Wednesday, October 28, 2020

On This Day...Hot Saturday (1932)

 Cary Grant's 6th full length feature was Hot Saturday, and was released on this day back in 1932.


Bank employee Ruth Brock has a reputation around town for being fast-and-easy but none of the panting suitors has made her yet. She disillusions them one after the other, but the last lad is a bad sport and starts a gossip scandal, among the hens and roosters, about her and a millionaire playboy and Ruth loses her job. Figuring that as long as she has the name, she might as well play the game, she looks him up.

Cary Grant plays Romer Sheffield, seen here with Nancy Carroll.

"Edward Woods, as the malicious and resentful escort, gives the most satisfactory performance in support of Miss Carroll. Cary Grant is a nonchalant young libertine as Sheffield, and Randolph Scott is solidly virtuous as the boyfriend sweetheart." - Mordaunt Hall, The New York Times.

With Nancy Carroll and Edward Woods.

With Nancy Carroll and Randolph Scott.

Did You Know?

This was Cary Grant's first film as a leading man.


 Cary Grant ... Romer Sheffield
 Nancy Carroll ... Ruth Brock
 Randolph Scott ... Bill Fadden
 Edward Woods ... Conny Billop
 Lilian Bond ... Eva Randolph (as Lillian Bond)
 William Collier Sr. ... Mr. Brock
 Jane Darwell ... Mrs. Brock
 Stanley Smith ... Joe
 Rita La Roy ... Camille
 Rose Coghlan ... Annie Brock
 Oscar Apfel ... Mr. Randolph
Jessie Arnold ... Aunt Minnie
 Grady Sutton ... Archie

With Nancy Carroll

Lobby Cards:

Directed by William A. Seiter.
Produced and distributed by Paramount Publix.
Running time: 73 minutes.

Behind the scenes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

On This Day...The Awful Truth (1937)

 Today back in 1937 saw the release of Cary Grant's 29th full length feature film, The Awful Truth.


Jerry (Cary Grant) and Lucy (Irene Dunne) are a married couple who doubt each other's fidelity: Jerry suspects Lucy and her music teacher (Alexander D'Arcy) of spending an evening together, and Lucy is convinced Jerry lied about a business trip. 

When the jealous pair file for divorce, both rush into new relationships, but quickly realize their love never died. The soon-to-be-divorced husband and wife then both scramble to spoil each other's chances for newfound romance.

With Ralph Bellamy and Irene Dunne.

"The season's smartest drawing-room comedy arrives unheralded, to run faster, funnier and finer than any of the all too many widely ballyhooed farces immediately proceeding. Every contributor to this film stands high in accomplishment, from the ideally executed performances of Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy and Alexander Darcy, to Leo McCarey's direction, second to none in the rare field of good comedy, and to the screen writing of Vina Delmar, whio brings Arthur Richman's play of fifteen years ago to the screen without loss of verve and with gain of freshness". - James P. Cunningham, The Commonweal

In court with Irene Dunne and Mr. Smith.

Did You Know:

Adapted from a Broadway play. The original stage production of "The Awful Truth" opened on Monday, September 18th, 1922, at Henry Miller's Theatre in New York and ran for 144 performances.

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on Tuesday, January 18th, 1955, with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne reprising their roles from the film.

The dog playing Mr. Smith was named Skippy, and was most popular for its role in The Thin Man (1934) movie & its sequel, as Asta. On those movies, he was notorious for trying to bite the actors. Even in this film, there's a scene where Cary Grant is trying to play with the dog, and the dog very obviously snaps and growls at him.

Cary Grant was so convinced this film was not working, he begged to be released during production. The film turned out to be a big hit.

While Cary Grant was initially working with Leo McCarey, he was unaware that McCarey was deliberately creating nervous tension in the actor, in order to enhance his performance. By keeping the cast slightly off balance, the director was building scenes from spontaneous moments between his actors. Giving the barest outlines of a scene, he would have his actors try something on their feet. For instance, in one rehearsal, he told 
Irene Dunne to simply open the door of her apartment and say, "Well, if it isn't my ex." He told Grant to answer with whatever came into his head. Grant replied, "The judge says this is my day to see the dog." McCarey then built the scene around that moment. The line, and the subsequent scene, stayed in the picture.


