Saturday, December 30, 2023

Madame Butterfly (1932)

   "...the Japanese settings are almost always pretty..."

With Sylvia Sidney

Madame Butterfly - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"The plot of this film is taken from the Puccini opera and the incidental music is by the composer, but it does not attempt to be a reproduction of the opera.  The story is not very suitable for this new medium, and though the long-drawn tragedy might be bearable if it were expressed in music or poetry, without any such embellishment it is apt to be painfully pathetic.  Nevertheless, Miss Sylvia Sidney, who plays the part of the Japanese girl, acts with a grace and delicacy which are a great relief from this prolonged assault upon our emotions.  And the Japanese settings are almost always pretty; an admirable use is made of what Swinburne called "the fortuitous frippery of Fusi-yama."  Moreover, Miss Sidney fits so well into the setting that all the purely Japanese parts of the film have a certain style and consistency.  But the intrusion of the American lieutenant (Mr. Cary Grant) has as disturbing an effect on the film as he had on the unfortunate Madame Butterfly.  In fact, the inarticulate sentimentality of all the American characters seems to have been nicely calculated to sound a jarring note in this carefully constructed world of oriental conversion, and nothing is done to accommodate these two modes of feeling."

The Times (London)

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 7 - Madame Butterfly (Lobby Card Style)

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Monday, December 25, 2023

Every Girl Should Be Married (1948)

   "...a talent for quietly underplaying comedy."

With Betsy Drake.

Every Girl Should Be Married - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"Newcomer Betsy Drake seems to have studied, but not learned, the tricks and inflections of the early Hepburn.  Her exaggerated grimaces supply only one solid laugh - when Hero Grant mimics them cruelly and accurately.  In the past, Cary Grant has shown a talent for quietly underplaying comedy.  In this picture, he has trouble finding comedy to play."

-  Time Magazine

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 53 - Every Girl Should Be Married (Lobby Card Style)

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Sunday, December 24, 2023

Father Goose (1964)

   " extremely accomplished craftsman... "

With Leslie Caron.

Father Goose - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"Normally, I am less than enthusiastic about the way fantasy and reality are blended in Hollywood comedies.  I must say I found the mixture in Father Goose very engaging.  The film was co-authored by Peter Stone (who also wrote Grant's recent success Charade) and directed by Ralph Nelson (Lilies of the Field).  Both men appear to have an unusual flair for combining tongue-in-cheek wackiness with honest human insight to produce a very palatable entertainment package.  

The difference between Grant and most other old-line movie stars, who also essentially played themselves on the screen, is that he is an extremely accomplished craftsman and also has a highly developed sense of how to choose a script that does well by him and that he can do well by.  I thought that Miss Caron was delightful in a role that was an off-beat combination of propriety, gumption and earthly good sense."

- Moira Walsh, America

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 71 - Father Goose (Lobby Card Style)

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Saturday, December 23, 2023

Film Review Series #1: The Bishop's Wife By Bosley Crowther December 10th, 1947

 The Bishop's Wife ,

Starring Cary Grant, David Niven, Loretta Young, Opens at Astor

By Bosley Crowther

Dec. 10, 1947

With David Niven.

