book by Anna Perrot Rose)!  This film was released on Blu-ray earlier this year, and, since it stars Cary Grant, it works just as well in celebrating him as the Star Of The Month!  Of course, his co-star is actress (and Cary’s wife at the time) Betsy Drake.  But first, we’ve got a couple of theatrical shorts to start us off with.

Coming Up Shorts! with… Operation: Rabbit (1952)

(available as an extra on the Room For One More Blu-ray from Warner Archive)

(Length: 7 minutes, 18 seconds)

Wile E. Coyote tries (and, of course, fails) to catch Bugs Bunny to eat him.  This is a fun cartoon, one I’ve been watching (and enjoying) for years.  While it still feels weird to have Wile E. Coyote speaking, it works well for this short.  Like always, his failed attempts make for a lot of fun (and an explosion or two).  Not to mention one of my favorite final lines from any of the Looney Tunes cartoons!  I know I have a good time whenever I get the chance to see this one!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Feed The Kitty (1952)

(available as an extra on the Room For One More Blu-ray from Warner Archive)

(Length: 7 minutes, 22 seconds)

Bulldog Marc Anthony takes in the kitten Pussyfoot, but has to keep the kitten hidden from his owner.  Another cartoon I’ve seen for years, and also enjoyed!  Of course, the kitten keeps getting into trouble and almost being discovered.  But, it’s Marc Anthony’s attempts to keep the kitten hidden that keep it fun (not to mention seeing his reaction when he thinks the kitten is being turned into a cookie)!  I know I still like to watch this cartoon every now and then, and I certainly recommend it!

And Now For The Main Feature…

After touring an orphanage with a group of women from the PTA, Anna Rose (Betsy Drake) expresses interest in possibly fostering a child.  The orphanage director, Miss Kenyon (Lurene Tuttle), is quick to take her up on the idea, but first Anna needs to go home and talk it over with her husband, George “Poppy” Rose (Cary Grant).  At home, he is helping his three children, which include Teenie (George Winslow), Trot (Gay Gordon) and Tim (Malcolm Cassell), deliver a new litter of kittens.  Before Anna has a chance to talk things over with him, Miss Kenyon arrives with a young girl, Jane (Iris Mann).  Poppy is less than thrilled with the idea, but with the news that Jane would only be there for two weeks and the government helping pay for her stay there (not to mention his wife’s pleading), he decides to live with the idea.  Due to her past issues with her own parents, Jane doesn’t get along with anybody, but Anna convinces her to earn her own keep.  With time, Jane mellows out, and when Miss Kenyon comes to pick Jane up, Poppy decides to let her stay (to the joy of everybody).  Soon, Poppy plans a vacation for everyone (with the hope that he and his wife can manage some “alone time”), but, unbeknownst to him, Anna has agreed to take in another child.   When he is finally told, Poppy objects. However, upon going to the summer school to say that he won’t be taking the boy, he meets the intended child, Jimmy-John (Clifford Tatum, Jr.), and, seeing the poor treatment of the boy by his teacher (since he is wearing braces on his legs and struggling in school), Poppy decides to bring him along.  The trip proves troublesome, as Jimmy-John is rather mean-spirited in how he treats everybody else.  But, he is up against the loving and determined Anna, who starts to get through to him.  Troubles continue to come when Jane is asked to the New Year’s Eve prom (and needs an evening gown) and Jimmy-John joins the Boy Scouts.  Will they be able to sort through all these troubles, or will Anna’s attempt to raise these children go kablooey?

Prior to the recent Blu-ray release (more on that in a moment), I hadn’t heard of this movie, and, upon learning of its existence, I will readily admit that Cary Grant’s presence made this movie look appealing. And he didn’t disappoint! He works well with Betsy Drake’s Anna, as he knows what trouble can come when she gets that “gleam in her eye” (and he also knows that he can’t fight it, no matter how much he wants to). Even though he is initially resistant to the two new kids being included in the family, he still becomes a very supportive father for them. Of course, Cary Grant still manages to work the comedy well, with a particularly memorable moment being when he hides some vacation stuff in his desk at work, and an inflatable rubber raft starts to inflate while he’s trying to avoid some extra work from his boss. The only point about Cary Grant that doesn’t quite work is his tan, which just seems out of place for his occupation and lifestyle (but it’s really only noticeable when he’s at the beach, which is only for a few minutes).

