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Cary Grant: The Complete Filmography - Watching All Of His Movies (1 Viewer)

Josh Steinberg

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"Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant"
- Cary Grant

Earlier in the year, I noticed that TCM was showing some Cary Grant movies I hadn't seen before, so I decided to DVR them. My fiance noticed the movies on the DVR, and in need of some birthday gift ideas, decided to go out and purchase some more Cary Grant movies for me. I kept watching the movies, and one thing led to another, and finally I made the decision to watch his entire filmography.

In this thread I will be writing some notes and comments from each of the movies as I see them. I've already discovered a few gems I might not have seen otherwise, and I hope that by talking about the movies as I watch them, I might inspire some good conversation.

I'd like to give some quick shout-outs to fellow HTF members David Matychuk for his expertise in all things Cary Grant, Warren (battlebeast) for inspiration for the thread, and Mike Frezon for his advice on how to organize this thread.

There aren't really any rules; Grant has made 72 full length films, and those will be the ones that I am watching during this extended marathon. There's no deadline, but I am hoping to finish before the end of the year. I am not watching the movies in chronological order. I will try to note the format that I viewed the movie on and whether or not I had seen it before. And if there's anything more about a specific movie or specific disc you'd like to know, please ask and I'd be happy to elaborate whenever I can.

The Movies:
(first time viewings in bold)
1. To Catch A Thief - 2/18
2. Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House - 2/23, 6/10
3. Gunga Din - 3/5
4. Destination Tokyo - 3/6
5. The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer - 3/7
6. Night And Day - 3/7
7. Sylvia Scarlett - 3/11
8. His Girl Friday - 3/12 [blu-ray upgrade]
9. Operation Petticoat - 3/14, 5/30
10. Father Goose - 3/17
11. My Favorite Wife - 3/17
12. Houseboat - 3/18
13. Monkey Business (1952) - 3/19, 4/17
14. Indiscreet - 3/20
15. That Touch Of Mink - 3/21, 4/12
16. Kiss Them For Me - 3/25
17. The Grass Is Greener - 3/26, 4/19
18. The Talk Of The Town - 3/27
19. Once Upon A Time - 3/27
20. I Was A Male War Bride - 3/29, 6/7
21. Crisis - 3/30
22. Dream Wife - 4/1
23. Once Upon A Honeymoon - 4/2
24. Topper - 4/3
25. Charade - 4/5
26. The Amazing Adventure aka The Amazing Quest Of Ernest Bliss - 4/7
27. Mr. Lucky - 4/8
28. Born To Be Bad - 4/8
29. Every Girl Should Be Married - 4/9
30. North By Northwest - 4/10
31. The Pride And The Passion - 4/10
32. People Will Talk - 4/11
33. Suspicion - 4/12
34. Sinners In The Sun - 4/13
35. Only Angels Have Wings - 4/16
36. Bringing Up Baby - 4/18
37. Ladies Should Listen - 4/19
38. The Eagle And The Hawk - 4/20
39. The Awful Truth - 4/22 [click here for my HTF official review of the Blu-ray upgrade]
40. Hot Saturday - 5/7
41. Holiday - 5/8
42. Gambling Ship - 5/8
43. Kiss And Make-Up - 5/10
44. Thirty-Day Princess - 5/23
45. The Last Outpost - 6/1
46. Wings In The Dark - 6/3
47. The Howards Of Virginia - 7/2
48. She Done Him Wrong - 7/25
49. Enter Madame! - 8/1
50. Wedding Present - 8/7
51. Big Brown Eyes - 8/8
52. Devil And The Deep - 8/9
53. The Woman Accused - 8/16
54. Madame Butterfly (1932) - 8/17
55. Blonde Venus - 8/18
56. I'm No Angel - 8/20
57. Merrily We Go To Hell - 8/21
58. Alice In Wonderland (1933) - 8/21
59. Suzy - 8/22
60. The Toast Of New York - 8/23
61. In Name Only - 8/24
62. The Philadelphia Story - 9/4 [blu-ray upgrade]
63. None But The Lonely Heart - 9/12
64. When You're In Love - 12/1
65. The Bishop's Wife - 12/4
66. Arsenic And Old Lace - 12/4
67. An Affair To Remember - 12/5
68. Notorious - 12/18
69. Penny Serenade - 12/22
70. Room For One More - 12/26
71. This Is The Night - 12/29
72. Walk, Don't Run - 12/30