Emissaries from heaven are not conspicuously exceptional on the screen, the movies having coyly incarnated any number of these supernatural types, ordained by their fanciful creators to right the wrongs of this world (not to mention the bookkeeping errors that seem to occur up above). And certainly communion with angels is traditional at Christmastime, which is the season when most of us mortals need angelic reassurance anyhow. So there is nothing especially surprising about the miracle that occurs in Samuel Goldwyn's "The Bishop's Wife," which opened last night at the Astor—except that it is superb.And that is very surprising, in view of the realistic fact that it is a sentimental whimsey of the most delicate and dangerous sort. All of us know that angels don't walk the earth like natural men—and definitely not in the image of that debonair rascal, Gary Grant. And most of us have some dark misgivings about the tact of the makers of films when they barge into the private area of a man's communication with his God.But you need have no anxieties in the case of "The Bishop's Wife." It is as cheerful and respectful an invasion of the realm of conscience that we have seen. And it comes very close to being the most enchanting picture of the year — a judgment to which its many merits will shortly make a strong bid. That is because its incursion is on a comparatively simple and humble plane and its whimsey is sensitively syphoned from the more human and humorous frailties of the flesh.We are not going to make an analysis of the many subtle comments in this tale of a full-bodied guardian angel who answers a young bishop's prayer for guidance and spiritual comfort in the midst of a crisis in his life. We are not going to state any morals which this charmingly casual angel proves in drawing the bishop's wrought attention from a new cathedral to the richer services of life—and, particularly, to a fresh fulfillment of his family responsibilities.

We are not going to mouth about these matters, because the picture itself refrains—and that is one of the most endearing of its many endearing young charms.In shaping this warm and winning fable from a Robert Nathan book, Robert Sherwood and Leonardo Bercovici have written with beautiful belief that a point clearly made in performance doesn't have to be hit a dozen times nor a moral quietly manifested put into a hundred solemn words.

And so there is no heavy pounding of the lesson of humanity, of the futility of ostentation, of the special possessiveness of a man's love. Nor is there any such pounding in Henry Koster's directorial style.Smoothly and with artful invention he has induced Mr. Grant to give one of his most fluent and beguiling performances as the angel, "Dudley," who fixes things. And he has got out of David Niven a deliciously dexterous and droll characterization of a sorely pressed young bishop who can't quite cotton to this messenger from on high. Elsa Lanchester, too, is encouraged in an exquisitely faceted role of a twitterly little housemaid who flirts with this angelic gent, and Monty Woolley is actually human as an old dodo who is morally re-inspired. James Gleason, Sara Haden and Gladys Cooper are rich in smaller parts. Weakness is only evident in Loretta Young's unctuousness as the bishop's wife. She is the one artificial, inconsistent and discordant note.Of course, there are probably some people who are going to say that this film encourages a futile illusion with its hope of miraculous aid. But they—if they do—will be missing its most warmly inspiring point which is—but wait a minute That's for you to recognize and enjoy. We cannot recommend you to a more delightful and appropriate Christmas show.

With Loretta Young and Monty Woolley.


screen play by Robert E. Sherwood and Leonardo Bercovici;

from the novel by Robert Nathan;

directed by Henry Koster;

produced by Samuel Goldwyn for release through RKO Radio Pictures. Inc.

At the Astor.

Dudley . . . . . Cary Grant

Julia Brougham . . . . . Loretta Young

Henry Brougham . . . . . David Niven

Professor Wutheridge . . . . . Monty Woolley

Sylvester . . . . . James Gleason

Mrs. Hamilton . . . . . Gladys Cooper

Matilda . . . . . Elsa Lanchester

Mildred Cassaway . . . . . Sara Haden

Debby Brougham . . . . . Karolyn Grimes

Maggenti . . . . . Tito Vuolo

Mr. Miller . . . . . Regis Toomey

Mrs. Duffy . . . . . Sara Edwards

Miss Trumbull . . . . . Margaret McWade

Mrs. Ward . . . . . Ann O'Neal

The Grass is Greener (1960)

   "...a handsome production in Technicolor with lovely shots of England... "

The Grass is Greener - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"The best thing about The Grass is Greener is its title, which fits so well an inexplicable set of circumstances.  The worst thing about the picture is that producer-director Stanley Donen forgot he was making a movie, and in spite of all its glitter and glamorous cast, this film is awfully static and talky - and no fresher and greener than those comedies that used to turn up on our stages regularly in the thirties.  

The script that Hugh and Margaret Williams wrote from their popular London stage comedy is only so-so funny, but Donen has given his picture a handsome production in Technicolor with lovely shots of England and the interior and exterior of Grant's elegant mansion.  Brighter than the dialogue is the musical score stemming from Noel Coward's songs.  It's too bad Coward couldn't have written the wisecracks too."