Cary Grant is hardly the only reason this movie is wonderful. Plain and simple, it’s a nice, heartwarming movie. The child actors are all good, as we see them learn to care for each other. I’ve heard this movie compared to sitcoms of the era, and it certainly feels like a valid comparison (especially considering it was turned into a sitcom, with a different cast, for the 1961-1962 television season). It definitely has an episodic feel to it, with one section of the movie devoted to Jane’s introduction to the family, another to Jimmy-John’s, and the rest devoted to Jane being invited to the New Year’s Eve prom as well as Jimmy-John trying to join the Boy Scouts. But, again, you can feel the love the characters all have for each other, and that makes the movie. I highly recommend this one!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Archive Collection, working from a 2K scan from best preservation elements for the Blu-ray.  The fact that it’s from Warner Archive says it all.  This film looks fantastic, with improved detail and clarity.  Seriously, while I keep heaping praise on these Warner Archive releases, I never get tired of it, as it makes their releases an easy choice to look into!  And I certainly would recommend this Blu-ray as the best way to see this wonderful movie!

Film Length: 1 hour, 35 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)Cary GrantAn Affair To Remember (1957)

“Star Of The Month (May 2021)” Featuring Cary Grant in… Wedding Present (1936)

As we continue on with Cary Grant as the featured Star Of The Month, we come to another film from 1936, the comedy Wedding Present, also starring Joan Bennett! But first, we’ve got a theatrical short!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Homesteader Droopy (1954)

(Available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Tex Avery Screwball Classics Volume 2 from Warner Archive Collection)

(Length: 7 minutes, 31 seconds)

Droopy and his homesteading family find resistance from Dishonest Dan when they make a home in cattle country. A fun companion cartoon to Drag-A-Long-Droopy, as another wolf takes on Droopy. Of course, we have the recurring gag of his child wanting milk, and the different ways it’s given to him. As usual, Droopy beats the Wolf for most of the cartoon (which, considering the chemistry, always works). After all, “it’s the laaaaaw of the West” (and always fun to see)!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Chicago newspaper reporters Monica “Rusty” Fleming (Joan Bennett) and Charlie Mason (Cary Grant) are about to get married, but his pranks result in them being unable to get the license before closing time. Their newspaper editor, Pete Stagg (George Bancroft), is frustrated with all their practical jokes, and sends them to get an interview from Archduke Gustav Ernest (Gene Lockhart). Not only do they manage to get an exclusive interview from the archduke, but Charlie rescues New York gangster “Smiles” Benson (William Demarest) (who promises to pay off for the rescue), and both Charlie and Rusty help rescue a ship lost in a storm. They are both given medals for their work, and Rusty gets to enjoy a month’s vacation in New York. While she’s away, Pete Stagg resigns as editor, and, instead of being fired completely, Charlie becomes the editor. In the process, he becomes a hard worker, and doesn’t let anybody else get away with the type of things he had previously done. When Rusty comes back, she tries to bring him back to his senses, only for him to fire her. As a result, she decides to return to New York City. At the airport, she meets author Roger Dodacker (Conrad Nagel), and they start going out together. Without Rusty at the newspaper, Charlie comes to his senses, resigns, and goes after her. In New York, he is met by “Smiles” Benson, who tries to help bring the two back together to return the favor for saving his life (but without success). Will Charlie and Rusty be together again, or will she stick with the boring author?