"My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can." - Cary Grant
 
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Josh Steinberg

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#1 - To Catch A Thief (1955)
Viewed on February 18, 2016
Viewing Format: Blu-ray (Paramount)

There's very little that needs to be said about "To Catch A Thief" - it's one of Hitchcock's more fun movies, a lighthearted romp through the French Riviera. Cary Grant gave up on his first flirtation with retirement to do the picture, and Grace Kelly is fantastic as his leading lady.

I've been discovering that the period of Grant's filmography that begins with "To Catch A Thief" and concludes with "Walk, Don't Run" might be my favorite; he's older yet more attractive, and he's got the Cary Grant charm perfected. He had more say on his projects, he was more selective about the roles he took, and often was involved in the production of the movies themselves, and all of that shows in the final products. He's smooth, he's debonair, and (depending on your leanings) you either want to be him or want to be with him. There are a lot of titles to recommend from any period of his career, but there's something about these later period movies that really appeals to me.

As far as the Blu-ray goes, it was a major upgrade over the original DVD, which is the only other copy of the movie I had ever owned. The picture looked mostly beautiful and sounded great. I did not watch any of the bonus features but I believe at least some were carried over from the older DVD. The Blu-ray did not soar to quite the heights that, say, "Spartacus" attains, but it is still a high quality transfer. For fans of the movie that don't own it on Blu-ray, I think it's worth the upgrade, and for anyone who's never seen this one, at the least, give it a rental!
 
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Josh Steinberg

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Here's a question: What Cary Grant film is most sorely missing on Blu-ray? I'd say it was a toss up between Bringing Up Baby and Gunga Din. How about it, WHV?

So far from what I've seen, I'd probably vote Gunga Din. They're both very good movies with good DVDs, but it seems like there's a little more room for improvement on Gunga Din, and it's larger scale movie so there might be extra details to notice in HD. I'd buy either in a heartbeat. The DVDs for the public domain Topper and Amazing Adventure are pretty bad - it would be great if someone could rescue them from PD hell.
 

Nelson Au

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Hey Josh, great thread idea!

I'm a fan of the 1950's era of Grant as well. I have not seen his entire filmography either, so I'll subscribe to this thread with interest!

There's two of his films from the 1940's that are favorites of mine too, though he made several famous films of that era, I haven't seen all of them, nor all the films from the 1950's. I'll be curious what you think when you get to the two from the 40's. One is Hitchcock, the other a comedy.

As for To Catch A Thief, it's one of my favorites as well. I think I have it in every format except video tape. Laserdisc that's from a really faded print, the first DVD, second DVD with massively improved color and the blu-ray.
 

Josh Steinberg

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#2 - Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)
Viewed on February 23, 2016
Viewing Format: DVD (Warner)

This was the movie that started my binge-watching, the one I mentioned that I DVRd and my fiancé went out and got me some sets. This movie came courtesy of the TCM Greatest Classic Legends Cary Grant set, which also included My Favorite Wife, Night And Day, and The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer. The set can be had for about $10 on Amazon, which makes it cheaper to buy these four movies on DVD than it would cost to rent them individually on a streaming service - that to me is a fantastic deal.

