Saturday, November 27, 2021

On This Day... Once Upon a Honeymoon (1942)

 Released today back in 1942, Once Upon a Honeymoon was Cary Grant's 42nd full length feature film.


Austrian Baron, Franz Von Luber (Walter Slezak) and old money Philadelphia socialite Katherine Butt (pronounced Bute)-Smith (Ginger Rogers) marry in Prague, then set off on an around the continent honeymoon. American radio broadcaster Patrick O'Toole (Cary Grant), currently based in Vienna as a correspondent, is assigned by his boss to discover the truth about Nazi-related rumours surrounding Von Luber.  He finds that the honeymoon is only a guise for Von Luber to pave the wayfor Nazi take over in those countries where he and the Baroness will be traveling.

 Unable to get to Von Luber directly, Pat decides to get his story through the Baroness instead. In meeting the her, he is amazed by her resemblance to a burlesque queen he saw perform in Brooklyn named Kathie O'Hara. Indeed, the Baroness is said Kathie O'Hara, a social climber trying to put her burlesque life behind her. In falling for the Baroness, Pat tries to rescue her from her marriage to Von Luber.  In Kathie too falling for Pat, they have to decide how best to save themselves and also thwart Von Luber's plans.


Cary Grant...Patrick O'Toole
Ginger Rogers...Kathie O'Hara / Katherine Butt-Smith / Baroness Katherine Von Luber
Walter Slezak...Baron Franz Von Luber
Albert Dekker...Gaston Le Blanc
Albert Bassermann...Gen. Borelski
Ferike Boros...Elsa
John Banner...German Capt. Von Kleinoch
Harry Shannon...Ed Cumberland
Natasha Lytess...Anna

Did You Know?

Towards the beginning of the film, Cary Grant tells Ginger Rogers that he will always remember her character "just the way you look tonight;" evoking a smirk from Rogers. The line alludes to the song of the same title Fred Astaire sang to Rogers in Swing Time (1936).

RKO's advertising top-billed Cary Grant east of the Mississippi, but Ginger Rogers rated first west of the Mississippi.

Sections of the conversation between Kathie (Ginger Rogers) and Gaston (Albert Dekker) about life in America, were deemed politically incorrect and removed from the 35mm master; in the DVD they have been restored using obviously inferior 16mm material, which makes it that much easier to identify what today's naysayers chose to remove and were granted the authority to do so.

When Pat comes back to the photographer's shop in Paris loaded with a new outfit for Kathie, he mentions that he bought the clothes at the "shop around the corner." This is likely a reference to the Ernst Lubitsch film of a few years earlier The Shop Around the Corner (1940) and, possibly by inference, The Mortal Storm (1940), a film starring the same principals and many of the same actors, released at the same time - a film that warned of the rise of the Nazis.


Patrick 'Pat' O'Toole: [after seeing the Feuhrer from his hotel balcony, he goes to the bedroom door] Hey! Hitler is here!
Katie O'Hara Von Luber, aka Katherine Butt-Smith: [Unimpressed from behind the door] Well I can't see him now. I'm dressing.

Patrick O'Toole: [ending his coerced radio speech] You can tell it to the Army. And you can tell it to the Navy. And most of all, you can tell it to the Marines!

Patrick 'Pat' O'Toole: I even found myself the other night trying to write some poetry. That should give you some idea.
Katie O'Hara Von Luber, aka Katherine Butt-Smith: Did you do it?
Patrick 'Pat' O'Toole: Oh, yes. I did it. Well, it's not so good. The thoughts not bad, though.
Katie O'Hara Von Luber, aka Katherine Butt-Smith: Well, how does it go?
Patrick 'Pat' O'Toole: Here you read it. Well, it just proves one thing: the man's in love.
Katie O'Hara Von Luber, aka Katherine Butt-Smith: [reading] 'Let's make our love song one that will live / Let's make it one to forget and forgive / As life's shadows lengthen over the years / our love will strengthen through laughter and tears / I will know your thoughts / You will know mine / Without ever a word / Without ever a sign / We will know what is deep in each other's heart / We will know, for it must be, till death do us part.'

Gaston Le Blanc: So, now I'm a spy for Uncle Sam, passing as a Frenchman, being paid by the Germans, and the beauty of it is: No income tax.

Katie O'Hara Von Luber, aka Katherine Butt-Smith: You mean it's up to Hitler who can have babies and who can't?
Patrick 'Pat' O'Toole: Yes. It used to be the will of God. Hitler doesn't like that. Too many people might be born who wouldn't agree with him.
Katie O'Hara Von Luber, aka Katherine Butt-Smith: It would make better sense if his mother'd thought of it.

Posters and Lobby Cards:

Directed by Leo McCarey.
Produced by RKO Radio.
Running time: 116 minutes.

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36.

Friday, November 19, 2021

On This Day... Houseboat (1958)

 Released today back in 1958, Houseboat was Cary Grant's 65th full length feature film.