Irene Dunne...LucyWarriner
Cary Grant...Jerry Warriner
Ralph Bellamy...Daniel Leeson
Alexander D'Arcy...Armand Duvalle
Cecil Cunningham...Aunt Patsy
Molly Lamont...Barbara Vance
Esther Dale...Mrs. Leeson
Joyce Compton...Dixie Belle Lee
Robert Allen...Frank Randall
Robert Warwick...Mr. Vance
Mary Forbes...Mrs. Vance

Lobby Cards:

International Posters:

Directed by Leo McCarey.
Distributed by Columbia Pictures.
Running time: 89 minutes.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

On This Day...The Last Outpost (1935)

 The Last Outpost was Cary Grant's 20th full length feature film and was released today in 1935.


In World War I, British-officer Michael Andrews (Cary Grant) is captured by a band of Kurdish raiders on the Eastern Front, and is rescued by a man calling himself John Stevenson (Claude Rains), although he refuses to tell his name to Andrews. 

The two men form a strange friendship, and help save an entire Kurdish village from a massacre and also avert a surprise attack on the British army-unit stationed there. Andrews suffers a wounded leg and is sent to the British military-hospital in Cairo. He falls in love with a nurse, Rosemary Haydon (Gertrude Michael), and she with him, but she is married although she has not seen nor heard from her husband in over three years. 

It is at this point that the man who saved Andrews' life turns up to claim his wife, who is Rosemary. The latter bids adieu to Andrews who does not know that the man he considers his best friend is also the husband of the woman he loves. But, by pure coincidence and chance, both Andrews and Rosemary's husband come face-to-face again in a remote garrison that is under an attack that appears to have the possibility of no survivors among the fort defenders.

"Mr. Claude Rains as the secret service agent in Turkish uniform and Mr. Cary Grant as the incurably light-minded and rather stupid British officer whom he rescues from the Kurds both act extremely well." - Graham Greene, The Spectator.

"To Cary Grant, Claude Rains and Gertrude Michael fall the assignment of giving life and conviction to the romantic segment of the plot. They all do well by their roles." - Ben Bodec, Variety

Did You Know ?:

Stock footage from Four Feathers (1929) is used to augment the battle scenes in the later half of the film.


Cary Grant...Michael Andrews
Gertrude Michael...Rosemary
Claude Rains...John Stevenson
Margaret Swope...Nurse Rowland
Jameson Thomas...Cullen
Nick Shaid...Haidar
Kathleen Burke...Ilya
Colin Tapley...Lieutenant Prescott
Billy Bevan...Private Foster
Claude King...General

Lobby Cards:

International Posters:

Directed by Charles Barton and Lois Gasnier.
Distributed by Paramount Pictures.
Running time: 75 minutes.

Friday, October 9, 2020

On This Day...Wedding Present (1936)

 Wedding Present was Cary Grant's 24th full length film and released on this day in 1936.


Charlie Mason (Cary Grant) and 'Rusty' Fleming (Joan Bennett) are reporters for a Chicago tabloid who are romantically involved. Charlie's mischievous shenanigans cause Rusty to move to New York. Charlie resigns his job and, along with gangster friend 'Smiles' Benson, he pursues Rusty to win her back before she marries a stuffy society author.

With Joan Bennett.

With Inez Courtney and Joan Bennett.

"Cary Grant plays the crazy reporter turned editor in a lackadaisical manner, mouthing most of his lines and acting more like a caricature than a character." - Howard Barnes, New York Herald and Tribune

"His (Paul Gallico) screwball star reporters as played by Miss Bennett and Grant, are not only pitched in farfetched concepts of the craft but they're loaded down with so many and frequent shifts of mood that the task of following them is made no easy one for the average fan." - Ben Bodec, Variety

With Joan Bennett.


Joan Bennett ... Monica 'Rusty' Fleming
Cary Grant ... Charlie Mason
George Bancroft ... Pete Stagg
Conrad Nagel ... Roger Dodacker
Gene Lockhart ... Archduke Gustav Ernest
William Demarest ... 'Smiles' Benson
Inez Courtney ... Mary Lawson
Edward Brophy ... Squinty
Purnell Pratt ... Howard Van Dorn
Douglas Wood ... Willett
George Meeker ... Gordon Blaker
Damon Ford ... Mike Haley
Lois Wilson ... Laura Dodacker
Mary Forbes ... Mrs. Dodacker
George Offerman Jr. ... Sammy Smith
John Henry Allen ... Jonathan

Lobby Cards:

Directed by Richard Wallace.
Distributed by Paramount Pictures.
Original by Paul Gallico.
Running time: 81 minutes.