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

davidmatychuk

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The 2-disc DVD of "Philadelphia Story" comes with some very nice bonuses including a wonderful Katharine Hepburn documentary. Pity it's OOP.

I wonder what sort of world we live in when the Two-Disc Special Edition of "The Philadelphia Story" is out of print on DVD and not available at all on Blu-Ray. How did humanity get its priorities that screwed up? At least the Two-Disc Special Edition of "Bringing Up Baby" is...what, it ISN'T? (faints)
 

classicmovieguy

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I was stupid enough to sell my 2-discs of "Philadelphia Story" and "Bringing Up Baby" a few years ago... thinking they'd be on Blu-ray soon... you can bet I no longer let things go as easily as that anymore...
 

Josh Steinberg

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I was stupid enough to sell my 2-discs of "Philadelphia Story" and "Bringing Up Baby" a few years ago... thinking they'd be on Blu-ray soon... you can bet I no longer let things go as easily as that anymore...

Who among us doesn't have that DVD they wish they hadn't let go of? I wish I had held on to the original DVD of On Her Majesty's Secret Service - it's the only version on disc with the correct color timing for the opening sequence, which is kind of a big deal for that particular movie. I gave it to a former roommate who I had watched the series with when he moved out. I don't regret giving him the movie, I just wish I had bought a new copy.

I know it's been a few days since a new review, sorry about that. Hope to be back at it soon. Had a weird work schedule the last week and some apartment issues (since resolved) and no energy left to write. Plus Jimmy Stewart is distracting me. But I've been reading everything with great interest, and I'm really so glad for the life you've all given this thread.

I will say this real quick - if you've got the new 18 movie Cary Grant set, check out The Last Outpost. It's not quite Gunga Din but it's one of the best Paramounts I've seen so far. Cary Grant and Claude Rains, what's not to love? Grant's mustache is preposterous but other than that, it was kinda awesome.
 

Josh Steinberg

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#31 - The Pride And The Passion (1957)
Viewed on April 10, 2016
Viewing Format: DVD (MGM)

A rare misfire from director Stanley Kramer, The Pride And The Passion is a movie that lacks both qualities, though Cary Grant does his best to make up for a charismatic but oft-absent Frank Sinatra. Sophia Loren co-stars as Sinatra's mistress who falls for Grant. Set during the Napoleonic era, Grant is a British officer assigned to retrieve a cannon from Spain that Sinatra's guerrilla fighter wants for his own purposes, and their eventual teaming up and difficulties in transporting the cannon.

Frankly, I found the movie to be incredibly dull; I was bored from start to finish. It's rare to have so much top talent contributing to such a mediocrity. Neither bad enough to be entertaining as a bad movie, nor good enough to be worth watching on its own, the whole thing just kinda lays there lifelessly on the screen. It's hard for me to recall a movie that's had as little impact on me in recent times.

The quality of the DVD from MGM (provided by Fox as part of their Cary Grant 7-Film Collection) is pretty lousy. It's an older, non-anamorphic transfer that does not in any way reflect the original VistaVision photography.

Olive will be releasing a Blu-ray of this title in August. Perhaps against my better judgment, I have preordered a copy and will try to give it a second chance then.
 

Josh Steinberg

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#32 - People Will Talk (1951)
Viewed on April 11, 2016
Viewing Format: DVD (Fox)

The DVD cover for this movie, directed by the legendary Joseph L. Mankiewicz, describes it as follows: "In this well-crafted social comedy, a lovable doctor/professor becomes the subject of a McCarthy-style investigation initiated by a jealous colleague." Since I'm a little bit at a loss as how to describe it, I suppose that's as good of a description as any. I don't really know how to talk about the movie without spoiling at least the first half, so if you want to see this one blindly, please feel free to skip the rest of the post.

