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

Josh Steinberg

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And at some point, make sure to check out Libeled Lady, Powell and Loy's best pairing outside The Thin Man series.

I've had that movie forever on DVD (as part of a Warner Classic Comedies box set from around 2003) but I still haven't actually gotten around to it yet. I'll try to keep it in mind for sometime soonish.
 

Tony Bensley

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I've had that movie forever on DVD (as part of a Warner Classic Comedies box set from around 2003) but I still haven't actually gotten around to it yet. I'll try to keep it in mind for sometime soonish.
Although I don't have the DVD, I'm familiar with this fine film from a mid '90s broadcast and much later on TCM. I suspect you'll really enjoy this one, Josh! I guarantee this is well worth dusting off and viewing! :)

CHEERS! :)
 

Mike Frezon

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I was a latecomer to the Thin Man films and picked them up not-all-that-long-ago on DVD.

Still haven't watched them all...but they are, indeed, delightful.

And then there's Asta! Yeah, the chemistry between Powell and Loy have have been great...but mix in Skippy and then you've got movie magic!!

 

davidmatychuk

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I was a latecomer to the Thin Man films and picked them up not-all-that-long-ago on DVD.

Still haven't watched them all...but they are, indeed, delightful.

And then there's Asta! Yeah, the chemistry between Powell and Loy have have been great...but mix in Skippy and then you've got movie magic!!


http://www.iloveasta.com/index.htm
 

Nelson Au

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I followed on with the next Loy/Grant collaboration, The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer. I'd seen it once before years ago, so it was like with new eyes this time around. I had forgotten how fun it is. And the picnic sequence was fun, as was the dinner club sequence. Grant was 43 and he looked so different from Wings in the Dark 12 years earlier. As did Loy look Different without all that 1930's style makeup. Temple was 19. Agreed Josh, the entire cast is quite enjoyable.
 

Nelson Au

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By the way, l forgot to mention. Few weeks ago Decades TV aired a tribute to Loy on her birthday, August 2. I got home from work and happen to catch an episode of Family Affair they were airing where she guest starred as a down on her luck character trying to make it as a home servant with the help of the butler under the employ of the Davis household. She worked for another apartment in the building. I'm not super familiar with the series, but Sebation Cabot was ill from this episode replaced by John Williams who had to help Myrna Loy with the cooking for the other household. I'm sure they aired a Thin Man film or other feature too, but I missed it.

I also find Shirley Temple's career fascinating reading from her rise as a child star to the trouble of transitioning to teen and then adult roles that were not successful. Then retirement in 1950, home maker role and then onto public service for the US. I thought she was very good in Bobbysoxer.
 

Eric Vedowski

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Shirley Temple in her teens, when she was under contract to David O. Selznick, was very popular. In the book "Memo from David O. Selznick," from what I remember, it's mentioned that she had more fan mail than fellow Selznick contractees Ingrid Bergman, Jennifer Jones and Joan Fontaine combined. For the mid-40's that's saying something. Selznick mostly loaned her out-to his benefit. Temple's autobiography is one of the best I've ever read-and I've read most all of them.
 

Robin9

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Temple's autobiography is one of the best I've ever read-and I've read most all of them.

Thank you for that. I'm always on the lookout for good books about movies and the stars. Unfortunately, most books are total garbage, particularly the most recent ones.
 

Capnvid

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I drooled over "The Pride and the Passion" in its own thread. Not for restoration enthusiasts, but great for "Old Cary Grant fine, how you?" fans who will marvel at the shape the perfect star kept himself in. Grant looked so good he resembled an admiral rather than a captain. Sophia Loren's double barreled assault on both Cary and Frank Sinatra makes "The Gun" look insignificant. In the 90's the film would have been made with Sean Bean, Javier Bardem or Benicio Del Toro, or Penelope Cruz or Selma Hayek, who would have been more ideal but less fun to watch.in a cracked adventure movie of this level.
 

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#51 - Big Brown Eyes (1936)
Viewed on August 8th, 2016
Viewing Format: DVD (Universal)

An earlier pairing of Cary Grant and Joan Bennett, Big Brown Eyes is a crime/detective story with a bit of comedy made during Grant's Paramount contract years. Bennett is a manicurist and Grant is a detective; he frequents her shop, and they have a relationship of sorts. With her good natured charm and ability to read people, Bennett is offered a job at the newspaper, and soon she and Grant are teaming up trying to solve a series of jewel thefts. Their initial attempts fail due to corruption within the system, and soon both are out of a job. But between their hunches and with one of the thieves frequenting the shop, Grant and Bennett have a lead that might just help them get their jobs back.