I loved this movie. As someone who's slowly but surely outgrowing his city apartment and dreaming of a house one day, I can relate to Grant's turn as Mr. Blandings. It's one of those domestic comedies where everything mundane that can go wrong does. Grant is well-matched with Myrna Loy (not for the first time), and it's a simple, effortless pairing. Melvyn Douglas has a supporting role as Loy's best friend who's perhaps a little too interested in their new house, but there's nothing scandalous. (One wonders if the character Douglas plays was intended to be gay in a time when such things couldn't be openly discussed in movies. If this movie was remade today, I would almost guarantee his character would be the gay best friend role.) Plenty of good-natured mishaps occur as Grant gets further and further in over his head in house planning.

The picture quality on the DVD was pretty good, especially when one considers that this is a nearly 70 year old movie. The movie looked pretty clean and audio was clear and easy to understand. The DVD included a vintage cartoon called "The House Of Tomorrow" which was particularly fun viewing with today's hindsight. It also included two radio play dramatizations of the movie, both adaptations featuring Grant with a different leading lady - Irene Dunne in the earlier version, and Betsy Drake in the later.

And speaking of the version of the radio play with Betsy Drake, that turns out to be a pilot for a weekly radio series that would feature Grant reprising his role of Mr. Blandings from the movie, and Drake taking over for Loy. Called "Mr. And Mrs. Blandings" it's a delightful half hour sitcom that would easily have been at home on television in another era. An incomplete selection of episodes are available for free at archive.org and well worth a listen:
https://archive.org/details/MrMrsBlandingsOtrSitcomOldTimeRadioComedy.caryGrantBetsyDrake
 
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skylark68

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Only film of Grant's that I truly thought was a stinker was the Pride and the Passion. It wasn't his fault, but the whole film was just poorly done in my opinion. Frank Sinatra gave a pretty bad performance which is atypical in my opinion. It could have been a compelling story but just wasn't good at all.

That said, Grant is one of my favorites, easily No. 2 or No. 3 on my all time favorite actor list. James Stewart is easily No. 1.

I tend to second Gunga Din and Destination Tokyo. i love both of those films immensely.
 

Brent Reid

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The Mr. And Mrs. Blandings radio show is great! Here's a page detailing its history and list of episodes.

The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss (1936) is one of my fave Carys and easily the one most in need of a decent home video release, whether on BD or DVD. A UK film originally 80 minutes long, it was edited to 62 minutes and released in the US as a B feature, retitled The Amazing Adventure or Romance and Riches. Currently only very poor quality PD copies of the edited version are in circulation, but the BFI has several UK prints...
 

Tony Bensley

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The Mr. And Mrs. Blandings radio show is great! Here's a page detailing its history and list of episodes.

The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss (1936) is one of my fave Carys and easily the one most in need of a decent home video release, whether on BD or DVD. A UK film originally 80 minutes long, it was edited to 62 minutes and released in the US as a B feature, retitled The Amazing Adventure or Romance and Riches. Currently only very poor quality PD copies of the edited version are in circulation, but the BFI has several UK prints...
I've viewed this one, and I agree it's in dire need of rescue from PD Hell!

Having previously only been aware of the alternate THE AMAZING ADVENTURE (1936) U.S. title, I wonder whether there's still a copyright for THE AMAZING QUEST OF ERNEST BLISS (1936) original titled version? Does anyone know whether the 80 minute UK cut is even known to exist?

CHEERS! :)
 

Mike Frezon

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Josh:

Congratulations on getting the thread underway. I'll be reading with great interest along with the rest who have already chimed in.

I really liked that quote in the OP, too! :thumbsup:

Here's a question: What Cary Grant film is most sorely missing on Blu-ray? I'd say it was a toss up between Bringing Up Baby and Gunga Din. How about it, WHV?

I'd lean towards Bringing Up Baby. But the Blu I'd snatch up on release date is The Philadelphia Story.
 

Rob_Ray

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While I like BRINGING UP BABY, I've always found it exhausting toward the end and about twenty minutes too long. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY has a couple of moments that drag as well (generally when it strays from the play's setting) but overall, I love it and would also snatch it up on release day. HOLIDAY is my favorite of the Hepburn/Grant pairing. Then there's SYLVIA SCARLETT which I haven't seen in decades...
 

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