Showing posts with label Leo McCarey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leo McCarey. Show all posts

Friday, November 27, 2020

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

On this day in 1942, Cary Grant released his 42nd full length film, Once Upon a Honeymoon. His first of two films with Ginger Rogers.


At the start of WWII, Katie O'Hara (Ginger Rogers), an American burlesque girl intent on social climbing, marries Austrian Baron Von Luber (Walter Slezak). Pat O'Toole (Cary Grant), an American radio reporter, sees this as a chance to investigate Von Luber, who is suspected of having Nazi ties. 

As country after country falls to the Nazis, O'Tool follows O'Hara across Europe. At first he is after a story, but he gradually falls in love with her. When she learns that her husband is indeed a Nazi, O'Hara fakes her death and runs off with O'Toole. In Paris, she is recruited to spy for the allies; he uses a radio broadcast to make Von Luber and the Nazis look like fools.

"Cary Grant is quite believable as the radio news analyst who turns on his French and German dialects and Irish charm with equal facility." - Philip T. Hartung, The Commonweal.

With Ginger Rogers.

Did You Know?

Berlin-born Natasha Lytess, who appears in the small role as the Jewish hotel maid, was Marilyn Monroe's acting coach and friend for many years.

Cary Grant thought the screenplay was rubbish, but agreed to do the film because he had been condemned for allegedly dodging the draft in both the UK and the US.

The question of top billing was resolved by having half of the prints with Cary Grant listed first, and the other half with Ginger Rogers listed first. The TCM print lists Grant first, but the programs distributed for the world premiere at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City listed Rogers first.

O'Toole ends his coerced radio broadcast with the phrase, "Tell it to the Marines." In the English usage of that day, the retort "Tell it to the Marines" meant, "Everything you just said is total bull, and cannot be believed for one minute." So by ending the speech that way, he was telling his American listeners that everything he had just said in the broadcast was untrue. Presumably his Nazi captors did not get the nuance, but the moviegoing audience would have.

With Albert Bassermann.


 Cary Grant ... Patrick O'Toole
 Ginger Rogers ... Kathie O'Hara
 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

Lobby Cards:

Press Stills:

International Posters:

"There Was a Honeymoon" (Spanish)

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

On This Day...The Awful Truth (1937)

 Today back in 1937 saw the release of Cary Grant's 29th full length feature film, The Awful Truth.


Jerry (Cary Grant) and Lucy (Irene Dunne) are a married couple who doubt each other's fidelity: Jerry suspects Lucy and her music teacher (Alexander D'Arcy) of spending an evening together, and Lucy is convinced Jerry lied about a business trip. 

When the jealous pair file for divorce, both rush into new relationships, but quickly realize their love never died. The soon-to-be-divorced husband and wife then both scramble to spoil each other's chances for newfound romance.

With Ralph Bellamy and Irene Dunne.

"The season's smartest drawing-room comedy arrives unheralded, to run faster, funnier and finer than any of the all too many widely ballyhooed farces immediately proceeding. Every contributor to this film stands high in accomplishment, from the ideally executed performances of Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy and Alexander Darcy, to Leo McCarey's direction, second to none in the rare field of good comedy, and to the screen writing of Vina Delmar, whio brings Arthur Richman's play of fifteen years ago to the screen without loss of verve and with gain of freshness". - James P. Cunningham, The Commonweal

In court with Irene Dunne and Mr. Smith.

Did You Know:

Adapted from a Broadway play. The original stage production of "The Awful Truth" opened on Monday, September 18th, 1922, at Henry Miller's Theatre in New York and ran for 144 performances.

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on Tuesday, January 18th, 1955, with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne reprising their roles from the film.

The dog playing Mr. Smith was named Skippy, and was most popular for its role in The Thin Man (1934) movie & its sequel, as Asta. On those movies, he was notorious for trying to bite the actors. Even in this film, there's a scene where Cary Grant is trying to play with the dog, and the dog very obviously snaps and growls at him.

Cary Grant was so convinced this film was not working, he begged to be released during production. The film turned out to be a big hit.

While Cary Grant was initially working with Leo McCarey, he was unaware that McCarey was deliberately creating nervous tension in the actor, in order to enhance his performance. By keeping the cast slightly off balance, the director was building scenes from spontaneous moments between his actors. Giving the barest outlines of a scene, he would have his actors try something on their feet. For instance, in one rehearsal, he told 
Irene Dunne to simply open the door of her apartment and say, "Well, if it isn't my ex." He told Grant to answer with whatever came into his head. Grant replied, "The judge says this is my day to see the dog." McCarey then built the scene around that moment. The line, and the subsequent scene, stayed in the picture.


Irene Dunne...LucyWarriner
Cary Grant...Jerry Warriner
Ralph Bellamy...Daniel Leeson
Alexander D'Arcy...Armand Duvalle
Cecil Cunningham...Aunt Patsy
Molly Lamont...Barbara Vance
Esther Dale...Mrs. Leeson
Joyce Compton...Dixie Belle Lee
Robert Allen...Frank Randall
Robert Warwick...Mr. Vance
Mary Forbes...Mrs. Vance

Lobby Cards:

International Posters:

Directed by Leo McCarey.
Distributed by Columbia Pictures.
Running time: 89 minutes.

Friday, June 26, 2020

"Lights, camera...action!" - The Directors - Part 4

So there were four directors who worked with Cary Grant on three films each.

They were, Marion Gering, George Cukor, Leo McCarey and George Stevens.

Marion Gering:

19th June 1901 - 19th April 1977

Devil and the Deep (1932)

With Charles Laughton and Tallulah Bankhead.

Madame Butterfly (1932)

With Sylvia Sidney

Thirty-Day Princess (1934)

Again with Sylvia Sidney

George Cukor:

7th July 1899 - 24th January 1983

On Grant -"One of the reasons he was so successful as an actor was that he truly just behaved like he was a normal guy and like he didn't look like that."

Sylvia Scarlett (1936)

With Katharine Hepburn.

Holiday (1938)

Again with Katharine Hepburn.

The Philadelphia Story (1941)

With George Cukor, John Howard and Katharine Hepburn.

George Cukor was awarded an Oscar for Best Director for The Philadelphia Story. He also directed many Oscar nominated performances.

Leo McCarey:

3rd October 1898 - 5th July 1969

The Awful Truth (1937)

Publicity shot with Irene Dunne and Leo McCarey.

Leo McCarey won the Oscar for Best Director.

Once Upon A Honeymoon (1942)

With Ginger Rogers.

An Affair to Remember (1957)

With Deborah Kerr.

George Stevens :

18th December 1904 - 8th March 1975

Gunga Din (1939)

On the set of Gunga Din (above) relaxing and (below) with George Stevens.

Penny Serenade (1941)

On set of the film that bought him his first Oscar nomination.

The Talk of the Town (1942)

With George Stevens, Jean Arthur and Ronald Colman.

Four directors completed two film projects each with Cary Grant...
..."Lights, camera...action!" - The Directors - Part 5

Sunday, May 17, 2020

On this Day...My Favorite Wife (1940)

My Favorite Wife was Cary Grant's 36th full length feature film, and his second collaboration with both Irene Dunne and Leo McCarey.

What's it all about, well...the trailer says it all!

With Gail Patrick(Bianca)

With Irene Dunne(Ellen) and Randolph Scott(Burkett)

The film was remade in 1963, with Doris Day, James Garner and Polly Bergen as Move Over Darling.

Interesting to see the side by side comparison of one of the funniest scenes.

Directed by Garson Kanin
Running time: 88 minutes
Produced and distributed by RKO Radio