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

Rob Willey

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Just wait until I start trying to convince the rest of you all that "The Howards Of Virginia" is not a waste of Cary Grant's talents at all (I think I may have already persuaded Josh)!

I agree with you. The Howards of Virginia is not a waste of Cary Grant's talent.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of a Cary Grant movie I didn't know existed until I saw it on TCM the other night, Once Upon a Time (1944). To be avoided at all costs - YUCK!
 

Josh Steinberg

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Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of a Cary Grant movie I didn't know existed until I saw it on TCM the other night, Once Upon a Time (1944). To be avoided at all costs - YUCK!

I'm going to write about that one soon enough... I didn't dislike it to the extent you did, but it was a bizarre little movie, and it was strange to see Grant as such a morally ambiguous character. To me, it seemed more like the kind of movie that Grant would have been assigned during his contract player days, and not one that he would have actively signed up to do. I wonder if there's more to the story on that if it just worked better on paper or what.
 

Brent Reid

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None but the Lonely Heart is available on a pressed UK twofer, with Mr. Lucky. Just make sure you avoid the Spanish Manga DVD: it's a pirate of the UK disc.

It's worth mentioning that if you can play PAL region 2 discs, the most comprehensive Cary set ever was released in the UK. Cary Grant: The Movie Collection, from Universal, contains a whopping 21 films on 18 discs, including the None/Lucky pairing above. What's more, right now it's the cheapest it's ever been, working out at around £1 per film! :thumbs-up-smiley:
 

Josh Steinberg

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None but the Lonely Heart is available on a pressed UK twofer, with Mr. Lucky. Just make sure you avoid the Spanish Manga DVD: it's a pirate of the UK disc.

It's worth mentioning that if you can play PAL region 2 discs, the most comprehensive Cary set ever was released in the UK. Cary Grant: The Movie Collection, from Universal, contains a whopping 21 films on 18 discs, including the None/Lucky pairing above. What's more, right now it's the cheapest it's ever been, working out at around £1 per film! :thumbs-up-smiley:

I have the Lonely Heart and Mr. Lucky discs from the Warner Archive. Haven't seen Lonely Heart disc yet but I recall being mostly satisfied with Mr. Lucky.

Is that Universal set similar to the one that came out here? Universal in April released an 18 movie set that I'm slowly working my way through - all of the titles in that set are from 1932-1936.

I can play PAL but I've got almost everything already here - thanks for the heads-up, though. If any non-US distributors want to upgrade any of these titles to Blu before their U.S. counterparts, I'll definitely import. :)
 

Bert Greene

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I'm rather looking forward to getting the new Cary Grant "Vault" box-set recently released by Universal, even though they obviously represent his pre-star era. It includes a few items I've never seen, like "Gambling Ship" and "Ladies Should Listen". I'm a sucker for those old 1930s Paramounts. They used to be such a common staple on the local late-shows back before the cable-tv realm took over.

Did anyone else go see Grant when he was on that college-tour circuit, not too long before he died? He basically just sat on stage and took questions from the audience, but it was very interesting. I remember someone asked him about "Arsenic and Old Lace," and he really winced. He seemed to particularly dislike his performance in that, apparently thinking he played it too broadly. Anyway, I think it's a neat idea, making an effort to go through all his films. There are probably quite a few I really need to revisit. As an actor, he was one that pretty much always delivered the goods.
 

Suzanne.S

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I just watched Once Upon a Time today. I'm interested to read your thoughts on it. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. It was strange to say the least.

And I just saw Gunga Din for the first time about two weeks ago. Magnificent! Wonderful mix of comedy and action with great performances by all of the principals. I was not as impressed with the commentary on the disc. Rudy Behlmer sounds as though he's talking to someone who he thinks is not very bright. He had interesting information, but his delivery wasn't very good. I quite liked the short "making of" featurette.
 

Robert Crawford

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I have the Lonely Heart and Mr. Lucky discs from the Warner Archive. Haven't seen Lonely Heart disc yet but I recall being mostly satisfied with Mr. Lucky.

Is that Universal set similar to the one that came out here? Universal in April released an 18 movie set that I'm slowly working my way through - all of the titles in that set are from 1932-1936.

I can play PAL but I've got almost everything already here - thanks for the heads-up, though. If any non-US distributors want to upgrade any of these titles to Blu before their U.S. counterparts, I'll definitely import. :)
Mr. Lucky is another personal favorite Grant film. I always loved that film and Laraine Day's performance in it.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I'm rather looking forward to getting the new Cary Grant "Vault" box-set recently released by Universal, even though they obviously represent his pre-star era. It includes a few items I've never seen, like "Gambling Ship" and "Ladies Should Listen". I'm a sucker for those old 1930s Paramounts. They used to be such a common staple on the local late-shows back before the cable-tv realm took over.

