Showing posts with label Cinema History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cinema History. Show all posts

Friday, October 6, 2023

I'm No Angel (1933)

 "The casting of Cary Grant... was again another brilliant piece of dramatic awareness."

With Mae West.

I'm No Angel - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"Ingenious casting had much to do with the success of I'm No Angel.  Although her control over her vehicles at Paramount was almost absolute, unlike Chaplin in a similarly favored position, Mae West did not depend on a weak supporting cast to magnify her own personality or call attention to her humor.  A strong cast, each one capable and playing his or her role with uncommon passion, lent a credibility to the film, a quality of balance and proportion which only the finest motion pictures attain.

The casting of Cary Grant in the role of the man who finally wins Tira's love was again another brilliant piece of dramatic awareness.  Cary as Jack Clayton has none of the characteristics about him that had previously attracted Tira to men.  When she meets Nat Pendleton (playing the trapeze artist) on her way to the hotel at the very start of the picture, she feels his muscles, and comments on them.  She makes a similar overt gesture with Davidson (playing the Chump) while the two are dancing in her hotel room.  But with Clayton all such pretension is dropped.  Supposedly not interested just in his money, as she had been with Kirk Lawrence, seemingly in love, she feels his muscles at the end of the picture just before the fade.  But in 1933 Cary Grant was narrow of line and thin of physique, not at all the Nat Pendleton image.  Tira, a lion tamer, is unaccountably drawn to him, but there is something slightly incredible about their union, incredible enough for the viewer to have the same impression as one has at the conclusion of She Done Him Wrong, Tira cannot stay with him forever; she is insatiable and immortal.  From this very subtle and almost unconscious impression, the viewer comes away with that same sense of awe before magnitude, talent and vibrance, which Chaplin managed only by weak casting as a crutch.  

No scene in I'm No Angel is extraneous.  It is interesting, compelling, and enjoyable throughout.  Some scenes are played with rare distinction, as that of Cary Grant's initial visit to Tira's apartment, when she decides to let Kent Taylor go, but wants Cary instead.  The camera takes a three-quarters shot as this conversation straggles to its conclusion, with both their minds on something other than what's being said.  Cary has placed a small photograph of Mae in his coat pocket, and with his hands plunged nervously into his trouser pockets, the suit coat jutting out towards Mae, their bodies swaying ever closer together as they talk, Mae mumbling, "You'll hear from me," much more is implied that could ever be shown."

John Tuska, Views and Reviews

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 12 - I'm No Angel (Lobby Card Style)

Part Of

For more, see also:

Quote From Today - 6 October 2022

On This Day - 6 October 2021

On This Day - 6 October 2020

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Topper (1937)

      "The giddy rigmarole is for those who can take their death ribald and their fantasy straight."

With Roland Young and Constance Bennett.

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

"Thorne Smith fans will be delighted to learn that Culver City studio has again gone stark looney .  This one is about the gay couple who wander about upsetting mortals after they've been killed in a motor accident.  Though it will hardly influence cinema history, Topper comes off a lot better than Night Life of the Gods, MGM's other attempt to plant the novelist's insanity on a screen.  

Ghosts are far more amenable to camera tricks, of course, than walking statues.  The now-you-see-me-now-you-don't theme is paradise to a photographer.  It is thoroughly disconcerting to Mr. Topper, the timid banker whom the Kerbys propose to liberate from a nagging wife and a humdrum career.  

The giddy rigmarole is for those who can take their death ribald and their fantasy straight.  Constance Bennett and Cary Grant are suitable as Kerbys.  But it is Roland Young's show.  Between the capricious antics of his abstract companions and the carping of Billie Burke as his wife, his talent for being harassed finds exquisite expression.  

Literary Digest

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 27 - Topper (Lobby Card Style)

Part Of

For more, see also:

On This Day 16 July 2020

On This Day 16 July 2021

Quote From Today 16 July 2022

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Merrily We Go To Hell (1932)

    "...a brief treat among the supporting players though, in the shape of Cary Grant..."

With Sylvia Sidney and Fredric March.

Merrily We Go To Hell:

"Merrily We Go To Hell focuses on the turbulent relationship between Joan Prentice (Sylvia Sidney) and Jerry Corbett (Arzner regular Fredric March). They first meet at a party, where Jerry is drunk but charming and they arrange a dinner date, which Jerry is late for but eventually attends.

