Sunday, January 31, 2021

Marvelous ARTchie and the "On This Day" releases!

 In an attempt to do something different for 2021, the "On This Day" film release posts will now highlight bespoke artwork from the talented Rebekah Hawley at Studio36.

You may have seen, already, the artwork produced for North By Northwest (Mount Rushmore) and the MyLifeInAYearWithArchie logo.

Mount Rushmore.


So until April 2021, the film release content will stay the same but include the new artwork. My Instagram posts will just be the artwork and a guess the film title; of course the answer will be here!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

On This Day...She Done Him Wrong (1933)

 Cary Grant's 8th film was She Done Him Wrong, his first film with Mae West.


New York singer and nightclub owner Lady Lou (Mae West) has more men friends than you can imagine, unfortunately one of them is a vicious criminal who's escaped and is on the way to see "his" girl, not realizing she hasn't exactly been faithful in his absence. Help is at hand in the form of young Captain Cummings (Cary Grant), a local temperance league leader, though.

"Playing it, the exhibitor must necessarily indicate what it is (the nature of the film for audiences), and he has the selling angles of Miss West in a well-known role, and the personal attractiveness of Cary Grant."
- C. Aaronson, Motion Picture Herald.

"Numerous ex-vaudevillians besides Miss West in the cast, including Cary Grant, Fuzzy Knight, and Grace LaRue." 
- Joe Bigelow, Variety.


 Mae West ... Lady Lou
 Cary Grant ... Captain Cummings
 Owen Moore ... Chick Clark
 Gilbert Roland ... Serge Stanieff
 Noah Beery ... Gus Jordan 
 David Landau ... Dan Flynn
 Rafaela Ottiano ... Russian Rita
 Dewey Robinson ... Spider Kane
 Rochelle Hudson ... Sally
 Tammany Young ... Chuck Connors
 Fuzzy Knight ... Rag Time Kelly
 Grace La Rue ... Frances
 Robert Homans ... Doheney 
 Louise Beavers ... Pearl

Did You Know?

Mae West was signed by Paramount in 1931 to make a film adaptation of her stage success 'Diamond Lil'. They then spent the next two years trying to figure out a way of getting the material past the censors. The battle over 'Diamond Lil' led to the head of the Production Board, James Wingate, quitting and being replaced by the much more hardline Joseph Breen who was prompted to set up a fairly stringent and moral Production Code. In the meantime, 'Diamond Lil' transformed into the slightly watered down "She Done Him Wrong" and was one of the last films to be made before the introduction of the Production Code.

At 66 minutes, this is the shortest movie to ever receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.

Although they knew this film would fall foul of the censors of the day, Paramount rushed this into production. They were experiencing financial difficulties and needed a surefire hit. Something as controversial as this was their nearest guarantee. Needless to say, it was a runaway hit because of its notoriety.

Mae West was sewn into most of her costumes.


Lady Lou: Why don't you come up some time and see me?

Captain Cummings: Haven't you ever met a man that could make you happy?
Lady Lou: Sure, lots of times.

Captain Cummings: I'm sorry you think more of your diamonds than you do of your soul.
Lady Lou: I'm sorry you think more of my soul than you do of my diamonds.

[Captain Cummings approaches Lou with a pair of handcuffs]
Lady Lou: Those absolutely necessary? You know I wasn't born with them.
Captain Cummings: No. A lot of men would've been safer if you had.
Lady Lou: Oh, I don't know - hands ain't everything.

Press kit.
Lobby Cards:

Directed by Lowell Sherman.
Produced and Distributed by Paramount Publix.
Running time: 66 minutes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

On This Day...Room For One More (1952).

 Room For One More was Cary Grant's 57th full length film  and was released on this date in 1952. It was his second film with Betsy Drake, his 3rd wife.


Anne (Betsy Drake) and "Poppy" Rose (Cary Grant) are the average American family, with three quirky kids. Anne has a good heart and gives lost cats and dogs a home - and one day also the orphan Jane, a problem child who already tried to kill herself once. 

At first Poppy is worried and wants to get rid of her, but with love and patience they finally manage to integrate her into the family. Just then Anne invites another orphan, the aggressive handicapped Jimmy-John, to their summer vacation.

"As the father, Cary Grant...witty, debonair, but always real."
- Hollywood Reporter


Cary Grant ... George Rose
Betsy Drake ... Anna Perrott Rose
Lurene Tuttle ... Miss Kenyon
Randy Stuart ... Gladys Foreman
John Ridgely ... Harry Foreman
Irving Bacon ... Mayor Michael J. Kane
Mary Treen ... Grace Roberts 
Iris Mann ... Jane Miller
George Winslow ... Teenie
Clifford Tatum Jr. ... Jimmy John Wilson
Gay Gordon ... Trot
Malcolm Cassell ... Tim
Larry Olsen ... Benji Roberts

Did You Know?