Philip T. Hartung, The Commonweal

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 68 - The Grass is Greener (Lobby Card Style)

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Friday, December 22, 2023

Alice in Wonderland (1933)

   "...mild fun... trying to identify the Big Names hidden behind turtle shells and teddy-bear skins."

With The Mock Turtle costume.

Alice in Wonderland - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"Why mince matters? Alice in Wonderland is, to my sober (despite repeal) judgment, one of the worst flops of the cinema.  Paramount's first mistake was in attempting it.  The only person in Movieland to have done it is Walt Disney.  Mary Pickford, who once contemplated doing it, was right when she said that "Alice" should be made only in cartoons.  

So - with a fine script (Joe Mankiewicz and William Cameron Menzies), delightful music (Dmitri Tiomkin), a splendid director (Norman McLeod), and about fifty of our best actors and actresses, the picture, when it isn't dull, is still utterly uninspired. 

English children who still read Alice in Wonderland may get a mild kick out of it.  I doubt if our young sophisticates will.  It's a cinch that all the grown ups will get is the mild fun of trying to identify the Big Names hidden behind turtle shells and teddy-bear skins.  Even when they do occasionally recognize a voice they will still wonder why all these high salaries were hidden beneath bushels of props.  Extras, or even children, would have been adequate to most of the parts.  No acting was required.  Indeed production costs could have been cut tremendously by letting cheap actors play the parts and then hiring Big Names to register five minutes of dialogue easily dubbed in.  

The second mistake was in choosing a young lady to play the five or six-year-old part of Alice.  Charlotte Henry is a comely youngster with an intelligent face, who looks as though she would be more interested in Vance Hoyt's nature studies in Script than in Fairyland.  She tries hard to look wonder-eyed but can't quite make it.  And with all our wonderful kid actors!  

Even so there was still a chance to make a picture of fairylike charm.  In all the arts there is no medium that lends itself to fantasy like the movie camera.  By soft focus, shooting through silk, and other technical tricks, scenes can be given an elusive dreamlike quality that eloquently visualizes the subjective mind.  Alice goes to sleep and dreams her trip to Wonderland, but we see both her and her dream in hard reality, with the flat lighting and sharp focus of the objective world.  Never for a moment are we in dreamland; we are on Stage Four, witnessing the technical staff and prop boys doing their stuff.  Even much of this is bad.  When Alice flies through the air, she is obviously hanging by a wire (remember how well that was done in Peter Pan - also by Paramount?) and when she is falling down the well, she is still hanging by a wire.  Nor are her skirts blown while falling.  It's hard to write a review like this, for practically everybody who had anything to do with the picture is a Scripter, but when a picture is a flop, it's a flop, and it's silly to alibi.  The biggest mistake was in undertaking it at all."

- Bob Wagner, Script

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 13 - Alice in Wonderland (Lobby Card Style)

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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Kiss Them For Me (1957)

   "...Cary Grant delivers some sardonic wisecracks very well..."

With Jayne Mansfield.

Kiss Them For Me - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"Kiss Them For Me, coincidentally enough, is also about some military men intent on staging a party.  The party givers in this case are three naval aviators who arrive in wartime San Francisco determined to devote all their brief French leave from a carrier to wine, women and song.  

The color-and-CinemaScope movie is based on a novel written during World War II and made into a (not very successful) play soon after that.  

By 1957, its attitudes are curiously dated. For one example, the enemy seems to be the civilian population.  For another, the fliers behave alternately like post-adolescent Peck's Bad Boys and like swashbuckling heroes with equally juvenile motivation.  Though Cary Grant delivers some sardonic wisecracks very well,  he seems a little old to be acting so irresponsibly.  

