When I posted my “Father Goose” essay, I felt that Grant was always going to be way larger than one post. He is definitely on the short list of actors that deserve more than just another movie, but a list of the “bests.”
“Topper” was the next Grant movie that I watched with my mom and sister on another weekend that my dad was gone hunting. I remember watching some scenes and having uncontrollable laughter. The premise is very creative and I don’t want to give it away. Roland Young plays the title character and is the straight man through much of the film being tossed between Constance Bennett and Grant. If you like Grant and are able to find this movie, it is a must see.
“Bringing up Baby” is often times mentioned as the first or second choice of Grant fans. Rightly so. I don’t know that there was a better screwball comedy duo than Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. Trying to explain this film would do it no justice as from start to finish, you jump from so many circumstances and so many different locations that you have to catch your breath after the first 20 minutes. Get ready to laugh, it’s going to be harder to stop yourself from it.
“His Girl Friday” Was there a better adapted screenplay in 1940? The genius move behind this movie was changing the Hildy Johnson character from a man into a woman and casting the talented Rosalind Russell. Grant and Russell are brilliant with their delivery of the dialogue here. The timing cannot be matched. Ralph Bellamy deserves a lot of credit for holding his own between these two verbal aggressors, using their phrases like sharp knives. There have been attempts to remake this movie (“Switching Channels” 1988). It was a brave effort (Christopher Reeve is the entire reason to watch this movie, taking on the role that Bellamy originally played–makes it worth a view), but the brilliance of Russel and Grant together cannot be matched. Enjoy!
“The Philadelphia Story” Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn (together again), and now Jimmy Stewart…I don’t know that I have to say much more. This is a movie about being honest with yourself. The honesty that rings true with Grant and Hepburn comes out in the dialogue that they share and two of the best performances of their careers is a result of that. … Jimmy Stewart was pretty good too…
“Arsenic and Old Lace” This is my go to Cary Grant movie. It is hands down my favorite stage play and my favorite Cary Grant movie. His slapstick, goofy facial expressions, and precise comedic dialogue timing are all on display here. He plays a man that feels he has to endure the “loonies” that are his family as outrageous shenanigans ensue. I dare you not to laugh.
Grant worked with some of the best directors that Hollywood has ever produced: Howard Hawks (“Bringing Up Baby” and “His Girl Friday“), George Cukor (“The Philadelphia Story“) Frank Capra (“Arsenic and Old Lace“) Hitchcock (“North by Northwest,” “Notorious,” “To Catch a Thief“) and then some….
Worth a mention: “Charade“–Great plot. The majority of the movie is Audrey Hepburn as Grant floats in and out of it. “Operation Petticoat“–Directed by Blake Edwards (one of the best comedic directors) this one kept me laughing. “The Bishop’s Wife“–Plenty of Grant, not enough David Niven in my opinion, but a great heartwarming Christmas story for the holiday season.
I’ve given you plenty to work with…
GET TO WORK