Wedding Present is based on the short story (of the same name) by Paul Gallico that originally ran in The Saturday Evening Post in September 1935. The movie is toward the end of Cary Grant’s contract with Paramount. As such, we can see that he has essentially gotten his screen persona together. He’s quite suave, and yet, he can be a bit of a screwball, too. I’ve seen a number of comparisons to his better known classic His Girl Friday (made a few years later), and it is a fitting one. Once again, he’s a character willing to get involved in the news story (and help create one), as we see him become friendly with the Archduke, and push a pilot to go help a lost ship (and give the pilot credit for being a hero, even though he and his partner had knocked out the pilot to keep the search going).

Now, I will definitely grant (pun intended) that Wedding Present is certainly no match for the far better His Girl Friday, but it is fun on its own terms. I certainly enjoyed some of the various practical jokes that Cary Grant’s Charlie and Joan Bennett’s Rusty played in the course of getting their stories at the beginning of the movie. Not to mention the stuff they pulled on their bosses (both the editor and the owner of the paper). Everything that Charlie tried to do to win back Rusty upon his arrival in New York was certainly enjoyable as well. But I probably got the most solid laughs out of the stuff that occurred at the film’s finale (I wish I could say what, but to do so would be to spoil it, so I won’t go there). All in all, this was a very fun screwball comedy. I think most (if not all) of the later screwball comedies that Cary Grant did were better, but this one was still worth seeing! So, I would indeed recommend it!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Wedding Present (1936)

This movie is available on Blu-ray as part of the three film Cary Grant Collection from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. Like Big Brown Eyes in the set, the opening credits start out looking rough, with a lot of dirt and debris, but, once things get going, everything settles down. Of the three films in the set, this one looks the best, and it’s certainly worth seeing this way.

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Cary Grant Collection

The Cary Grant Collection includes the movies Ladies Should Listen, Big Brown Eyes and Wedding Present. All three films have HD scans, with some variation in quality. None have been completely cleaned up, but that shouldn’t stop anybody from looking into this set. I think this set is worth it. I will admit, none of these are “Cary Grant with his screen persona” good, but they all manage to be fun, especially seeing him try to develop that persona, with some good co-stars. Again, this set is recommended!

Film Length: 1 hour, 22 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Big Brown Eyes (1936)Cary GrantThe Awful Truth (1937)

Big Brown Eyes (1936) – Joan Bennett – Father Of The Bride (1950)

Star Of Midnight (1935) – Gene Lockhart – A Christmas Carol (1938)

Big Brown Eyes (1936) – Cary Grant Collection

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

“Star Of The Month (May 2021)” Featuring Cary Grant in… Big Brown Eyes (1936)

Next up in our run of Cary Grant films as we celebrate him as the Star Of The Month, we have his 1936 film Big Brown Eyes, also starring Joan Bennett!

Coming Up Shorts! with… The Three Little Pups (1953)

(Available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Tex Avery Screwball Classics Volume 2 from Warner Archive Collection)

(Length: 6 minutes, 44 seconds)