That description from the cover is accurate, but only at describing the movie's subplot. Grant is a gynecologist and professor, and he has a butler with a mysterious past, and the McCarthy style investigation is about that butler's hidden past. But the main plot involves Grant and a student of his (Jeanne Crain). Crain faints during a class one day, and when Grant examines her, he discovers that she is pregnant. When he tells her the news, she panics because she is unwed, and further reveals the baby's father is out of the picture. She attempts to kill herself with a gun, but is only injured. After waking from surgery, Grant tells her that the pregnancy test was mistaken, and that she is not actually pregnant. This is a lie, as Grant confesses to one of his colleagues. She falls in love with Grant quickly, and they get married. Almost immediately after their marriage, she begins to feel more pregnancy symptoms, and Grant confesses that she was pregnant the whole time, but that he is happy to raise the child as his own.

In 1951, that probably passed for noble. In 2016, it's horrifying. (Think about it: your doctor lies and says you're not pregnant, then marries you, and then tells you he lied and you were pregnant all along. How is any of that okay?) The thing is, Grant is such a charming actor, and his character is portrayed as being so well-intentioned, that it's hard to feel quite as upset about the whole thing as you might under more rational circumstances. The whole thing is ridiculous. In his personal files, Grant kept a list of his filmography where he only acknowledged 68 of his 72 films, and People Will Talk is one of the four that he left off the list. The exclusion is understandable.

The DVD from Fox is of good quality. The picture was pretty clean, the audio was clear, and I had no complaints about the presentation. Subtitles are provided.

People Will Talk is a bizarre little movie that on one hand is filled with charming performers and directed by one of the old school Hollywood greats, but has a story that leaves it hopelessly dated. I found it entertaining for what it was, but your mileage may vary depending on how you react to the plot developments of the second paragraph.
 

Josh Steinberg

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#33 - Suspicion (1941)
Viewed on April 12, 2016
Viewing Format: Blu-ray (Warner Archive)

The first of four collaborations between Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock, Suspicion is the rare Grant movie where he's somewhat less than a knight in shining armor. Joan Fontaine is a wealthy woman who meets Grant on a train. He quickly seduces her, and despite the strong disapproval of her father (Sir Cedric Hardwicke), they are married. Grant starts bringing his good natured by hopelessly naive friend (Nigel Bruce) around the house. Fontaine starts catching Grant in a series of ever escalating lies that may be concealing his theft from her, and soon begins suspecting that he is plotting to murder him. Hitchcock ramps up the tension as the viewer must decide whether Grant can be trusted or whether Fontaine is correct in her suspicions. If you've never seen the movie, you should probably stop reading now.

Suspicion is a hard movie to discuss without talking about the ending. In the original novel, Fontaine's character's suspicions are correct. However, in the movie, it turns out that while Grant is guilty of theft and embezzlement, he was never planning to kill Fontaine. Some viewers feel cheated by this resolution. However, I feel that it's the appropriate ending to the movie. If the plot of the movie is simply that a husband is trying to kill his wife and ultimately does just that, it ends up that her suspicions were correct, and it makes the entire thing a little too neat and tidy. But because her suspicions were incorrect, the movie becomes a much more interesting story of paranoia and doubt. If she's not crazy, then the resolution is simple: she should just leave him. But that she's suspicious and ultimately convinces herself that her husband is trying to kill her, with very little to actually suggest that, it makes the movie a more compelling cautionary tale. Grant's still no angel, but not a murderer either as it turns out.

The new Blu-ray from Warner Archive is fantastic. It's absolutely beautiful to look at, with fantastic audio as well. Most of the Grant movies I've watched are presented in good but not great quality, so when one of the rare discs comes along that looks like this, it's truly special. It looks like a brand new movie here.