Though Jerry’s drunken antics cause concern for Joan, she’s too smitten by him to give up. After they marry, he becomes much better behaved, though they have financial worries whilst he struggles to make a name for himself as a playwright.  When Jerry does get a play sold, it stars his old flame, Claire Hempstead (Adrianne Allen), and this reunion knocks him off the wagon. He also starts to get romantically involved with Claire again, barely hiding it from Joan in his frequently drunken state.

Joan attempts to stand fast and keep Jerry on the straight and narrow but eventually has enough and attempts to show her husband what pain he’s causing by living a wild and free life herself.

Merrily We Go To Hell has quite an unusual tone. From the title and blurb I’d read, I was expecting a riotous screwball comedy. However, though there is plenty of comedy in the film, it’s countered by quite serious drama. It’s very much a film of two halves in fact, with the first leaning more heavily towards romantic comedy, then the second skewing much closer to drama, ending on a particularly moving note of tragedy. In the wrong hands, this shift in tone might have been a problem, but Arzner keeps the transition smooth and natural. In fact, it helps strengthen the depiction of the problems the central relationship faces, with Jerry’s alcoholism seeming charming to begin with, before becoming destructive. This mixture of warmth and comedy with cold cynicism makes for a deep and believable depiction of marriage too.

Also helping sell the concept are a pair of great central performances. March plays drunk very well and has enough charisma to prevent his character’s many flaws from turning the audience completely away from him. Sidney is the real star of the show though. Her richly textured performance feels way ahead of its time, with subtle changes in expression belying her breezy, cheerful demeanour. The wedding scene is a particularly strong moment between the pair as their body language and reactions make for a wonderfully awkward atmosphere and add great depth to a scene that’s very straightforward on paper.

The rest of the cast are a bit of a mixed bag, with George Irving a little flat as Joan’s father, for instance, whereas Richard ‘Skeets’ Gallagher is enjoyable as Jerry’s drunken cohort, Buck. There’s a brief treat among the supporting players though, in the shape of Cary Grant, who features in a very early role.

The script can be a bit hit and miss too. There are some amusingly witty lines but it’s not as sharply written overall as some other classic comedies from the era. The story also ladles on the melodrama towards the end with a final scene that ties things up too simply for my liking.

Visually, Arzner and DOP David Abel do a great job. There’s plenty of camera movement that’s only subtly used for the most part, though there are a couple of quite complicated tracking shots in there too. There’s also a nice use of depth in frame, to keep the film visually interesting.

I didn’t feel the pace was well maintained though. Perhaps it’s because I was expecting more of a screwball comedy, or it’s due to the quieter nature of the early sound era, but the film didn’t feel as ‘punchy’ as it could be.

Overall, however, Merrily We Go To Hell is a sensitive, yet frank and honest examination of a troubled marriage. Its move from comedy to tragedy was unexpected for me and made for an unusual blend, but the transition is well handled. The film isn’t perfect and has some lulls here and there, but some fantastic central performances and assured, intuitive direction make it something special, regardless."


David Brook,, 5 June 2021

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 3 - Merrily We Go To Hell (Lobby Card Style)

Part Of

For more, see also:

On This Day 10 June 2020

On This Day 09 June 2021

Quote From Today 10 June 2022

Singapore Sue (1932)

    "It was probably on the basis of this film that Grant obtained his first five-year contract with Paramount..."

With Anna Chang.

Singapore Sue - taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"The first short film that Cary Grant made was Singapore Sue which was released in the summer of 1932.  Three of his full length films were already in distribution.  However he had made this short film in New York City.  In it he played an American sailor who visits a cafe run by actress Anna Chang.  It was probably on the basis of this film that Grant obtained his first five-year contract with Paramount.  The film was written and directed by Casey Robinson.  The dialogue was staged by Max E Hayes."

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Singapore Sue (Lobby Card Style)

Part Of

For more, see also:

On This Day 10 June 2020

On This Day 10 June 2021

Quote From Today 10 June 2022

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

News Article Series: The Last Interview with Kent Schuelke - (1986)

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 BabyTopperThe 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 NorthwestNotorious, 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.

Cary Grant

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.

KS: What about acting?
CG: I had no ambition toward acting.

KS: I understand that as a boy you dreamed of traveling on the high seas. Did you want to be a sailor?
CG: Yes. I had an 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.

A young Archie Leach travels to America on the White Star Liner 'Olympic'.

KS: How did you get started in acting?
CG: 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.

The Pender Troupe with Archie Leach (Bottom right)

KS: 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?
CG: I think they have a long life ahead of them. They will make their own choices. I hope for the best for the coming generation, but it doesn't seem to promise too much. But in every century people complain 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.