Tom Winters (Cary Grant), a widower and previously absent father, is trying to understand and raise three precocious children alone. He gets a little unexpected help from Cinzia (Sophia Loren), when the children decide she is be the new maid. She is actually a spoiled brat Italian socialite who is trying to get away from her overprotective father.


Cary Grant...Tom Winters
Sophia Loren...Cinzia Zaccardi
Martha Hyer...Carolyn Gibson
Harry Guardino...Angelo Donatello
Eduardo Ciannelli...Arturo Zaccardi
Murray Hamilton...Capt. Alan Wilson
Mimi Gibson...Elizabeth Winters
Paul Petersen...David Winters
Charles Herbert...Robert Winters
Madge Kennedy...Mrs. Farnsworth
John Litel...Mr. William Farnsworth
Werner Klemperer...Harold Messner

Did You Know? Goofs:

Tom's apartment is in Washington, D.C., but when he's shown driving his kids to the concert at the Watergate, he approaches the area from the Virginia side of the Memorial Bridge, the opposite direction from which he should logically have been coming.

The harmonica that Cinzia wins for Robert is labeled "ECHO". An echo harmonica has 2 reeds for each note, each reed slightly detuned sharp and flat to provide a tremolo effect. The sound when Robert is playing this instrument is of a normal harmonica.

During Cinzia's first visit to Tom's apartment, at one point he is adjusting the sofa bed; as the two converse the camera moves closer to them and the shadow of the moving camera can be seen on Cinzia's dress.

When driving in the open convertible there is no wind in their faces, hair or clothes.  

When driving to the house, singing in the car, they are pulling a small trailer with their belongings. However the shots from the front angle (with the rear screen process) show no trailer behind them.

When the house is stuck on the railroad track, we first hear the whistle of an approaching steam engine; when the train actually arrives and crashes through the house, however, it is a diesel engine.

When Tom comes outside after hurriedly dressing to discover the houseboat has broken loose, his shirt is unbuttoned to his waist. In the following shot a split-second later his shirt is completely buttoned all the way up to his collar.

The water does not move in any shot in the galley or other room in which there is a view out the windows.


Directed by Melville Shavelson.
Distributed by Paramount Pictures.
Running time: 112 minutes.

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

On This Day... Suspicion (1941)

 Cary Grant's 40th full length film, Suspicion, was released on this day in 1941.


Handsome gambler, Johnnie Aysgarth (Cary Grant) seems to live by borrowing money from friends. While trying to travel in a first class train car with a third class ticket, he meets shy Lina McLaidlaw (Joan Fontaine). After a short courtship, they marry but, after the honeymoon, she starts to become suspicious when Johnnie's friend and business partner, Beaky, is mysteriously killed...


Cary Grant...Johnnie
Joan Fontaine...Lina
Cedric Hardwicke...General McLaidlaw (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Nigel Bruce...Beaky
May Whitty...Mrs. McLaidlaw (as Dame May Whitty)
Isabel Jeans...Mrs. Newsham
Heather Angel...Ethel [Maid]
Auriol Lee...Isobel Sedbusk
Reginald Sheffield...Reggie Wetherby
Leo G. Carroll ...Captain Melbeck

Did You Know?

Based on the 1932 novel "Before the Fact", by Francis Iles, which was the pen name for Anthony Berkeley.  There are many differences between the movie and the novel. Johnnie Aysgarth's infidelity is not featured in this movie: Lina's best friend, with whom Johnnie has an affair, does not appear at all. In the novel, the maid Ella has an illegitimate son by Johnnie.

At the "milk scene", all the ladders are dark but the glass shines because Alfred Hitchcock put a little bulb inside the milk with a battery for the enhancing the impression.

In interviews, Alfred Hitchcock said that an RKO executive ordered that all scenes in which Cary Grant appeared menacing be excised from the movie. When the cutting was completed, the movie ran only fifty-five minutes. The scenes were later restored, Hitchcock said, because he shot each piece of film so that there was only one way to edit them together properly. This is a technique called 'in-camera editing', a trick Hitchcock had already employed a year before during filming of Rebecca (1940), to prevent producer David O. Selznick from interfering with the final cut of the movie.


Johnnie: Well, well. You're the first woman I've ever met who said yes when she meant yes.

Johnnie: Your hair's all wrong. It has such wonderful possibilities that I, well, I got excited. For the moment I became a, a passionate hairdresser.

Lina: Why are you frank with me, because I'm... different?
Johnnie: No, no, it isn't that. I'm honest because with you I think it's the best way to get results.

Johnnie: Darling, you're not shivering, are you?
Lina: I have a bit of a chill.
Johnnie: Cold in all this sunshine? Well, let me warm you up. My poor little shivering baby. How do you feel now? Better?
Lina: Much.
Johnnie: Good. Perhaps this will help.
[Johnnie takes Lina and kisses her passionately]

Johnnie: What do you think of me by contrast to your horse?
Lina: If I ever got the bit between your teeth, I'd have no trouble in handling you at all.

