Thursday, December 30, 2021

On This Day...Madame Butterfly (1932)

Cary Grant's 7th film, and the last film release of the year, Madame Butterfly, was released on today's date back in 1932. 


While on shore-leave in Japan, Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton (Cary Grant) and his friend,  Lieutenant Barton (Charles Ruggles), stop in at a local establishment to check out the food, drink and girls.  On meeting Cho-Cho San (Sylvia Sidney) Pinkerton immediately falls in lust. Barton advises Pinkerton that he can 'marry' this Japanese girl and freely enjoy himself, then sail on back to America unshackled, since in Japan abandonment equates to divorce.

 The years pass and Cho-Cho San still eagerly awaits the return of her husband and the opportunity to surprise him with their son.  When Pinkerton does finally arrive back in Japan to apologise to Cho-Cho San for his behaviour, he has his American bride by his side. 


Sylvia Sidney...Cho-Cho San
Cary Grant...Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton
Charles Ruggles...Lt. Barton
Irving Pichel...Yomadori
Helen Jerome Eddy...Cho-Cho's mother
Edmund Breese...Cho-Cho's grandfather
Louise Carter...Suzuki
Sándor Kállay...Goro
Judith Vosselli ...Madame Goro
Sheila Terry...Mrs. Pinkerton
Dorothy Libaire...Peach Blossom
Berton Churchill...American Consul
Philip Horomato...Trouble


Madame Goro: So this is Cho-Cho-San; what distinction, what eyes, what teeth. And you speak also the English?
Cho-Cho San: Yes, I learned from visiting scholar. She teach me very high class Brooklyn accent.

Cho-Cho San: [Cho-Cho San has found Adelaide's photo in Pinkerton's trunk. She brings it to him with the pipe cleaners] I found them like this
Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton: Thank you very much, Cho-Cho San
[he puts the photo aside]
Cho-Cho San: She very beautiful, that American lady
Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton: Oh, I guess she'd pass in a crowd
Cho-Cho San: She some lady you know very well?
Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton: Sure, sure. We've known each other for years
Cho-Cho San: She love you very much, perhaps?
Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton: No, of course not
Cho-Cho San: [she picks up the photo and points to the inscription that reads 'To Bin with all my love always'] What this writing say?
Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton: Oh, that. That just says 'lots of luck'
Cho-Cho San: Oh. But maybe you very much in love with her?
Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton: How can I have room in my heart for anyone but Madame Butterfly?


1933 Marches on!...with the great romantic drama of East and West NOW a MODERN love story! (Print Ad-Daily Star, ((Long Island City, NY)) 30 January 1933)

IT WILL BRING THUNDEROUS ACCLAIM...for a great love story done with consummate passion! (Print Ad- Greenfield Recorder, ((Greenfield Mass.)) 30 December 1932)

(Print Ad-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, ((Pittsburgh, Penna.)) 8 February 1933)

Lobby Cards and Posters:

Directed by Marion Gering.
Distributed by Paramount Publix.
Running time: 86 minutes.

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

On This Day... Every Girl Should Be Married (1948)

 Released today back in 1948, Every Girl Should Be Married was Cary Grant's 53rd full length feature film.


A wilful woman, Anabel Sims (Betsy Drake), concocts an elaborate scheme to trap a handsome pediatrician, Dr Madison Brown (Cary Grant), into marriage.


Cary Grant...Dr. Madison Brown
Franchot Tone...Roger Sanford
Diana Lynn...Julie Howard
Betsy Drake...Anabel Sims
Alan Mowbray...Mr. Spitzer
Elisabeth Risdon...Mary Nolan
Richard Gaines...Sam McNutt
Harry Hayden...Gogarty
Chick Chandler...Soda Clerk
Leon Belasco...Violinist
Fred Essler...Pierre
Anna Q. Nilsson...Saleslady

Did You Know?

In a scene in his office between himself and his nurse-employee, Cary Grant performs a dead-on impression of his co-star Betsy Drake - whom he would soon marry in real life.

Based on a short story by Eleanor Harris that was published in the October 1947 edition of the Ladies' Home Journal.


Dr. Madison Brown: How in the world did Eve ever get Adam when she had no other woman to help her with the subtle little touches?

Roger Sanford: I've been married three times. I like marriage. My wives didn't but I do.

Julie Howard: Anabelle! Do you mean you're going to deliberately set out to trap him?
Anabel Sims: Well, I know it's dreadful but this is the kind of thing men force us to do.

Anabel Sims: You don't happen to know any millionaires, do you?
Julie Howard: If I did I'd avoid 'em.