The picture also has leading-woman trouble.  Fashion model Suzy Parker, who plays the enigmatic heroine, is lovely to look at but can't act; while director Stanley Donen has allowed Jayne Mansfield, in the role that was Judy Holliday's stepping stone to fame, to be broadly and unamusingly vulgar."

Moira Walsh, America

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 63 - Kiss Them For Me (Lobby Card Style)

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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Charade (1963)

   " absolute delight in which Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn schottische about with evident glee."

With Audrey Hepburn.

Charade - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"Not since John Huston's Beat the Devil has there been such a gay romp as Charade.  Huston himself recently tried something similar in The List of Adrian Messenger, but the comedy thriller is a chancy little form, and he could not duplicate that first brilliant success.  More credit, then, to producer-director Stanley Donen who has brought to the screen an absolute delight in which Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn schottische about with evident glee.  

It is characteristic of the generally civilized and witty fun of the entire film, and somehow entirely appropriate that Miss Hepburn should suddenly look into a can of Calox toothpowder and ask Grant if he can tell heroin by its taste.  He tastes and says: "Heroin! Peppermint-flavored heroin!"  Charade merits not merely audiences, but addicts.


New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 70 - Charade (Lobby Card Style)

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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Operation Petticoat (1959)

   "... one of the trickiest acting jobs of [Cary Grant's] long and brilliant career."

With Tony Curtis.

Operation Petticoat - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"Though he gets many laughs Cary Grant plays an essentially straight part and theatrical pros will recognize it as one of the trickiest acting jobs of his long and brilliant career.  Throughout every inch of it, he makes you feel that this is a dedicated captain determined to sail his ship again.  He makes all that follows seem funny instead of silly.  Curtis has an actor's field day with his flashy part, but under Blake Edwards' skilled direction, all the players make valuable contributions to the general hilarity." 

Jack Moffitt, Hollywood Reporter

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 67 - Operation Petticoat (Lobby Card Style)

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Monday, November 27, 2023

Once Upon a Honeymoon (1942)

  "...some of the elements of a fairy-tale.  But... ...terribly realistic. "

With Ginger Rogers.

Once Upon a Honeymoon - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"As the title indicates, Once Upon a Honeymoon has some of the elements of a fairy-tale.  But its background of human misery in a world going to pieces under the Nazis is terribly realistic.  The story is quite often gay and funny, but it is also quite often grim.  With deft touches, director-producer McCarey splashes laughter, suspense, romance and tragedy onto his canvas."

Scholastic Magazine

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 42 - Once Upon a Honeymoon (Lobby Card Style)

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Friday, November 24, 2023

Article Series No.1: Interview Magazine - January 1986.

Today I was really thrilled to receive, as a gift, Interview Magazine from January 1986. It will take pride if place amongst The Cary Grant Collection.

Interview Magazine January 1986 - Front Cover

Article appears on two pages - Page 44 Above and Page 45 Below

Below is the transcript of the now, famous last interview.

Postscript: Hollywood’s Leading Man

By Kent Schuelke

Cary Grant left the world in the same fashion as he lived—quietly. Within 48 hours of the 82-year-old actor’s death on November 29th from a massive stroke in Davenport, Iowa, his remains had been flown to California and cremated. No funeral, no memorial service. That’s how Grant wanted it. Outside of his illustrious movie career, spanning 72 films, Grant shunned the spotlight, seldom giving interviews.

Born Archibald Leach in Bristol, England in 1904, Grant came to the United States in his early teens as a performer in a traveling acrobatic troupe. His talents led him to the Broadway stage, where he performed in musicals. A movie contract with MGM soon followed. To many critics, the debonair Grant was the greatest comedian in the history of cinema. Along with Howard Hawks, George Cukor, and Frank Capra, he helped invent the “screwball comedy.” With his sweeping charm, clipped accent and impeccable timing, he lit up some of Hollywood’s greatest comedies, including Bringing Up Baby, Topper, The Awful Truth, and The Philadelphia Story. In those films, he costarred with many of Hollywood’s leading ladies: Katharine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Mae West, Ingrid Bergman, and Grace Kelly. But probably Grant’s most important collaborator was Alfred Hitchcock, with whom he made North by Northwest, Notorious, and To Catch a Thief.