Co-written and directed by Raoul Walsh, Big Brown Eyes could have easily been a Warner picture. The comedic bits are on par with other Paramount titles from this time period, but the crime story has a bit of that Warner feel to it, making this one of the more unique titles within the Cary Grant Vault Collection set. I liked it, but not as much as I enjoyed Wedding Present. But it has plenty to recommend on its own. A tight 75 minutes or so, the movie is never dull. At the start of the film, Grant is in a more playful mode, but as the movie progresses, he embraces the role of the more hard-nosed detective. There's real tension in the final act, which isn't necessarily something I expected after the lighter opening.

The DVD is a bit of a mixed bag. Seen as part of the Cary Grant Vault Collection set, the movie has the same hum which plagues many of the other titles in the set. At the beginning, it's less pronounced than it was in Wedding Present, but gets worse in the later portions of the film. Despite the hum, the dialogue is still understandable, and English subtitles are provided. The picture quality is generally good, with some scratches to the right of the frame, but nothing too obtrusive. The sharpness and detail aren't quite up to the level of Wedding Present, which looked pretty good. Here's the thing about these titles, though - it's not as if there are many viewing options available, and they're all part of a giant set, and there's too much to recommend on this set to throw away the baby with the bathwater. It is what it is.

While I think it's the lesser of the Bennett-Grant collaborations, Big Brown Eyes is an entertaining detective story that's just different enough from the other movies Grant was making at the time to keep it interesting. I look forward to revisiting this movie one day.
 

Josh Steinberg

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#52 - Devil And The Deep (1932)
Viewed on August 9, 2016
Viewing Format: DVD (Universal)

Devil In The Deep is an early pre-code drama in which Cary Grant plays a supporting role to Charles Laughton, Tallulah Bankhead and Gary Cooper. Bankhead stars as the wife of a naval commander (Laughton) whose jealousy borders on the extreme. Although his wife has always been faithful to him, Laughton continually suspects, berates and harasses her about her supposed affairs. Laughton becomes convinced that his junior officer (played by Grant) is having an affair with Bankhead; the truth is that they are merely friends because Laughton's unfounded jealousy has left her with no one else to talk to. Laughton arranges to have Grant transferred as revenge for the imagined affair, which leads to an awful fight between Laughton and Bankhead. Bankhead wanders off to a local festival after their fight, and meets a stranger (Gary Cooper) who comforts her, and who she ultimately spends the night with. Only afterwards does she discover that Cooper is meant to be Grant's replacement to her husband. When Laughton finds out about the affair, he begins to plot to revenge, placing both Bankhead and Cooper in mortal danger.

This is one of the four films that Grant later disowned when recounting his own filmography. (The others were Born To Be Bad, When You're In Love, and People Will Talk.) Watching the movie, its easy to see why its not a favorite of Grant's. And yet, it shouldn't be dismissed because of that. Grant is not particularly noteworthy in the film; it's a very early role, and given his character's innocence, there's not much for him to do. He appears onscreen as something of an aloof presence in the beginning, and exits the story not too far into it. That might have been the most unusual part for me; it's no fault of the film, but he's so rarely a supporting player. Having him exit the film so early might be even rarer; though he's barely in Sinners In The Sun, for instance, in that movie he appears in the middle of it, a sort of highlight of the film. Laughton, Cooper and Bankhead all have more screen time. Bankhead is the lead and plays her part well. Laughton shows hints of the greatness he would display a few short years later in Mutiny In The Bounty. (If you need a crazy captain in the 1930s, Laughton's your guy.) Cooper has presence and charisma in what's also not a very showy role. The real stars here are Bankhead and Laughton, and they shine brightly.

Viewed as part of the Universal Vault Collection set, Devil In The Deep looks and sounds pretty good. There's no annoying hum, and the picture quality is generally clean and clear. For a film from 1932, it looks better than expected. English subtitles are also provided. No problems here.

While not necessarily a great film, Devil In The Deep was more entertaining than I expected. Grant doesn't leave much of an impression in a limited role, and Laughton's character is a bit over the top, but I think it's worth the 78 minutes to see all of these screen greats near the start of their careers. It's probably not worth it as a single disc blind buy, but is worth taking a look at if you have the Vault Collection. Frankly, being on Grant's disavowal list, I was expecting this to be perhaps the worst movie in the set. Although I haven't quite finished the set yet, I can already say it's not the worst one here.
 

Matt Hough

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Tallulah Bankhead had made such a splash on the London stage (ironic she had to find her first great fame there instead of in her native America) that Paramount had hopes of building her into being their next great female star, but her films all flopped for them (including Devil and the Deep), and Bankhead soon went back to Broadway only to return to Hollywood a few more times in her long career.
 

B-ROLL

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Tallulah Bankhead had made such a splash on the London stage (ironic she had to find her first great fame there instead of in her native America) that Paramount had hopes of building her into being their next great female star, but her films all flopped for them (including Devil and the Deep), and Bankhead soon went back to Broadway only to return to Hollywood a few more times in her long career.
And my first exposure to her was ...
605e807c44d11abda4804ea0a557e3f6.jpg


As bizarre as it may sound, my first exposure to 'ahem' a lot of old Hollywood was on the Bat-Man TV show of the 60s
 

Josh Steinberg

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I saw that episode earlier this year!