Lobby Cards and Posters:

Directed by Don Hartman.
Distributed by RKO Radio.
Running time: 84 minutes.

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36.

Friday, December 24, 2021

On This Day... Father Goose (1964)

 Released today back in 1964, Father Goose was Cary Grant's 71st, and penultimate, full length feature film.


On a South Sea island during WW2, Walter Eckland (Cary Grant) lives a quiet life. Everything changes when he's persuaded by the Allies to serve as lookout for enemy ships. 

As his main interest is drinking, Eckland proves bad at the job and is sent to another island to fetch his replacement....Only to find a stranded teacher, Catherine (Leslie Caron), and her pupils. After bringing the group back to his island, romantic sparks fly between Eckland and the schoolmistress.


Cary Grant...Walter
Leslie Caron...Catherine
Trevor Howard...Houghton
Jack Goode...Stebbings
Sharyl Locke...Jenny
Pip Sparkes...Anne (as Pip Sparke)
Verina Greenlaw...Christine
Stephanie Berrington...Elizabeth
Jennifer Berrington...Harriet
Laurelle Felsette...Angelique
Nicole Felsette...Dominique

Did You Know?

Cary Grant plays a scruffy, whiskey-swilling beachcomber in this movie. He is considered to be cast against type for this role, quite antithetical to his suave, sophisticated, debonair on-screen persona. Even so, it does hark back to the light comedy roles from early in his career.

Production took about eight weeks in Hollywood at Universal Studios and about four weeks on location at a coconut plantation in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Frank's remark to Walter that the Japanese had taken Singapore that morning fixes the date the film opens as February 15, 1942. The official surrender, however, did not take place until 5:15 in the afternoon.


Commander Frank Houghton RAN: [after explaining the Coast-watching service] It's ary important work, Walter. Damned important. You'd might like to volunteer.
Walter Eckland: Oh, I'd love to, Frank! But, I've just signer on for another watching service: the "Watch Out for Walter Eckland" Service!
Lieutenant Stebbings RAN: A great many lives are at stake, Mr. Eckland!
Walter Eckland: Now listen to me, both of you! Now, several years ago, I made peace with the World. Now, if the World isn't bright enough to make peace with ITSELF, it's just going to have to settle things without me!

[catching a fish barehanded. A fish swims toward them]
Walter Eckland: [In a hushed voice] Hey, here she comes again.
Catherine Freneau: How do you know it's a "she"?
Walter Eckland: Her mouth is open, now be quiet.

Walter Eckland: [on the radio on his island] When do I get off?
Commander Frank Houghton RAN: I told you, as soon as we find a replacement for you. In the meantime, try to relax. Oh, and I'm very sorry about your boat. I really am.
Walter Eckland: Is Big Bad Wolf *really* sorry? Because if he is, Big Bad Wolf and Little Bo Peep can DO something for Mother Goose. THEY CAN GO...
[Stebbings cuts the radio off before any profanity goes through]
Commander Frank Houghton RAN: [to Stebbings] I don't really blame him, do you?
Lieutenant Stebbings RAN: Sir, I don't think we've accomplished anything. I don't think he'll report in. I mean, you can lead a horse to water, but can you make it drink?
Commander Frank Houghton RAN: [calmly] When he gets thirsty, he'll drink, Stebbings. He'll drink.

Lieutenant Stebbings RAN: Mother Goose is requesting a chaplain.
Commander Frank Houghton RAN: A chaplain? Good heavens, he's killed her.
Lieutenant Stebbings RAN: No, sir. They want to get married.
Commander Frank Houghton RAN: Married? Goody Two-Shoes and the Filthy Beast?

Lobby Cards:

Directed by Ralph Nelson.
Distributed by Universal-International.
Running time: 116 minutes.

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

On This Day... The Grass is Greener (1960)

On today's date back in 1960, Cary Grant's 68th full length feature film, The Grass is Greener, was released. 


When down on their luck, Victor (Cary Grant) and Hilary (Deborah Kerr) have to open their English mansion for tours. One day, a millionaire oil tycoon, Charles Delacro (Robert Mitchum) visits the house and charms his way into Hilary's heart. Meanwhile, Victor is pursued by Hattie Durant (Jean Simmons), creating a complicated love triangle.


Cary Grant...Victor Rhyall, Earl
Deborah Kerr....Lady Hilary Rhyall
Robert Mitchum...Charles Delacro
Jean Simmons...Hattie Durant
Moray Watson ...Trevor Sellers, the Butler

Did You Know?