KS: How do you see yourself?
CG: 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.

KS: How would you like history to remember you?
CG: As ... "A congenial fellow who didn't rock the boat," I suppose.

With wife, Barbara.

KS: Is your life relatively quiet these days?
CG: I live pretty quietly -- but what does one expect a man my age to do?

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

KS: What is the most difficult thing about being Cary Grant, the movie star?
CG: I don't consider it difficult being me. The only thing that 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.

Sharing a rare moment and signature with young fans.

KS: Do fans still approach you today?
CG: It happens, but not as much as it might to a Robert Redford or some younger, more popular star of today. It gets to be a bore.

KS: Have there been many interesting encounters with your fans?
CG: The people I'd most like to meet are the people who are the least likely to come up to me.

KS: Are you accessible to your fans? Do you interact with them?
CG: 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 any 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 when there are children concerned, but it can't be done.

KS: Is is true that President Kennedy once telephoned you from the White House just to hear the sound of your voice?
CG: 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.

KS: 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?
CG: 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 bisect 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.

With Alfred Hitchcock, during the filming of 'To Catch a Thief'.

KS: What are your memories of working with Alfred Hitchcock?
CG: 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.

KS: You worked with some of the most beloved leading ladies in film history. Who was the best actress with whom you worked?
CG: I've worked with many fine actresses. But in my opinion, the best actress I ever worked with was Grace Kelly. Ingrid [Berman], 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.

With Grace Kelly, and Alfred Hitchcock. during the filming of 'To Catch a Thief'.

KS: Was it disappointing to you that Kelly gave up acting to marry Prince Rainier?
CG: As far as we were concerned, she as 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.

KS: How was working with Katharine Hepburn?
CG: 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.

'Bringing Up Baby' with Katharine Hepburn.

KS: 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?
CG: I was tired of making films.

KS: How did your friends and colleagues react to your decision?
CG: 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.

KS: Has anyone in the movie industry ever told you that your work has influenced the films they've done?
CG: Everybody copies everybody else, if they think you're doing something better than they. Athletes do that; that's evident in baseball scores and the improvement of the hitter today.

KS: How do you respond to the criticism that you never portrayed anyone but yourself in your films?
CG: Well, who else could I portray? I can't portray Bing Crosby; I'm Cary Grant. I'm myself in that role. The most difficult thing is to be yourself -- especially when you know it's going to be seen immediately by 300 million people.

KS: What about the people who say you should have expanded your repertoire to include more "character" roles?
CG: 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.

KS: Do you think these people misinterpret what you were trying to do?
CG: 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.

KS: Do you have a favorite film?
CG: Not really. I did them all for a purpose. Sometimes I hoped for better results; sometimes I was surprised by the results.

Visiting a Faberge factory, and meeting workers.

KS: Why did you leave acting for the business world in the '60s?
CG: 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.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

This Is The Night (1932)

  "...and I thought he made a splendid figure"

With Charles Ruggles.

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

"It was my introduction to Lily Damita, and I found her altogether charming.  Cary Grant was also new to me, and I thought he made a splendid figure.  Of course you all know Charlie Ruggles and Roland Young.  It was as though they had walked right over from the One Hour With You sets and continued their ridiculous and amusing relationship in this picture. 

The sets of This Is The Night are right up to the high standard of Paramount's good taste, and the photography of Victor Milner is exceptionally beautiful."

- Bob Wagner, Script 

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 1 - This Is The Night (Lobby Card Style)

Part Of

For more, see also:

On This Date  April 8, 2020

On This Day  April 7, 2021

Quote From Today  April 8, 2022

Friday, January 27, 2023

Quote From Today... She Done Him Wrong (1933)

"I'm sorry you think more of your diamonds than you do of your soul."

With Mae West.

She Done Him Wrong was Cary Grant's 8th full-length feature film.

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.

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 8 - She Done Him Wrong (Lobby Card Style)

Part of

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Quote From Today... His Girl Friday (1940)

"If you had been a gentleman, you would have forgotten all about it. But not you!"

With Rosalind Russell.

His Girl Friday was Cary Grant's 35th full length feature film.

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.

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 35 - His Girl Friday (Lobby Card Style)

Part Of

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Quote From Today... The Philadelphia Story (1941)

  "When I was trying to stop drinking, I read anything."

With Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart.

The Philadelphia Story was Cary Grant's 38th full length feature film.

Macaulay Connor: What's this? Is it my book?

C. K. Dexter Haven: Yes.

Macaulay Connor: C. K. Dexter Haven, you have unsuspected depth!