The Pledge of Allegiance given in the movie is the official version approved on June 22, 1942. An attorney from Illinois by the name of Louis Albert Bowman later suggested adding "under god" to the pledge to allay fears of a certain segment of the American population who had difficulty understanding the meaning of separation of church and state.

Cary Grant and Betsy Drake were married to each other when they made this film.

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 -minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 26, 1952 with Cary Grant reprising his film role.


Anna Perrott Rose: What's that supposed to be?
George 'Poppy' Rose: A woman.
Anna Perrott Rose: Not a very good likeness...
George 'Poppy' Rose: I had to draw it from memory.

George 'Poppy' Rose: [after Teeny says a short prayer] Why don't you just say "On your mark, get set, go?"

Lobby Cards:

Directed by Norman Taurog.
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Running time: 97 minutes.

"This Sacred Family" - French poster.

Monday, January 18, 2021

On This Day...His Girl Friday (1940)

 Today, back in 1940, saw the release of Cary Grant's 35th film...His Girl Friday. This was the only film in which he starred with Rosalind Russell, but it his second film with Ralph Bellamy.


When newspaper editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant) learns that his ex-wife and top reporter Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) is quitting to marry Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy), he pulls out all of the stops to get her to stay. The newspaper has been championing the cause of a man on death row, Earl Williams, was convicted of killing a policeman and Walter convinces her to write a story on his case. Williams insists that the shooting was an accident and he's not crazy, as some believe.

While Hildy pursues the story, Burns has her fiancé arrested - multiple times. When Hildy gets the scoop of the year - Williams escapes from prison on the eve of his planned execution - she hides him in the police station and mayhem ensues. It also gives her a chance to decide just what she wants in the future.

"Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant play the piece for all that's in it, and get good support from Ralph Bellamy, John Qualen, Helen Mack, and Gene Lockhart."
- Philip T. Hartung, The Commonweal


 Cary Grant ... Walter Burns
 Rosalind Russell ... Hildy Johnson
 Ralph Bellamy ... Bruce Baldwin
 Gene Lockhart ... Sheriff Hartwell
 Porter Hall ... Murphy
 Ernest Truex ... Bensinger
 Cliff Edwards ... Endicott
 Clarence Kolb ... Mayor
 Roscoe Karns ... McCue
 Frank Jenks ... Wilson
Regis Toomey ... Sanders
Abner Biberman ... Louie
Frank Orth ... Duffy
John Qualen ... Earl Williams
Helen Mack ... Mollie Malloy

Publicity photo.

Did You Know?

It is estimated that the normal rate of verbal dialogue in most films is around 90 words a minute. In His Girl Friday (1940), the delivery has been clocked at 240 words a minute.

Rosalind Russell thought, while shooting, that she didn't have as many good lines as Cary Grant had, so she hired an advertisement writer through her brother-in-law and had him write more clever lines for the dialog. Since Howard Hawks allowed for spontaneity and ad-libbing, he, and many of the cast and crew didn't notice it, but Grant knew she was up to something, leading him to greet her every morning: "What have you got today?"

Right after Williams is found in the desk, the Mayor tells Walter that he's "Whistling in the dark. Well that isn't going to help you this time. You're through." Walter says "Listen the last man that said that to me was Archie Leach just a week before he cut his throat." 

The famous in-joke about Ralph Bellamy's character ("There's a guy in a taxi down at the court building looks just like that movie star, what's his name? Ralph Bellamy!") was almost left on the cutting room floor: Harry Cohn, the studio head, saw the dailies and responded in fury at the impertinence, but he let Howard Hawks leave it in, and it has always been one of the biggest laughs in the film.
(According to Ralph Bellamy, the line, "There's a guy in a taxi down at the court building looks just like that movie star, what's his name? Ralph Bellamy!"!" was ad-libbed by Cary Grant.)

The play that this movie was based on ("The Front Page") had a famous last line: "The son-of-a-bitch stole my watch!" While the line and the plot points leading up to it didn't fit into "His Girl Friday", they did pay homage to it by having the first crime that Burns framed Baldwin for be the theft of a watch.


Walter Burns: Sorta wish you hadn't done that, Hildy.
Hildy Johnson: Done what?
Walter Burns: Divorced me. Makes a fella lose all faith in himself. Gives him a... almost gives him a feeling he wasn't wanted.
Hildy Johnson: Oh, now look, junior... that's what divorces are FOR!

Hildy Johnson: I suppose I proposed to you?
Walter Burns: Well, you practically did, making goo-goo eyes at me for two years until I broke down.
[impersonates Hildy, flutters his eyelashes]
Walter Burns: "Oh, Walter." And I still claim I was tight the night I proposed to you. If you had been a gentleman, you would have forgotten all about it. But not you!
Hildy Johnson: [hurls her purse at him] Why, you! !...
Walter Burns: [ducks and her purse barely misses him] You're losing your eye. You used to be able to pitch better than that.