Three little pups (including Droopy) take on a dogcatcher. This one is a fun variation on the whole “Three Little Pigs” idea (with the narrator even briefly, “mistakenly” referring to them as pigs). Of course, the wolf as the dogcatcher is quite a bit of fun, especially once he reveals himself as a slightly different, more laidback character than we first see. That alone adds to the hilarity (and one can even see the time and influence of television in its early years here). A very fun cartoon (as have been most of the Droopys) and one worth coming back to periodically!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Some jewelry has been stolen from the wealthy Mrs. Chesley Cole (Marjorie Gateson). All the gossip is that the police are highly unlikely to recover it, so she turns to private detective Richard Morey (Walter Pidgeon), who has been successful in recovering stolen items. However, the police still try to help find the jewelry, and assign detective Danny Barr (Cary Grant) to investigate. Mrs. Cole is enamored with him (much to his dismay), and things get worse when Danny’s girlfriend, manicurist Eve Fallon (Joan Bennett) walks in on them. She assumes the worst about Danny, and returns to the barber shop where she works. Danny follows her to explain, but she ends up getting fired for yelling at him. However, another job is waiting, as her friend Jack Sully (Joseph Sawyer) has offered her a job as a reporter at the local newspaper, and she takes him up on it. Meanwhile, as we (the audience) quickly find out, Richard Morey is not really a private detective, but a mobster, and he pushes his lieutenant, Russ Cortig (Lloyd Nolan), to go meet the thieves in the park and pay them for the jewelry. However, they balk at the amount offered to them, and, in his anger, Russ takes a shot at them. He misses, instead hitting a baby in a stroller, and he runs off. The case of the baby killer becomes a big thing, and Danny is soon assigned to the case. Eve has forgiven him, and decides to help him out. Between the two of them, they find another thug who squeals on Russ when they push him hard enough. However, at the trial, there isn’t enough evidence to convict Russ, and he goes free. In frustration, Danny resigns from the force, planning to go after Russ on his own. Unable to publish what she believes to be the truth, Eve also resigns as a reporter and goes back to her old job as a manicurist. With Richard Morey hiding in the shadows as the leader of this gang (and willing to double-cross anyone), can Danny and Eve discover the truth, or will crime pay for this racketeer?

Big Brown Eyes was based on the two short stories “Hahsit Babe” and “Big Brown Eyes” by James Edward Grant. I myself haven’t read either of those stories (and so cannot comment on how well they were adapted). What I do know is that this movie seems to cover a few different genres, including comedy, gangster, and mystery. Especially with the two leads working together to solve the crime, it almost seems like one of the Thin Man clones that came about in the wake of that film’s success. My own opinion is that it’s an inferior film compared to that classic, but there is some fun to be had here. I enjoyed some of the comic moments that started the film, including a bit of ventriloquism as Cary Grant’s Danny attempts to reconcile with Joan Bennett’s Eve (whether that was actually Cary Grant doing some ventriloquism or just somebody else dubbing the other voice, I have no idea). The other fun moment is later in the film, with Danny packing, and Eve trying to figure out where he is going so that she can join him (and getting nowhere in the conversation). As for the mystery, it’s more or less of the Columbo variety, where we the audience quickly learn the culprits, and it’s just a matter of how they will be caught.

As the detective, Cary Grant does a fairly good job. It’s still not quite the persona we’re used to, but he’s still proving that he can act. You can see how much he wants to catch the crooks, and how much it bothers him when one gets away with murder at the trial. Not to mention he shows how uncomfortable he is when trying to interview Mrs. Cole (you know, the moment he gets in trouble with his girlfriend). It’s not Cary at his best, but he does well enough here. Overall, I’d say it’s still worth trying this movie out as something different for him.

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Big Brown Eyes (1936)

This movie is available on Blu-ray as part of the three film Cary Grant Collection from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. This release makes use of an HD scan of the movie. It has its moments where it looks pretty good, and some moments don’t look as well (I’d sooner say middle of the road than completely awful). It’s not as cleaned up as one would prefer, but it’s mainly the start of the (original) Paramount credits that really looks rough, along with a few shots later in the movie. But, it looks about as good as I would begin to hope for (especially considering its relative obscurity), so it’s probably the best way to see it for now.

Film Length: 1 hour, 17 minutes

My Rating: 7/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Ladies Should Listen (1934)Cary GrantWedding Present (1936)

Mississippi (1935) – Joan Bennett – Wedding Present (1936)

Walter Pidgeon – The Girl Of The Golden West (1938)

Ladies Should Listen (1934) – Cary Grant Collection – Wedding Present (1936)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

“Star Of The Month (May 2021)” Featuring Cary Grant in… Ladies Should Listen (1934)

For my first entry of the May 2021 Star Of The Month blogathon featuring Cary Grant, we’ve got his 1934 comedy Ladies Should Listen, also starring Frances Drake. As always, I’ve got a theatrical short to start things off!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Smile Pretty, Say Pink (1966)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 1 (1964-1966) from Kino Lorber)