C. K. Dexter Haven: Thanks, old chap.

Macaulay Connor: But have you read it?

C. K. Dexter Haven: When I was trying to stop drinking, I read anything.

Macaulay Connor: And did you stop drinking?

C. K. Dexter Haven: Yes. Your book didn't do it, though.

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number38 - The Philadelphia Story (Lobby Card Style)

Part Of

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Quote From Today... I'm No Angel (1933)

"You were wonderful tonight."

With Mae West

I'm No Angel was Cary Grant's 12th full length feature film.

Jack Clayton: You were wonderful tonight.

Tira: Yeah, I'm always wonderful at night.

Jack Clayton: Tonight, you were especially good.

Tira: Well... When I'm good, I'm very good. But, when I'm bad...

[winks at Jack]

Tira: I'm better.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Quote From Today... Notorious! (1946)

"Daisies and buttercups, wasn't it?"

With Ingrid Bergman.

Notorious! was Cary Grant's 49th full length feature film.

Devlin: I can't help recalling some of your remarks about being a new woman. Daisies and buttercups, wasn't it?

Alicia: You idiot! What are you sore about, you knew very well what I was doing!

Devlin: Did I?

Alicia: You could have stopped me with one word, but no, you wouldn't. You threw me at him!

Devlin: I threw you at nobody.

Alicia: Didn't you tell me what I had?

Devlin: A man doesn't tell a woman what to do; she tells herself. You almost had me believing in that little hokey-pokey miracle of yours, that a woman like you could change her spots.

Alicia: Oh, you're rotten.

Devlin: That's why I didn't try to stop you. The answer had to come from you.

Alicia: I see. Some kind of love test.

Devlin: That's right.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Quote From Today... Walk, Don't Run (1966)

"I wouldn't know what to do in the 
bathroom all day!"

With Jim Hutton.

Walk, Don't Run was Cary Grant's 72nd, and last, full length feature film. 

Christine Easton: After 7:45, you can have the bathroom all day if you'd like.

Sir William Rutland: I wouldn't know what to do in the bathroom all day!

Friday, June 10, 2022

Quote From Today... Singapore Sue (1932)

   "What a great day to have good eyesight!

 With Anna Chang.

Singapore Sue was Cary Grant's 1st time on film.

First Sailor: "Oh boy!...What a great day to have good eyesight!"

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Quote From Today... Thirty-Day Princess (1934)

  "After all, this is not a scandal sheet."

With Sylvia Sidney.

Thirty-Day Princess was Cary Grant's 14th full length feature film.

Porter Madison III: After all, this is not a scandal sheet.

Managing Editor: That's news.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Quote From Today.... My Favorite Wife (1940)

  "Why should I bore you with details?"

With Irene Dunne and Donald MacBride.

My Favorite Wife was Cary Grant's 36th full length feature film.

Nick Arden: I came here with my wife... hum... my bride really. Now my wife, not my bride... my wife... Why should I bore you with details?

Hotel clerk: I won't be bored.

Nick Arden: Listen, it's just simple as A B C.

Hotel clerk: Don't tell me you got someone in B?

Friday, May 13, 2022

Quote From Today... Sinners In The Sun (1932)

 "What do you mean by that?"

With Carole Lombard.

Sinners in the Sun was Cary Grant's 2nd full length feature film.

Ridgeway: Cold as your eyes, my dear.
Doris: Not as cold as a man's heart when he's tired.

Ridgeway: What do you mean by that?
Doris: You're tired of Lil and you've been showing it all evening.

Quote From Today... Without Reservations (1946)

"At home? I never do things like that at home.  

Come on, let's try it!"

With  Claudette Colbert.

Without Reservations featured a Cary Grant cameo.

Kit: It's amazing how these boys make themselves feel at home.

Cary: At home? I never do things like that at home. Come on, let's try it!

Dink: Attaboy, Cary!

Cary: Hmm? Oh, attaboy lieutenant!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Quote From Today... Once Upon a Time (1944)

"What does the public need in times like these? Escape!"

With  James Gleason.

Once Upon a Time was Cary Grant's 45th full length feature film.

Jerry Flynn: What does the public need in times like these? Escape!

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Quote From Today... Penny Serenade (1941)

  "I didn't know babies were so-so little. And then she took a-hold of my finger and I held onto it. She-she just sort of walked into my heart Judge"

With Beulah Bondi and Wallis Clark.     .

Penny Serenade was Cary Grant's 39th full length feature film.