The first time I saw Suspicion was over a decade ago, on TCM during a sick day - one of those sick days where you probably could have forced yourself through the day if you had to, but since you didn't have to, you decided not to. So I stayed in bed and watched movies all day, and Suspicion stood out to me then. All these years later, it looks and sounds better than ever, and was just as compelling as it was then. The first time I watched it, I genuinely had no idea how it was going to go, and was at the edge of my seat the entire time. This time, even knowing how the movie would end, I still found it to be a tense and satisfying movie. It won't appeal to all of Grant's fans, and in of the few times he played a not very good guy, it's fascinating to see how he uses the charm towards less than noble ends. Though it's probably the lesser of the Grant-Hitchcock collaborations, it's still well worth seeing, and this new disc from Warner Archive is a fantastic way to do that.
 

Josh Steinberg

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#34 - Sinners In The Sun (1932)
Viewed on April 13, 2016
Viewing Format: YouTube

Sinners In The Sun is perhaps most noteworthy as being one of only two Cary Grant movies that has never gotten an official home video release in any format. Made during the beginning of his contract period at Paramount, he has a small role in the middle of the film as a more wealthy playboy. The movie concerns Carole Lombard and Chester Morris, who are young and in love. Morris is happy with everything they have, but Lombard wants more, so she leaves him in pursuit of wealth and adventure. Among the many people she meets are Grant, but ultimately Lombard realizes her mistake and ends up back with Morris. Running about 70 minutes, there's very little characterization, and the whole thing is rather shallow. Grant is sort of a blink-and-you-miss-him presence here.

I found a low quality version on YouTube, which was the best source I was able to find for the movie anywhere:

It appears to be taken from a VHS tape of an old TV broadcast from after Paramount sold their catalogue to MCA. It's watchable, but just.

Sinners In The Sun is for completists only.
 

Josh Steinberg

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#35 - Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
Viewed on April 16, 2016
Viewing Format: Blu-ray (Criterion)

Only Angels Have Wings is the second of five collaborations between director Howard Hawks and star Cary Grant, and the only drama of the bunch. Co-starring Jean Arthur, the movie also features Richard Barthelmess, Rita Hayworth and Thomas Mitchell in supporting roles. It's absolutely fantastic. Broadly speaking, the plot involves Grant's exploits running an air mail service in South America. Their company is barely holding together, and the early death of a pilot leaves them shorthanded. Barthelmess plays a pilot with a checkered history that Grant hires, only to discover that he's now married to Grant's ex (Hayworth). Arthur plays the woman who was interested in the pilot who died, but who finds herself slowly falling for Grant. The movie works on many levels: as a drama about professionals trying to do an impossible job, an adventure movie about pilots, and as a romance. The direction by Hawks is excellent and all of the cast turn in fantastic performances.

I didn't have the previous TCM Blu-ray, but I am happy to report that the new Criterion disc looks and sounds fantastic to my eyes and ears. It's every bit the equal of Warner Archive's Suspicion. The restoration here (provided by Sony) is simply stunning. The disc includes several featurettes mainly focused on Hawks and his aviation films (I only skimmed them), and also a copy of the Lux Radio Theater radio play in which all of the principals reprise their roles.

I had never seen Only Angels Have Wings before and was taken by it from start to finish. It's a fantastic movie with a great cast and a genius director working perfectly together, and as presented by Criterion, it's a beautiful disc well worth picking up.
 

Nelson Au

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The Cary Grant Box Set (Holiday, Only Angels Have Wings, The Awful Truth, His Girl Friday and The Talk of the Town) arrived today, along with the Criterion Only Angels Have Wings. :) A few more titles are enroute.

Thanks Josh for the new reviews. I skipped reading the one on Only Angels Have Wings, the story section, as I've not seen it yet. Glad you thought the Criterion disc is well transferred.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Hey Nelson, I had no idea what Only Angels Have Wings was about when I watched it - certainly doesn't hurt! But I hope you'll come back and let us know what you think of it when you do watch it.

Tonight I rewatched I Was A Male War Bride, my fiancé wanted a comedy and I thought it was worth her time. She didn't care much for Ann Sheridan's character but loved Grant, and the finale had her cracking up. Another success!
 