Retiring from cinema in 1966, Grant spent the rest of his days in business, on the board of directors in at MGM and Faberge Cosmetics. He enjoyed his privacy, but his marriages—to Virginia Cherrill, Barbara Hutton, Betsy Drake, Dyan Cannon, and Barbara Harris—and his four divorces, brought him unwanted and unflattering publicity. In spite of such controversies, the public always loved Cary Grant.

This interview with Mr. Grant was done four months before his death. He did the interview in connection with a film tribute in his honor at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. This is one of the last public conversations with a legend.

KENT SCHUELKE: What was your earliest ambition?

CARY GRANT: My earliest? I don’t know, just to keep breathing in and out, I guess. I had no definite ambition. One has to go through one’s education before forming thoughts about what one wants to do. Unless you’ve got some mad ideas about being a fireman or a great boxer or a football player. But I had none of those.

SCHUELKE: What about acting?

GRANT: I had no ambition toward acting.

SCHUELKE: I understand that as a boy you dreamed of traveling the high seas. Did you want to be a sailor?

GRANT: Yes. I had ambition to travel. I was born in a city—Bristol—from which there was a great deal of travel. It was a very old city, and in those days the ships came and left all the time from the port. I was constantly interested in what was going on down there and in those ships that took people all over the world.

SCHUELKE: How did you get started in acting?

GRANT: Because of my wish to travel, I joined a small troupe of ground acrobats. I first came to New York with the troupe. When the troupe went back to England, I remained here. I liked this country very much, and gradually I got into musicals. In those days, a musical generally only lasted a year, so there weren’t very many. But I was in musicals before I came to film.

SCHUELKE: Young people who weren’t even born when you made your last film are now discovering you in your classics. What do you think about that?

GRANT: I think they have a long life ahead of them. They will make their own choices. I hope for the very best for the coming generation, but it doesn’t seem to promise too much. But in every century people complain about how the world is going. I don’t know what the young people think or do; I only hear the emanation of their thoughts—rock groups and similar noises. But if that’s what makes them happy, fine—as long as they don’t do it next to me.

SCHUELKE: How do you see yourself?

GRANT: How can I see myself? We are what we are in the opinion of others. It’s up to them to make up their minds as to what we are. I can only see myself as a man of 82 who keeps on functioning. I do the best I can under the circumstances in which I’ve placed myself.

SCHUELKE: How would you like history to remember you?

GRANT: As… “a congenial fellow who didn’t rock the boat,” I suppose.

SCHUELKE: Is your life relatively quiet these days?

GRANT: I live pretty quietly—but what else does one expect a man my age to do?

SCHUELKE: Is that how you want to live out the rest of your life, quietly in Beverly Hills?

GRANT: I don’t know how long that’s going to be—”the rest of my life”—but I enjoy what I am doing and, of course, I shall live out my life here unless some extraordinary change suddenly occurs. If I didn’t enjoy living in Beverly Hills, then I would move—I can afford to do that.

SCHUELKE: What is the most difficult thing about being Cary Grant, the movie star?

GRANT: I don’t consider it difficult being me. The only thing I wish—that we all wish—is that our faces were no longer part of our appearance in public. There’s a constant repetition of people approaching me—either for those idiotic things known as autographs or for something else. That’s the only thing I deplore about this particular business.

SCHUELKE: Do fans still approach you today?

GRANT: It happens, but not as much as it might to a Robert Redford or some younger, more popular star today. It gets to be a bore.

SCHUELKE: Have there been many interesting encounters with your fans?

GRANT: The people I’d most like to meet are the least likely to come up to me.

SCHUELKE: Are you accessible to your fans? Do you interact with them?