Judge: [Judge firmly addressing two unseen attorneys] I'll give you an opportunity to better prepare your facts.

Man: [Hands Judge some papers] Adoption proceedings, the Adams case.

Judge: What?

Man: The Adams case.

Judge: [Looks disturbed] Oh yes, yes. Uh...

[turns back to attorneys]

Judge: ...if either one or both of you gentlemen conduct yourselves like you've been doing today I'll hold you in contempt, the both of ya!

Judge: [Walks into chambers, sees Roger, Miss Oliver, and the baby all seated. Sits at desk] Uh, oh this is the child in question. Ahem, let me see. Yes, I recall looking over these adoption papers. I see you have no income at present.

[Looks at Roger]

Judge: Is that correct?

Roger Adams: Yes your Honor.

Judge: Now what is this Miss Oliver? You know this case should never have come before me.

Miss Oliver: Well your Honor I feel that this is a special case. I kept hoping until the last minute Mr. Adams might be able to resume the operation of his paper or get a job. But unfortunately he hasn't been able to do either, so i thought...

Judge: Under these conditions I can't grant the adoption. This child will have to revert to the orphanage.

[Gestures to Roger]

Judge: Will you draw up a chair please while I prepare these release papers for you to sign? Just a matter of routine.

Roger Adams: If you please your Honor, it can't just be a matter of routine for people to have their baby taken away from them. This child is ours Judge...

Judge: [Interrupting] Those are the requirements of the law.

Roger Adams: Yes but you see we've had her since she was six weeks old. It just doesn't seem reasonable to give her back to-to-to strangers.

Judge: Mr. Adams, you're not here to plead your case. You've had the regular opportunity to prove your fitness to provide.

Roger Adams: We are *fit* Judge if you just look at the record.

Judge: Without any income I have no alternative. Didn't you make that clear Miss Oliver?

Miss Oliver: Yes your Honor I did, but I thought...

Judge: [Firmly] I'm sorry but that is the law.

Roger Adams: Look your Honor, she's not like an automobile or an icebox or a piece of furniture or something you buy on time and when you can't give up the payments they take it away from you!

[Baby starts to cry]

Roger Adams: Now sit still and be a good girl. Anyone could give up those kinds of things, but I ask you Judge how can you give up your own child? And she is our child just as much as if she'd been born to us!

[Baby continues crying]

Roger Adams: Now, now, Daddy's not going to go away.

[Baby stops crying and smiles]

Roger Adams: Look Judge, we've had her over a year now. Why we-we walked the floor with her when she had the colic. We've lost nights of sleep worrying every time she cut a tooth. We've gone through everything, everything real parents have with one of their own. Ask Miss Oliver here about the inspections we've had to have. Her-her weight charts, her vaccination certificates, h-her toys, her toothbrush! How many parents could keep one of their own and

[voice cracks]

Roger Adams: go through that? And you sit here and say it's a matter of routine for you to take her away from us.

Miss Oliver: Please! Mr. Adams...

Roger Adams: I'm sorry Judge, but we weren't as fortunate as most people. We would've had one of our own only-only... well you don't know how badly my wife wanted a child. It wasn't so important to me. I-I don't know, I suppose most men are like this but children never meant a great deal to me. Oh I liked them alright I suppose, but well what I'm trying to say is your Honor the first time I saw her... she looked so little and helpless. I didn't know babies were so-so little. And then she took a-hold of my finger and I held onto it. She-she just sort of walked into my heart Judge

[begins to cry]

Roger Adams: and-and she was there to stay. I didn't know I could feel like that! I'd always been well, kind of careless and irresponsible. I wanted to be a big shot. And I couldn't work for anybody, I had to be my own boss, that sort of thing. Now here I am standing in front of a judge pleading for just a little longer so that I can prove to you I can support a little child that doesn't weigh quite twenty pounds. It's not only for my wife and me I'm asking you to let us keep her Judge, it's for her sake too. She doesn't know any parents but us.

[starts sobbing]

Roger Adams: She wouldn't know what'd happened to her. You see there's so many little things about her that nobody would understand her the way Judy and I do. We love her Judge, please don't take her away from us. Look, I'm not a big shot now, I-I'll do anything, I'll work for anybody.

[Starts to break down]

Roger Adams: I-I'll beg, I'll borrow, I-I'll... please Judge I'll sell anything I've got until I get going again. And she'll never go hungry, she'll never be without clothes not so long as I've got two good hands so help me!

[Camera fades out as Judge, Roger, and Miss Oliver all ponder what has just been said]