Nelson Au

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Here's what this thread has done to me. :). A few of the new things I picked up;
image.jpeg


Some titles I already had such as Operation Petticoat and An Affair to Remember, but not on blu ray. So much to watch. :)
 

Josh Steinberg

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#36 - Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Viewed on April 18, 2016
Viewing Format: DVD (Warner)

Bringing Up Baby is the first of five collaborations between Cary Grant and Howard Hawks, as well as the second of four pairings of Grant and Katharine Hepburn. It is a fantastic film that has received a lot of acclaim over the years, and is one of the best known titles in the filmographies of the three principals. It's over the top ridiculous, fast paced, with poor Grant made to suffer at the hands of a flightily insane Hepburn for 102 minutes. The titular "baby" is in fact a leopard that Hepburn gets Grant mixed up with. They get in and out of so many different shenanigans so quickly that it would probably take me more than 102 minutes just to describe them all. Suffice to say, if you've never seen the movie, you just should, and if you've seen it, you already know what I'm talking about.

I've seen this many times over the years, starting with VHS and, more recently, in a pretty good looking 35mm print at the Film Forum in NYC back in 2011 or so. (My mom and I took my grandmother to see it on that occasion, had thin crust pizza at the fantastic Spunto, saw the movie, and then got stuck in three hours of traffic for what should have been a forty minute ride. So I'll never forget that day for a variety of reasons.) Each time I see the movie, I forget the speech that Hepburn makes at the end, where she confesses to Grant that she only did all of the crazy things she did because she didn't want to let him go, and went with whatever came into her mind at the moment to keep him near, knowing that he'd flee if she gave him half a chance to. That really changes perspective on the entire movie; it's not just that Hepburn is a crazy person doing crazy things for no reason. Instead, she's a crazy in love person doing whatever it takes to stay near the object of her attraction, which makes her still crazy, but not dumb. I forget this every time, and this recent viewing was no different. Perhaps now that I'm writing about it, I'll remember that next time I watch the movie, and maybe I'll notice something new in it.

I have the two disc special edition version that was included in the Warner Classic Comedies set from back in 2004. The movie itself looks and sounds pretty good, and the set is absolutely loaded with bonus features. There's a commentary with Peter Bogdanovich, shorts, and hour-plus documentaries on Howard Hawks and Cary Grant. (The Cary Grant documentary "A Class Apart" is also included on the North By Northwest Blu-ray.) Unless or (hopefully) until a Blu-ray comes along, the two disc set is the way to go if you can get it without mortgaging the house. Amazon has a couple used ones from third party sellers for around $14. But I believe the single disc retains the commentary, and since the Class Apart doc is on North By Northwest, the single disc isn't a bad idea either. (Though I already had this movie, I've built up a lot of the Cary Grant collection from third party Amazon sellers and eBay, with a mix of new and used copies. A lot of the movies he's made aren't easily available for rent, so I've had to buy most everything. Though I normally buy new copies for my library, the sheer volume of stuff I've been getting has necessitated compromising on that and going for the best deals when possible. Fortunately, it's all worked out really well so far.)

Bringing Up Baby is an insane and delightful comedy that has Grant at his most befuddled and Hepburn at her most over the top. Though I can understand it not being everyone's very favorite (and while I rank it very highly, it's not my favorite for Hepburn, Hawks or Grant either), it deserves the accolades its received over the years. Only Grant, Hepburn and Hawks could have pulled this off; I can't imagine any other director or cast sustaining the tone of inspired lunacy the way they're able to here.
 
