Wednesday, September 23, 2020

On This Day...Arsenic and Old Lace(1944).

 So hot on the heels of his 46th film yesterday is Arsenic and Old Lace, Cary Grant's 47th full length feature film. The reason? It was completed two years earlier, but had to wait until the stage show had completed its run.

Cary Grant plays Mortimer Brewster, whose Aunt Abby(Josephine Hull) and Aunt Martha(Jean Adair) are the Old Lace who provide the Arsenic!

"Cary Grant's role as written for the screen is strongly slapstick, but despite the handicap he scores remarkably well." - Citizen News

With Josephine Hull and Jean Adair.

"More is made of the Grant character than on the stage. Indeed, he carries this picture with pantomime, facial expressions and a wild sort of farcical delivery of lines. He is an expert at that."
 - Edwin Schallert, Los Angeles Times.

With Peter Lorre, Raymond Massey, Josephine Hull, Priscilla Lane and Jean Adair.

"I was embarrassed doing it. I overplayed the character. It was a dreadful job for me...Jimmy Stewart would have been much better in the film." - Cary Grant

With Priscilla Lane.


Mortimer Brewster           Cary Grant
Jonathan Brewster            Raymond Massey
Elaine Harper                   Priscilla Lane
Abby Brewster                 Josephine Hull
Martha Brewster               Jean Adair
O'Hara                              Jack Carson
Mr. Witherspoon               Edward Everett Horton
Dr. Einstein                       Peter Lorre
Lieutenant Rooney           James Gleason
Teddy "Roosevelt"
Brewster                           John Alexander
Reverend Harper              Grant Mitchell
Brophy                             Edward McNamara
Taxi Driver                       Garry Owen
Saunders                           John Ridgely
Judge Cullman                 Vaughan Glaser
Doctor Gilchrist                Chester Clute
Reporter                           Charles Lane
Gibbs                               Edward McWade
Man in Phone Booth        Leo White
Marriage License Clerk    Spencer Charters
Photographer                    Hank Mann
Umpire                             Lee Phelps

Italian "Arsenic and Old Lace".

Press Article and Publicity Shots.

Lobby Cards:

Directed by Frank Capra.
Produced and distributed by Warner Bros.
Running time: 118 minutes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

On This Day...None But The Lonely Heart (1944)

 Cary Grant's 46th full length feature film was None But The Lonely Heart, released today in 1944.

Cary Grant plays Ernie Mott, an embittered man who turns to a band of thieves in an attempt at getting a better life for himself and his mother, Ma Mott (Ethel Barrymore).

Grant asked that the film, based on Richard Llewellyn's novel, be made. Clifford Odets who directed the film also wrote the screenplay.

Cary Grant was nominated for the Academy Award's category for Best Actor. Ethel Barrymore won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

With Jane Wyatt.

"Cary Grant, as the good-for-nothing Ernie Mott, has a rare chance to burrow inside of a character and come out with something more than his usual charm and skillfully tuned comic touches." 
- Hermine Rich Isaacs, Theatre Arts Magazine.

"Cary Grant...plays its far from Cary Grantish hero so attentively and sympathetically that I all but overlooked the fact that he is not well constituted for the role." - James Agee, The Nation.

With Ethel Barrymore and Barry Fitzgerald.


Ernie Mott                  Cary Grant
Ma Mott                     Ethel Barrymore
Aggie Hunter             Jane Wyatt 
Ada                            June Duprez
Twite                          Barry Fitzgerald
Jim Mordinoy             George Coulouris
Did Pettyjohn              Roman Bohnen
Ile Weber                    Konstantin Shayne
Lew Tate                    Dan Duryea
Mrs. Tate                    Rosalind Ivan
Miss Tate                    Dierdre Vale
Ma Chalmers              Eva Leonard Boyne
Ma Snowden              Queenie Vassar
Millie Wilson              Katherine Allen               
Cash                           Joseph Vitale
Taz                             Morton Lowry
Knocker                     William Challee
Slush                          Skelton Knagg
Ma Saegiviss             Virginia Farmer
Marjoriebanks            Art Smith
Ike Lesser                   Milton Wallace
Sister Nurse                Helen Thimig
Flo                              Renie Riano
Percy                          Marcel Dill

With June Duprez.

Lobby Cards:

"A Desolate Heart" in Spanish.

Directed by Clifford Odets.
Produced and distributed by RKO Radio.
Running time: 113 minutes.

With Barry Fitzgerald.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

On This Day...The Howards of Virginia (1940)

The Howards of Virginia was Cary Grant's 37th full length feature film  and was released today, back in 1940.

Cary Grant plays Matt Howard, whose friendship with Thomas Jefferson (Richard Carlson) leads him into a life of aristocracy, politics and family.

"Obviously miscast, Cary Grant meets the exigencies of a difficult role with more gusto than persuasion."
- Newsweek

"The Howards of Virginia, based on Elizabeth Page's The Tree of Liberty, defies anyone not to believe in the struggles of the colonists before and during the revolution."
- Philip T. Hartung, The Commonweal.

The source material was The Tree of Liberty, a 985 page novel, by Elizabeth Page. On its release in Britain, the film title was changed to the book title. 

With Paul Kelly.

With Alan Marshal, Martha Scott and Cedric Hardwicke.


Matt Howard                 Cary Grant
Jane Peyton-Howard     Martha Scott
Fleetwood Peyton         Cedric Hardwicke
Roger Peyton                Alan Marshal
Thomas Jefferson          Richard Carlson
Captain Jabez Allen      Paul Kelly
Tom Norton                  Irving Bacon
Aunt Clarissa                Elizabeth Risdon
Mrs. Norton                  Ann Revere
James Howard at 12     Richard Alden
Peyton Howard at 18    Phil Taylor
Mary Howard at 17       Rita Quigley
Dicey                             Libby Taylor
Patrick Henry                Richard Gaines
George Washington      George Huston

Peter Cushing made an appearance as Leslie Stephens.

Behind the Scenes:

Some scenes were filmed on location at Williamsburg, the historic city which was reconstructed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. as a $20,000,000 project to perpetuate America's past.

On location with some fans.

Lobby Cards:

A newspaper advertisement.

Directed by Frank Lloyd.
Produced and distributed by Columbia.
Running time: 117 minutes.