Charlton Heston passed on the role of Charles Delacro because he was committed to a stage play with Laurence Olivier. Heston stated in his autobiography, "I missed out on the only chance I ever had to play opposite Cary Grant. He stood out among his peers as the best at light comedy. I would have leapt at the chance just to sweep up after him."

Both Cary Grant and Robert Mitchum's characters refer to a mutual friend (never actually seen in the film) called "Josh Peters". This is an in-joke perpetrated by director Stanley Donen, whose young sons were Joshua and Peter.

The opening titles were designed by Maurice Binder who, two years later, would begin his legendary association with the James Bond series.


Victor Rhyall, Earl: Sellers, have you seen my Bible?
Trevor Sellers, the Butler: I'm afraid I've got it. I wanted to look something up.
Victor Rhyall, Earl: First you borrow my times, now you pinch my Bible. That's democracy running amok!
Trevor Sellers, the Butler: I'm extremely sorry, Milord. I'll put it back beside your bed.
Victor Rhyall, Earl: Anyway, you should have a Bible of your own!
Trevor Sellers, the Butler: Well, the one you're using is mine, Milord.

Victor Rhyall, Earl: Well, then, so long, be seeing you, as you say in America.
Charles Delacro: Cheerio, as you say in Britain.

Charles Delacro: Sometimes I'm convinced that the greatest barrier between our countries is the bond of a common language.

Posters and Lobby Cards:

Directed by Stanley Donen
Distributed by Universal- International.
Running time: 104 minutes.

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

On This Day...Alice In Wonderland (1933)

 Cary Grant's 13th full length feature film, Alice in Wonderland, was released today, back in 1933. 


In Victorian England, Alice (Charlotte Henry), a bored young girl, dreams she has entered a fantasy world called Wonderland where she finds even more fantastical characters, such as Cheshire Cat (Richard Arlen), White Knight (Gary Cooper). Humpty Dumpty (WC Fields), March Hare (Charlie Ruggles) and Mock Turtle (Cary Grant).


Richard Arlen...Cheshire Cat
Roscoe Ates...Fish
William Austin...Gryphon
Gary Cooper...White Knight
Leon Errol...Uncle Gilbert
Louise Fazenda...White Queen
W.C. Fields...Humpty-Dumpty
Alec B. Francis...King of Hearts
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher...Rabbit (as Skeets Gallagher)
Cary Grant...Mock Turtle
Lillian Harmer...Cook
Raymond Hatton...Mouse
Charlotte Henry...Alice
Sterling Holloway...Frog
Edward Everett Horton...Mad Hatter
Roscoe Karns...Tweedledee
Baby LeRoy...Joker (as Baby Le Roy)
Mae Marsh...Sheep
Polly Moran...Dodo Bird
Jack Oakie...Tweedledum
Edna May Oliver...Red Queen
May Robson...Queen of Hearts
Charles Ruggles...March Hare (as Charlie Ruggles)
Jackie Searl...Dormouse
Alison Skipworth... Duchess
Ned Sparks...Caterpillar
Ford Sterling...White King

Did You Know?

The failure of the film at the box office was attributed to the fact that although a top-rank cast was used, many of them were virtually unrecognizable under their heavy makeup and costuming.

Bing Crosby was originally sought for the role of the Mock Turtle but refused it because he felt the role was demeaning to his career.

Sterling Holloway, who played The Frog in this movie, later went on to be the voice of The Cheshire Cat in the well known Disney adaptation of Alice in Wonderland (1951).

The running time, 76 minutes, is the length of the time Alice is through the looking glass: clock on the mantelpiece starts at 3:40 and she returns at 5:00.

During the Mad Tea Party, the Hatter asks Alice what day of the month it is and Alice answers that it's the 4th. The Hatter checks his watch and bewails the fact that "it's two days off." When Alice examines the watch, the hands on the dial indicate the date as being a Tuesday in June. In 1933 when this film was made, June 4th fell on a Sunday - two days off from what the Hatter's watch indicates.


When the White Knight falls off of his horse into the ditch, he falls face down and his feet can be seen with the toes pointed downward. However, when Alice comes over to check on him, he is lying on his back and his toes are pointed upward.  When Alice helps him out, he continues telling a story about how he invented things, yet initially neither his lips nor Alice's are moving, nor do they match what is being said when they do.

During Baby LeRoy's brief appearance he initially is walking, but the action cut-in has him running with a different expression on his face.

Alice is an English girl, but speaks with an American accent.

When the White Queen flies in to see Alice after the fight between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, you can quite clearly see wires attached to her shoulders.


Directed by Norman McLeod.
Distributed by Paramount Publix.
Running time: 90 minutes (Varies)

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36.