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davidmatychuk

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#36 - Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Viewed on April 18, 2016
Viewing Format: DVD (Warner)

Bringing Up Baby is the first of five collaborations between Cary Grant and Howard Hawks, as well as the second of four pairings of Grant and Katharine Hepburn. It is a fantastic film that has received a lot of acclaim over the years, and is one of the best known titles in the filmographies of the three principals. It's over the top ridiculous, fast paced, with poor Grant made to suffer at the hands of a flightily insane Hepburn for 102 minutes. The titular "baby" is in fact a tiger that Hepburn gets Grant mixed up with. They get in and out of so many different shenanigans so quickly that it would probably take me more than 102 minutes just to describe them all. Suffice to say, if you've never seen the movie, you just should, and if you've seen it, you already know what I'm talking about.

I've seen this many times over the years, starting with VHS and, more recently, in a pretty good looking 35mm print at the Film Forum in NYC back in 2011 or so. (My mom and I took my grandmother to see it on that occasion, had thin crust pizza at the fantastic Spunto, saw the movie, and then got stuck in three hours of traffic for what should have been a forty minute ride. So I'll never forget that day for a variety of reasons.) Each time I see the movie, I forget the speech that Hepburn makes at the end, where she confesses to Grant that she only did all of the crazy things she did because she didn't want to let him go, and went with whatever came into her mind at the moment to keep him near, knowing that he'd flee if she gave him half a chance to. That really changes perspective on the entire movie; it's not just that Hepburn is a crazy person doing crazy things for no reason. Instead, she's a crazy in love person doing whatever it takes to stay near the object of her attraction, which makes her still crazy, but not dumb. I forget this every time, and this recent viewing was no different. Perhaps now that I'm writing about it, I'll remember that next time I watch the movie, and maybe I'll notice something new in it.

I have the two disc special edition version that was included in the Warner Classic Comedies set from back in 2004. The movie itself looks and sounds pretty good, and the set is absolutely loaded with bonus features. There's a commentary with Peter Bogdanovich, shorts, and hour-plus documentaries on Howard Hawks and Cary Grant. (The Cary Grant documentary "A Class Apart" is also included on the North By Northwest Blu-ray.) Unless or (hopefully) until a Blu-ray comes along, the two disc set is the way to go if you can get it without mortgaging the house. Amazon has a couple used ones from third party sellers for around $14. But I believe the single disc retains the commentary, and since the Class Apart doc is on North By Northwest, the single disc isn't a bad idea either. (Though I already had this movie, I've built up a lot of the Cary Grant collection from third party Amazon sellers and eBay, with a mix of new and used copies. A lot of the movies he's made aren't easily available for rent, so I've had to buy most everything. Though I normally buy new copies for my library, the sheer volume of stuff I've been getting has necessitated compromising on that and going for the best deals when possible. Fortunately, it's all worked out really well so far.)

Bringing Up Baby is an insane and delightful comedy that has Grant at his most befuddled and Hepburn at her most over the top. Though I can understand it not being everyone's very favorite (and while I rank it very highly, it's not my favorite for Hepburn, Hawks or Grant either), it deserves the accolades its received over the years. Only Grant, Hepburn and Hawks could have pulled this off; I can't imagine any other director or cast sustaining the tone of inspired lunacy the way they're able to here.

And, most importantly, the name "David" is spoken 192 times in "Bringing Up Baby". I counted.
 

Matt Hough

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Just for the record, Baby is a leopard, not a tiger. The film is so full of nutty people that the sane ones seem stuffy and dull. While there are many screwball comedies, this is my favorite (I know others prefer The Awful Truth or Nothing Sacred), and I never tire of watching it. Hepburn never played anything remotely like this part ever again, and I treasure her in this.

The version of the film I have now (two-disc set contained in the Warners Comedy box) contains the flawed version of Bringing Up Baby which has a weird cut during part of the jailhouse scene when Hepburn begins playing a gun moll. She's talking and then is abruptly cut off in the middle of a speech by an edit which is obviously an error. The single disc of the movie I had previously didn't contain that abrupt edit, but I don't have that disc any more. [sigh]
 

Nelson Au

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Thanks Matt. I don't know this movie very well, only seen it once years ago on PBS. So hopefully I can spot that edit, if it's there.
 

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