Lobby Cards and Posters:

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Produced by RKO Radio.
Running time: 99 minutes

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley of Studio 36.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

On This Day... The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Released today back in 1947, The Bishop's Wife was Cary Grant's 51st full length feature film.


Newly appointed Bishop, Henry Brougham (David Niven) is having a difficult time raising funds for a new cathedral. His wife, Julia (Loretta Young), misses their old neighborhood in a poor part of town, while he is stressed and preoccupied with his new duties.

 His prayers are answered when an angel, Dudley (Cary Grant), suddenly appears in his study and tells him that he's there as his assistant until no longer needed. Dudley keeps Julia company while Henry attends to church business and becomes increasingly stressed at having to compromise his principles in order to please a prospective benefactor.  Dudley has his own way of getting her cooperation. As Christmas arrives, Dudley spins his charms ensuring a happy Christmas for everyone, particularly Julia and Henry.


Cary Grant...Dudley
Loretta Young...Julia Brougham
David Niven...Henry Brougham
Monty Woolley...Professor Wutheridge
James Gleason...Sylvester
Gladys Cooper...Mrs. Hamilton
Elsa Lanchester...Matilda
Sara Haden...Mildred Cassaway
Karolyn Grimes...Debby Brougham
Tito Vuolo...Maggenti
Regis Toomey...Mr. Miller
Sarah Edwards...Mrs. Duffy
Margaret McWade...Miss Trumbull
Anne O'Neal...Mrs. Ward (as Ann O'Neal)
Ben Erway...Mr. Perry
Erville Alderson...Stevens
Robert J. Anderson...Defense Captain (as Bobby Anderson)
Teddy Infuhr...Attack Captain
Eugene Borden...Michel
Almira Sessions...First Lady in Michel's
Claire Du Brey...Second Lady (as Claire DuBrey)
Florence Auer...Third Lady
Margaret Wells...Hat Shop proprietress
Kitty O'Neil...Hat Shop customer (as Kitty O'Neill)
Isabel Jewell...Hysterical Mother
David Leonard...Blind Man
Dorothy Vaughan...Delia
Edgar Dearing...Policeman
The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir...Vocal Ensemble (as The Mitchell Boychoir)

Did You Know?

After two weeks of shooting Sam Goldwyn hated the early rushes, fired the original director, William A. Seiter, hired Henry Koster, scrapped the script, ordered all the sets to be completely altered and started all over again at a cost said to be $900,000.  

Originally Cary Grant played the bishop and David Niven the angel. When Henry Koster replaced William A. Seiter and viewed what had been shot so far, he realized that the two were in the wrong roles. It took some convincing because Grant wanted the title role of the Bishop. He eventually accepted the change and his role as the angel was one of the most widely praised of his career.  Teresa Wright was playing the bishop's wife in the William A. Seiter version but she was not recast as she was then pregnant. 


Dudley: Well, if you had sent me to represent you with Mrs. Hamilton, I would've gone. You didn't. So I represented you with your wife.
Henry Brougham: Is that part of the normal duties of a... of an angel?
Dudley: Sometimes, Henry, angels must rush in where fools fear to tread.
Henry Brougham: I haven't the faintest idea what that means. I don't want it explained to me.

Henry Brougham: I was praying for a cathedral.
Dudley: No, Henry. You were praying for guidance.

Dudley: Supposing I told you I came from another planet. Would you believe me?
Prof. Wutheridge: I don't know.
Julia Brougham: I'd believe you, Dudley.
Dudley: And you'd be right, Julia, as always. We all come from our own little planets. That's why we're all different. That's what makes life interesting.

Dudley: The world changes, but two things remain constant... Youth and Beauty. They're really one in the same thing.
Julia Brougham: Yes. The trouble is, people grow old.
Dudley: Not everybody. The only people who grow old were born old to begin with.

Henry Brougham: Are you expecting a letter?
Dudley: Oh, one never knows. But if I should get one, the stamp will be worth saving.

Julia Brougham: Oh Dudley, I never know when you are joking or serious.
Dudley: I'm at my most serious when I'm joking.

Henry Brougham: Dudley, if we should need you again, will you come back?
Dudley: Not I. I shall ask to be assigned to the other end of the Universe.
Henry Brougham: Is that because I was so difficult?
Dudley: Oh, no. This difficulty was in me. When an Immortal finds himself envying the Mortal he is entrusted to his care, it's a danger signal. Take her in your arms and hold her tight.
Dudley: Kiss her for me, you lucky Henry!

Lobby Cards and Posters:

Directed by Henry Koster.
Based on the novel by Robert Nathan.
Produced by Samuel Goldwyn Productions.
Running time: 105 minutes.

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36.