(Length: 6 minutes, 9 seconds)

The Pink Panther takes on an amateur photographer visiting a national park. It’s another cartoon with the Pink Panther going against the Little Man, to great effect! The gags are fun, as the Panther keeps ruining photos, much to the consternation of the Little Man (of course, the Little Man pulls off a small victory in the end). I enjoyed this one, and it’s certainly worth seeing periodically!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Bachelor Julian De Lussac (Cary Grant) has arrived home in Paris after a trip to Chile. He is greeted by his friend Paul Vernet (Edward Everett Horton) and Paul’s “friend” (although he wants to marry her) Susi Flamberg (Nydia Westman). While they give Julian a ride home, he tells them about a nitrate mine concession he had bought in Chile. However, they are interrupted by a flirtatious female driver, whom Julian goes off with. Later on, she calls Julian to tell him she is leaving him, and he threatens to kill himself (not really, but he hopes the sound of the gunshot over the phone will bring her running). It brings somebody running alright: telephone operator Anna Mirelle (Frances Drake)! She reveals that she had been listening in on his calls, and reveals the full name of the girl he was going with (he had only known her first name previously): Marguerite Cintos (Rosita Moreno). Not only that, Marguerite is a married woman! Still, much to Anna’s dismay, Julian is interested in Marguerite, even when her husband Ramon Cintos (Rafael Corio) comes around looking for his wife. On her own time, Anna finds out from other telephone operators that Marguerite and Ramon are trying to get the nitrate option, either by getting Julian out of the country to let it expire, or by forcing him to give it to them. Since Julian won’t listen to her, Anna decides to try another method. She gets Susi to keep him around, but Susi’s father, Joseph Flamberg (George Barbier), comes in and threatens a shotgun wedding (which was not in Anan’s plan). Will Julian be able to get out of all this trouble, or will he be shot/ have to go through with the wedding (much to Paul’s dismay)?

This movie is still fairly early in Cary Grant’s career, and it indeed feels that way, as his screen persona is still not fully formed. Don’t get me wrong, he definitely shows a flair for comedy, which is necessary in this movie. Admittedly, some of the differences in his performance may have to do with the film’s timing, as far as the Code being in effect. His character is a bit sleazier than we would normally expect, in between his fake suicide, plus the device he and his butler have rigged up that will simulate the sounds of a thunderstorm (in order to keep his lady friends from leaving, of course). Still, it’s fun to see how he slowly pulled together the persona that he would soon become famous for!

As a whole, this is a decent movie in my opinion. The story itself isn’t really the reason to see the movie, as it’s only so-so. The cast are what makes this movie worth giving a try. As I said, Cary Grant is good, and pretty ably carries the film. Edward Everett Horton is, as always, a hoot, as his character hopes to marry Nydia Westman’s character (and then becomes frustrated with his own friend when he ends up engaged to her instead). And, speaking of Nydia Westman, she’s also very good here, from her klutziness as she falls into Cary Grant’s arms several times, to her own actions as she tries to gain his affections. Frances Drake is decent here as Grant’s love interest, but, compared to the other three, not as good. There is some fun humor to be enjoyed with this movie (not as much as Cary Grant’s later, and far better, screwball comedies, but still some). I enjoyed getting the chance to see it, and I would certainly recommend giving it a try!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Ladies Should Listen (1934)

This movie is available on Blu-ray as part of the three film Cary Grant Collection from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. It’s a decent HD transfer, one that certainly seems crisp most of the time. There are some spots that don’t look quite as good, and there are some other minor imperfections, but, considering it’s not a well-known movie, it’s likely as good as we can hope for (especially only being available in that three-film Blu-ray set).

Film Length: 1 hour, 1 minute

My Rating: 7/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Alice In Wonderland (1933)Cary GrantBig Brown Eyes (1936)

Alice In Wonderland (1933) – Edward Everett Horton – The Devil Is A Woman (1935)

Cary Grant Collection – Big Brown Eyes (1936)

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).