Thursday, July 30, 2020

On This Day...The Toast of New York (1937)

In the week that marks 100 years since Archie Leach landed in New York, and then went on to make a name for himself, it's fitting that on this day in 1937, we see the release of Cary Grant's 28th full length feature film, appropriately titled "The Toast of New York"!

Set at the outbreak of the American Civil War, it follows the dealings of medicine-show impresario come financial wizard, Jim Fisk (Edward Arnold). 

It is a romanticized biography of the real Jim Fisk whose actual life, if filmed accurately, would never pass the Hays Code guidelines.

Cary Grant plays Nick Boyd, one of Fisk's business partners.

With Frances Farmer and Edward Arnold

"The production is faultless and the morality of great wealth is a timely subject for a discussion..." 
- America 

With Edward Arnold and Jack Oakie.

"Frances Farmer...sings the new hit, "The First Time I Saw You." The scenarists have given Fisk two fictitious partners, Cary Grant for love-interest and Jack Oakie for comedy." - Literary Digest


Jim Fisk                                Edward Arnold
Nick Boyd                            Cary Grant
Josie Mansfield                     Frances Farmer
Luke                                     Jack Oakie
Daniel Drew                         Donald Meek
Fleurigue                              Thelma Leeds
Vanderbilt                             Clarence Kolb
Photographer                        Billy Gilbert
Broker                                  George Irving
Lawyers                               Frank M. Thomas, Russell Hicks
Wallack                                Oscar Apfel
President of the Board          Lionel Belmore
Bellhop                                 Robert McClung
Janitor                                   Robert Dudley
Beef Dooley                         Dewey Robinson
Top Sergeant                        Stanley Fields
Major                                    Gavin Gordon
Mary Lou                              Joyce Compton
Virginia Lee                          Virginia Carroll

Lobby Cards:

Directed by Rowland V. Lee
Distributed and Produced by RKO Radio.
Running time: 109 minutes 

With Edward Arnold, Jack Oakie and Donald Meek.

Monday, July 27, 2020

On This Day...New York, New York! (1920)

On this day, 28th July 1920, Archie Leach first glimpsed the New York skyline. Landing at Pier 59.

Pier 59.

R.M.S Olympic at Pier 59 in the 1920's.

After staying behind in New York, Archie was to spend the best part of a decade, in New York, appearing in numerous shows.

Introducing ...Archie Leach.

Better Times: 
Hippodrome Theatre,
Sixth Ave. bet W.42nd and W.44th, New York.

Exterior of the Hippodrome.

Interior of the auditorium.

Its revolving stage stretched virtually the entire distance between the numbered thoroughfares.
The ballet corps numbered eighty, the chorus contained one hundred members and required a backstage staff of around eight hundred.
It could also present water ballets.

Cover for the souvenir book for "Better Times"

In "The Land of Mystery" episode, Archie was one of The Joyful Girls.

In the twelfth episode he was one of the Meistersingers.

Opened: 2/9/1922
Closed: 28/4/1923
Total Performances: 405
Music by Raymond Hubbell and Lyrics by R.H. Burnside.

Golden Dawn:
Hammerstein's Theatre.
1697 Broadway at W.53rd Street.

Exterior of Hammerstein's (now the Ed Sullivan).

Interior of the auditorium.

Typical booklet cover.

Archie played Anzac in "Golden Dawn"

Opened: 30/11/1927
Closed: 5/5/1928
Total Performances: 184
Music by Herbert P. Stothart, Emmerick Kalman and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Otto Harbach.

Boom Boom:
Casino Theatre,
1404 Broadway (W.39th)

Exterior of the Casino Theatre.

Interiors of the auditorium.

Booklet cover. Archie played "Reggie Phipps, alongside Jeanette MacDonald.

Cover for the sheet music.

Opened: 28/1/1929
Closed: 30/3/1929
Total Performances: 72
Music by Werner Janssen and Lyrics by Mann Holiner and J. Keirn Brennan.

A Wonderful Night:
Majestic Theatre,
245 W. 44th Street.

Exterior of the Majestic.

Interiors of the auditorium.

Booklet cover.

Archie appeared as "Max Grunewald"

Opened: 31/10/1929
Closed: 15/2/1930
Total Performances: 125

Longacre Theatre,
220 W.48th Street.

Exterior of Longacre Theatre.

Interior of the auditorium.

Archie played "Cary Lockwood", the character from who he took his first name.
The show also starred Fay Wray.

Opened: 29/9/1931
Closed: 31/10/1931
Total Performances: 39

More Stage Appearances:
The Municipal Opera.
At the "Muny" (fifth from the left).

Archie is listed as appearing in:
"Three Little Girls"
"The Street Singer"
"Music In May"
"The Three Musketeers"
"A Wonderful Night" (See above)
and "Rio Rita".

In "The Three Musketeers".

Also appearing in a Pre-Broadway Premiere at the Shubert Playhouse in Wilmington, Delaware.
It was a flop!! Running from 31/10/1928 - 3/11/1928.

An early stage appearance.

Friday, July 24, 2020

On This Day...Suzy (1936)

Suzy was Cary Grant's 23rd full length feature film.

Cary Grant plays Andre Charville, a famous French aviator, who marries a showgirl, Suzy(Jean Harlow). Suzy has fled to France after her Husband, Terry Moore(Franchot Tone) is killed...or was he?

With Jean Harlow as Suzy.

"Performances are excellent...Cary Grant, too, is something more than just a leading man. Since his outstanding performance in Sylvia Scarlett, his talents for varied characterizations have been recognized, and in each new venture he makes good." - Hollywood Spectator

With Jean Harlow and George Davis.

"Direction by George Fitzmaurice is brilliant, and he has had the foresight to insist on new treatment for scenes which, otherwise, would be much like dozens of scenes in dozens of other spy and war films." - Literary Digest

With Franchot Tone and Jean Harlow.


Suzy                            Jean Harlow
Terry                           Franchot Tone
Andre                         Cary Grant
Baron                          Lewis Stone
Madame Eyrelle          Benita Hume
Captain Barsanges       Reginald Mason
Maisie                         Inez Courtney
Mrs. Schmidt               Greta Mayer
"Knobby"                     David Clyde
"Pop" Gaspard             Christian Rub
Gaston                        George Spelvin
Landlady                    Una O'Connor
Producer                     Charles Judels
Revue producer           Theodore Von Eltz
Officer                        Stanley Morner

Publicity photograph with Jean Harlow and Franchot Tone.

Lobby Cards:

Directed by George Fitzmaurice.
Distributed and Produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Running time: 95 minutes.

With Jean Harlow.