GRANT: I do not care or like to talk to [my fans]. I’m not rude. I try to be as gracious as I can when someone next to me at dinner wants to know how I feel about a leading lady. But I don’t answer letters to fans. I don’t answer anyone’s letters. I couldn’t possibly answer everybody. I can’t even attend to my own legal matters. I must receive two sacks of mail every day. So you can’t answer the people. You feel rather sorry you can’t, especially where there are children concerned, but it can’t be done.

SCHUELKE: Is it true that President Kennedy once telephoned you from the White House just to hear the sound of your voice?

GRANT: We all knew each other, just as we know our current president, who is a very dear and very friendly man. We [Reagan and Grant] are old friends.

SCHUELKE: Film students break your films apart and analyze them. Do you think scholars place too much emphasis on films that were made strictly for entertainment?

GRANT: Oh, yes. A film’s a film. As Hitch would say when someone would get all upset on the set, “Come on, fellas, relax—it’s only a movie.” Now, if you want to dissect it and tri-sect it and cut it up into little pieces, well, that’s up to you. We made them. We didn’t know their intentions half the time, except to amuse and attract people to the box office.

SCHUELKE: What are your memories of working with Alfred Hitchcock?

GRANT: I have only happy ones. They’re all vivid because they’re all interesting. It was a great joy to work with Hitch. He was an extraordinary man. I deplore these idiotic books written about him when the man can’t defend himself. Even if you defend yourself against that kind of literature, it gets you nowhere.

SCHUELKE: You worked with some of the most beloved leading ladies in film history. Who was the best actress with whom you worked?

GRANT: I’ve worked with many fine actresses. But in my opinion, the best actress I ever worked with was Grace Kelly. Ingrid [Bergman], Audrey [Hepburn] and Deborah Kerr were splendid, splendid actresses, but Grace was utterly relaxed—the most extraordinary actress ever. Her mind was razor-keen, but she was relaxed while she was doing it. I appreciated that. It’s not an easy profession, despite what most people think.

SCHUELKE: What it disappointing to you that Kelly gave up acting to marry Prince Rainier?

GRANT: As far as we were concerned, she was a lady, number one, which is rare in our business. Mostly we have manufactured ladies—with the exception of Ingrid, Deborah, and Audrey. Grace was of that ilk. She was incredibly good, a remarkable woman in every way. And when she quit, she quit because she wanted to.

SCHUELKE: How was it working with Katharine Hepburn?

GRANT: Marvelous. I worked with her about five times. One doesn’t do a thing more than once—unless you’re an idiot—that one doesn’t like.

SCHUELKE: In the 1950s, you announced that you were retiring from films. The retirement was short-lived, but what made you want to give up films at the height of your career?

GRANT: I was tired of making them.

SCHUELKE: How did your friends and colleagues react to your decision?

GRANT: People say all sorts of things. I gave it up because I got tired of doing it at that point in my life; I had no idea then whether I would resume my career or not. The last time I left, I knew I wouldn’t return to it. I enjoyed the profession very much. But I don’t miss it a bit.

SCHUELKE: Has anyone in the movie industry ever told you your work has influenced the films they’ve done?

GRANT: Everybody copies everybody else, if they think you’re doing something better than they. Athletes do that; that’s evident in the baseball scores and the improvement of the hitter today.

SCHUELKE: How do you respond to criticism that you never portrayed anyone but yourself in your films?

GRANT: Well, who else could I portray? I can’t portray Bing Crosby; I’m Cary Grant. I’m myself in a role. The most difficult thing is to be yourself—especially when you know it’s going to be seen immediately by 300 million people.

SCHUELKE: What about the people who say you should have expanded your repertoire to include more “character” roles?

GRANT: I don’t care what people say. I don’t take into consideration anything anyone says, including the critics. There’s no point. You’ve made the film, it’s done and if they want to criticize it, that’s up to them. I don’t pay attention to what anybody says —except perhaps the director, the producer and my fellow actors. But I’m not making films; I haven’t made a film in 20 years.