Also saw her on "I Love Lucy" (or was it the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour?) within the past year. Funny how you can go an entire lifetime only being familiar with someone's name, and then encounter them in a bunch of things in relatively quick succession.
 

Nelson Au

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I hope you'll excuse this digression, it reminded me if Alfred hitchcock's Lifeboat in which Bankhead starred. I read she was difficult during that production to one cast member because of her strong political views. And wrecked a little havoc in another way I won't repeat here. You can read it on imdb. I thought of Lifeboat, as many here are Hitchcock fans too, and wondered if we will ever see a region A blu-ray. I see there is a region B version from 2012. I have the DVD and it is watchable. Not a high repeat viewing for me, but still curious for an HD copy.

I'll be curious to see Defil in the Deep when I get to it.
 

Matt Hough

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I saw that episode earlier this year!

Also saw her on "I Love Lucy" (or was it the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour?) within the past year. Funny how you can go an entire lifetime only being familiar with someone's name, and then encounter them in a bunch of things in relatively quick succession.
It was Lucy-Desi: the hour long episode "The Neighbor Next Door." One of my absolute favorites of the hour long shows.
 

Josh Steinberg

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It was Lucy-Desi: the hour long episode "The Neighbor Next Door." One of my absolute favorites of the hour long shows.

That's right, it was one of the longer episodes - I watched the entire series from I Love Lucy through to the conclusion of Lucy-Desi, and my memory is a little sketchy when it comes to which ones were half hours and which ones were the full hour shows. But I agree that it was one of the best of those. I also really enjoyed the Fernando Llamas episode, where he and Ricky discuss feeling "yealous".
 

Josh Steinberg

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#53 - The Woman Accused (1933)
Viewed on August 16, 2016
Viewing Format: DVD (Universal)

The Woman Accused is a pre-code drama starring Nancy Carroll and costarring Cary Grant, made during his contract period at Paramount. As the movie opens, Carroll is having a party, and Grant is about to propose to her. Before she answers his proposal, she confesses that she had once lived with a man named Leo, and is not the innocent woman that Grant thinks she is. To her surprise, Grant confesses that he's been around the block before too, and that it doesn't matter to him. Grant and Carroll make plans to leave immediately for a three day cruise, planning to marry onboard. Before Carroll can leave, she gets an unexpected phone call from Leo, who she's been apart from for a long time. He's moved into the top floor of her apartment building, and demands that she comes up to see him. She reluctantly goes upstairs, where Leo tries to blackmail her: she must either move back in with him, or he will have Grant killed. As he makes a phone call to arrange the hit, Carroll reacts quickly and unexpectedly and hits him over the head, resulting in his death. Terrified, she retreats to her apartment, where she confides in her housekeeper, who advises her to continue with her plans to go on the cruise with Grant. The bulk of the film is set on the ship, where Leo's attorney and friend is onboard and suspicious of Carroll's role in Leo's death. The film's final act is almost Hitchcockian, as the walls start closing in on Carroll.

I really enjoyed The Woman Accused, and found it to be a lot more than I expected. From the simple description on the box, I expected something more plodding and melodramatic, but instead, this is a nimble, tense suspense thriller with a touch of early Hitchcock sensibilities. Although most of the movie is set onboard a three day cruise, it never feels claustrophobic or limited. Carroll is very sympathetic in the film; even though she's killed a man, she never loses the audience's sympathy. Grant, in this early role, is a little more passive than we're used to seeing him. He's the supporting player, the blankly drawn handsome object of attraction at the beginning of the movie. Grant gives a little bit of a hint of his later confidence and self-assuredness in later scenes, though. And there is one scene near the end where Grant has reason to beat up a guy, and it's absolutely brutal - he just whips the living hell out of him. The ferocity of it was surprising to me both for it being Grant doing the whipping, and for it being portrayed so graphically in 1933; if I was that shocked now, I can't imagine how shocking it must have been then. Afterwards, Grant has a big strong lawyer type moment that reveals a strength and swagger he's still discovering, before finishing the movie on a quieter note. It's a wild finish, both for the movie as a whole and Grant specifically.

The DVD, part of the Universal Vault Collection, is another mixed bag. Again, the film is marred by a constant hum (which doesn't seem noticeable until after the opening credits), but it's not as extreme as it is in some of the other movies. Dialogue is never hard to understand, and English subtitles are included as well. The picture quality is generally better than the audio. There are some scratches, and sections of the movie appear dupey, but it's very watchable - it looks good for a movie that's over 80 years old and hasn't undergone a restoration.

More suspenseful than I had expected, The Woman Accused has some good thrills and tension, and features an intriguing early performance from Grant. As one of the more enjoyable films in the set, there's a lot to like here, and it's worth checking out.
 

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