Walter Burns: [on the phone] Well, Butch, where are you?... Well, what are you doing there? Haven't you even started?... Listen, it's a matter of life and death!... Well, you can't stop for a dame now! I don't care if you've been after her for six years. Butch - our whole lives are at stake! Are you going to let a woman come between us after all we've been through?... Butch, I'd put my arm in fire for you, up to here. Now you can't double-cross me... Put her on, I'll talk to her.
[talking to the woman]
Walter Burns: Oh, good evening, madam. Now listen, you ten-cent glamour girl. You can't keep Butch away from his duty!... What's that?... You say that again, I'll come over there and kick you in the teeth!... Say, what kind of language is that? Now look here you. -
[makes a noise like a horse, hangs up]
Walter Burns: She hung up! What did I say?

Lobby Cards:

Directed by Howard Hawks
Produced and Distributed by Columbia.
Running time: 92 minutes.

With Rosalind Russell and Howard Hawks.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

On This Day...The Philadelphia Story (1941)

The Philadelphia Story was released on this day, in 1941, and was Cary Grant's 38th full length film.

It was the last film of four in which he starred with Katharine Hepburn, and the film that won James Stewart the Oscar for Best Actor.


Just as Philadelphia socialite Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn) is about to remarry, her first husband C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) arrives at her house. He has with him a tabloid reporter and a photographer, Macaulay 'Mike" Connor (James Stewart) and Elizabeth Imbrie (Ruth Hussey), and he's clearly intent on causing mischief. 

Tracy is surprised to learn that Mike is a serious writer who works for the tabloids only to earn a paycheck. They are clearly attracted to one another and the arrival of Tracy's ne'er-do-well father - and some rather stern comments on his part - leads to her to reevaluate her choices and what it is she wants for the future.


 Cary Grant ... C. K. Dexter Haven
 Katharine Hepburn ... Tracy Lord
 James Stewart ... Macaulay Connor
 Ruth Hussey ... Elizabeth Imbrie
 John Howard ... George Kittredge
 Roland Young ... Uncle Willie
 John Halliday ... Seth Lord
 Mary Nash ... Margaret Lord
 Virginia Weidler ... Dinah Lord
 Henry Daniell ... Sidney Kidd
 Lionel Pape ... Edward
 Rex Evans ... Thomas

"Grant is perfectly gracious to a thankless part, winning sympathy and belief."
- Otis Ferguson, The New Republic.

"Perhaps the highest honors in the picture really go to James Stewart for his souse scene in Cary Grant's library (see picture below). Mr. Grant is good as always, and deserves credit for playing subdued."
- Don Herold, Scribner's Commentator.

Did You Know?

The film was shot in eight weeks, and required no retakes. During the scene where James Stewart hiccups when drunk, you can see Cary Grant looking down and grinning. Since the hiccup wasn't scripted, Grant was on the verge of breaking out laughing and had to compose himself quickly. Stewart (apparently spontaneously) thought of hiccuping in the drunk scene, without telling Grant. When he began hiccuping, Grant turned to Stewart, saying, "Excuse me." The scene required only one take.

Katharine Hepburn starred in the Broadway production of the play on which this film was based and owned the film rights to the material; they were purchased for her by billionaire Howard Hughes, then given to her as a gift.

Cary Grant only agreed to appear in the film as long as he got top billing. As Katharine Hepburn was dubbed "box office poison" at the time, this demand was readily agreed to.

Katharine Hepburn asked MGM to cast Clark Gable as Dexter and Spencer Tracy as Mike before she met either of them. Both Gable and Tracy were busy with other projects, so James Stewart was cast instead. MGM chief Louis B. Mayer allowed Hepburn a $150,000 salary towards casting the other male role. Cary Grant agreed to do the role for $137,000.

In order to avoid competition with the stage play, MGM agreed not to put the film into general release until January 1941, although it was screened at selected theaters in December 1940.

And you did know...

The film was remade as the Cole Porter musical High Society (1956), starring Grace Kelly in Katharine Hepburn's role, Frank Sinatra in James Stewart's and Bing Crosby playing Dexter (Cary Grant).


C. K. Dexter Haven: You'll never be a first-class human being or a first-class woman until you've learned to have some regard for human frailty.


C. K. Dexter Haven: Sometimes, for your own sake, Red, I think you should've stuck to me longer.
Tracy Lord: I thought it was for life, but the nice judge gave me a full pardon.
C. K. Dexter Haven: Aaah, that's the old redhead. No bitterness, no recrimination, just a good swift left to the jaw.


C. K. Dexter Haven: I'm sorry, but I thought I better hit you before he did. He's in better shape than I am.
Macaulay Connor: Well you'll do!

Lobby Cards:

(Japanese Poster)

Directed by George Cukor.
Produced and Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Running time: 112 minutes.

With George Cukor, John Howard and Katharine Hepburn.