SCHUELKE: Do you think these people misinterpret what you were trying to do?

GRANT: I have no concern with what anyone else is thinking—I can’t affect it—or with what anybody else is saying anywhere in the world at any dinner table tonight. They may be discussing me or somebody else; I don’t care. I’ve nothing to do with it, and I can’t control it, so it doesn’t matter what people say.

SCHUELKE: Do you have a favorite film?

GRANT: Not really. I did them all for a purpose. Sometimes I hoped for better results; sometimes I was surprised at the results.

SCHUELKE: Why did you leave acting for the business world in the ’60s?

GRANT: Acting became tiresome for me. I had done it. I don’t know how much further I might have gone in it. I have no knowledge of that, of course. But I enjoyed going from where I started on to a different world, equally interesting—perhaps more so.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Houseboat (1958)

  "Grant’s performance is just about flawless."

With Sophia Loren.

Houseboat - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

“Grant’s performance is just about flawless.  With sure artistry, he seems unconscious of the farcical nature of the ridiculous events that overwhelm him.  Everything he does is made poignant by the worries of a man wounded by the repudiation of his children.  Slowly he learns to love them and his hurt grows deeper.  There is one beautiful scene of muted tenderness when he encourages his elder son to teach him to fish.  By so doing, he finds out the boy’s tendencies toward being a Peeping Tom, a thief and a sneak are all traceable to his worries over his mother’s death.  With well-concealed parental anxiety and complete absence of theatrical sentimentality.  Grant consoles the lonesome child with a quiet and moving discussion of immortality.”

- Jack Moffitt, Hollywood Reporter

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 65 - Houseboat (Lobby Card Style)

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Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Suspicion (1941)

  "...the film is the equivalent of the book you can't put down."

With Joan Fontaine.

Suspicion - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"Two thirds of Hitchcock's Suspicion is very good, and that is enough to make a thriller.  During that time Hitchcock used all his smoothness and his sharp eye for detail to build up a situation in which a loving wife (Joan Fontaine) is in danger of being poisoned by an equally loving but less trustworthy husband (Cary Grant).  A best friend (Nigel Bruce, as a chubby ass) has already, mysteriously, fallen by the way.  The fact that Hitchcock throws in a happy end during the last five minutes, like a conjurer explaining his tricks, seems to me a pity; but it spoils the film only in retrospect, and we have already had our thrills.  A steep cliff, a letter from an insurance company, a glass of milk at the bedside - on such details and on the equivocal looks that foreshadow murder, Hitchcock fixes a fascinated gaze.  So long as the magic lasts (there's a slow beginning, by the way) the film is the equivalent of the book you can't put down.

William Whitebait, The New Statesman and Nation

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 40 - Suspicion (Lobby Card Style)

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Monday, November 13, 2023

The Bishop's Wife (1947)

 " is Cary Grant’s playing that rescues the role of the angel named Dudley from the ultimate peril..."

With Loretta Young.

The Bishop's Wife - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"Robert Nathan’s early novel (1928), The Bishop’s Wife, has been revived by Samuel Goldwyn (with help on the script from Robert Sherwood and Leonardo Bercovici) to honor the current boom in cinema angels.  Unlike the majority of his predecessors, however, Mr. Nathan’s angel is not beyond descending to diabolical methods to achieve his heavenly purposes, and the gleam in his eye is scarcely seraphic. 

If the angel is considerably less tedious than most, it is, first of all, because the miracles he is called upon to perform are onerous neither to him nor to his audience.  A flick of the hand and a bottle of brandy refills perpetually; a smile and every woman within its range feels divinely beautiful.  Certain other of his feats, conceived with a heavier hand, are retrieved from disaster by the direction of Henry Koster who wisely refrains from bearing down full weight on the script.  But it is Cary Grant’s playing that rescues the role of the angel named Dudley from the ultimate peril of coyness.  With nothing more than a beaming countenance and an air of relaxation that is certainly not of this world, he achieves a celestial manner without so much of a hint of wings on his dark blue suit.  An expert cast is on hand to show by reflection what Cary Grant has refrained from making irksomely explicit.  David Niven’s prelate is a wistful and absent-minded character who is scarcely a match for Dudley.  As the Bishops’ wife, Loretta Young is sufficiently lovely to make even an angel fall; and in lesser roles Monty Woolley, James Gleason and Elsa Lanchester react to Dudley’s miraculous passage with characteristic gaiety.

The Bishop had prayed to God for guidance in how to separate Mrs. Hamilton, a rich parishioner, from sufficient money to build a cathedral.  God sent him Dudley and Dudley had soon resolved his dilemma by threatening Mrs. Hamilton with the name of her long-lost lover.  Now, Dudley convinces both her and the Bishop that God could better be served by abandoning the cathedral project in favor of helping the needy.  This is a refreshingly practical notion and comes with the lure of novelty from a screen which has heretofore thrown its weight – in the manner of The Bells of St. Mary’s – in favor of building churches.  For this reason alone The Bishop’s Wife should commend itself to the public." 

Hermine Rich Isaacs, Theatre Arts Magazine

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 51 - The Bishop's Wife (Lobby Card Style)

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Saturday, October 28, 2023

Hot Saturday (1932)

 "...describes the evolution of an idle bit of gossip in an average American community with considerable freshness and candor..."

With Nancy Carroll and Edward Woods.

Hot Saturday - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"Small-town tongues are wagging and small-town eyes are watching that Brock girl from behind the drawn shades.  Hot Saturday, which is from Harvey Ferguson's novel, describes the evolution of an idle bit of gossip in an average American community with considerable freshness and candor, and in the main manages to survive a meandering script and some uneventful writing.  Nancy Carroll, as the girl caught in the net of malicious gossip, gives a lifelike portrayal; and she is acutely touching in the final episodes as she searches frantically for someone who will understand and believe her.  The denouement is unintentionally ambiguous, and a rather startling conclusion at that; for the girl runs of with the notorious libertine to a marriage in New York which, if one is to believe all the things people say about Romer Sheffield, will be merely theoretical.   

The title suggests the social activities of the young people on their day off, the dancing, cheap liquor and furtive amour with which they escape once a week from their routine labors.  Some may raise the criticism that the behavior in Hot Saturday is more typical of the years the novel appeared - than of the present.  

Ruth Brock, on this particular "hot Saturday", accompanies the crowd to Sheffield's place in the country.  Her young man, resenting Sheffield's attentions to the girl, quarrels with her.  When she is left alone in the millionaire's house for a few hours and arrives home in his car, the gossip-mongers go to work with a relish.  The accumulation of outraged virtues results in Ruth's dismissal from the bank and a violent scene at home.  Even her gentle, understanding sweetheart of school days turns against her.  

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 boyhood sweetheart.

 Mordaunt Hall, The New York Times

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 6 - Hot Saturday (Lobby Card Style)

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Saturday, October 21, 2023

The Awful Truth (1937)

 "A great many funny things happen... maneuvered, to some extent, by Mr. Smith."

With Ralph Bellamy and Irene Dunne.

The Awful Truth - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"The Awful Truth is one of those mile-a-minute comedies which never makes sense but which makes you giggle outrageously.  At the beginning Irene Dunne and Cary Grant are a young married couple on the verge of divorce; but they soon prove to be a couple of cut-ups who delight in bedeviling each other.  A great many funny things happen, most of which are maneuvered, to some extent, by Mr. Smith.  He is the biggest bone of contention.  Mr. Smith is a Scottish terrier.  

The dialogue is snappy, the action fast, and often furious, and Irene Dunne proves herself better as a comedienne than as the beautiful-but-dignified star she once was.

Scholastic Magazine

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 29 - The Awful Truth (Lobby Card Style)

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