Did anyone else go see Grant when he was on that college-tour circuit, not too long before he died? He basically just sat on stage and took questions from the audience, but it was very interesting. I remember someone asked him about "Arsenic and Old Lace," and he really winced. He seemed to particularly dislike his performance in that, apparently thinking he played it too broadly. Anyway, I think it's a neat idea, making an effort to go through all his films. There are probably quite a few I really need to revisit. As an actor, he was one that pretty much always delivered the goods.

Those were actually among the first handful of titles I've watched from the set, and I enjoyed them both. If you like the Paramount titles from that era, I think you'll really enjoy those two.

I didn't see the college circuit tour, but the book "Evenings With Cary Grant" includes a lot of quotes and quips from those appearances - next best thing to being there. Unfortunately for us, the book mentions that Grant refused to allow those performances to be recorded, so there's no surviving video to look back on. What an amazing bonus feature that could have been.

One of the things I've found surprising about Grant is that there's very little interview and publicity stuff that I've found. If you watch the supplements for old James Bond movies, for instance, you can find plenty of vintage clips on the discs with Sean Connery talking about the movies, but there hasn't really been the equivalent for Cary. Maybe it's a good thing - we're left with only the image he created for us, and all of the things that could potentially take away from that have faded away with time.

I just watched Once Upon a Time today. I'm interested to read your thoughts on it. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. It was strange to say the least.

And I just saw Gunga Din for the first time about two weeks ago. Magnificent! Wonderful mix of comedy and action with great performances by all of the principals. I was not as impressed with the commentary on the disc. Rudy Behlmer sounds as though he's talking to someone who he thinks is not very bright. He had interesting information, but his delivery wasn't very good. I quite liked the short "making of" featurette.

"Strange to say the least" seems as good of a description of Once Upon A Time as any. I read the description before watching, and I was still surprised. I will respectfully disagree with Behlmer, though, I love the sound of his voice. Though, to be fair, I think I watched that commentary at 4am, so "not very bright" would probably have been a very accurate description of me in that moment. :)

Mr. Lucky is another personal favorite Grant film. I always loved that film and Laraine Day's performance in it.

That was a great find. I really enjoyed it as well.
 

RMajidi

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Thanks for this great thread, Josh. Yet another Cary Grant devotee here.

Father Goose is the title that tipped my hand in buying a region A player, so I could see the A-locked Olive Blu of one of my favourite comedies.

...and I see your thread has coaxed a great contributor here out of his hibernation. Had missed reading his posts lately, so thanks for that too, Josh.

[Journalist's telegram to Grant's publicist : "How old Cary Grant?"
Cary Grant's reply: "Old Cary Grant fine. How you?" ]
 

Josh Steinberg

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[Journalist's telegram to Grant's publicist : "How old Cary Grant?"
Cary Grant's reply: "Old Cary Grant fine. How you?" ]

Supposedly that never happened. And I mention that not to rain on your parade (sorry!), but just because it leads to another great Grant story - at one of his Q&As, he was asked about that by a fan, and Grant confessed that he never actually said that, but that he really wished he had.

I'm so glad to have another Father Goose fan on here. I loved, loved, loved that movie. I've watched probably about 30 of Grant's movies so far, and I'm not sure that any of them have topped it for me.
 

Josh Steinberg

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#5 - The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer (1947)
Viewed on March 7, 2016
Viewing Format: DVD (Warner)

When I was gifted the TCM set that includes this Cary Grant movie (along with My Favorite Wife, Night And Day, and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House), this was the first title that caught my eye. Cary Grant... with a teenaged Shirley Temple?! Now I was intrigued. I've never seen Shirley Temple any older than single digits, so I was intrigued. I saw that the screenplay was written by Sidney Sheldon, who would go on to create "I Dream Of Jeannie", so I was even more curious. I watched this with my fiance and future mother-in-law and I have to say that this nearly 70 year old movie was still a crowd pleaser. In the movie, Grant plays an artist who's upset the local judge (Myrna Loy) one too many times. When Grant's character has to lecture at the local high school where Loy's younger sister (Temple) attends, the younger sister instantly becomes smitten, her latest in a long series of quick interests quickly abandoned. Through a series of comedic events and coincidences, Grant ends up back in court and with the judge's order to spend time with Temple - and just as Temple realizes that she actually wants to be with a boy from her high school, Loy begins to fall for Grant. It's a fun, breezy comedy where the outcome is never in doubt but neither is the charm. All of the actors are immensely likable, the script and the direction flow easily, and it's just a fun, lightweight movie. There's one image in particular, where different characters who meet Grant and become smitten with him and start picturing him as a literal night in shining armor, that is used and reused to great comedic effect. This movie is like comfort food; it's not going to blow anyone's mind, but it'll leave you feeling good.

The transfer on this was about on par with Mr. Blandings - not perfect, but very watchable. It's mostly pretty good with a few sections that don't look as good by comparison. The bonus features include a cartoon short I didn't get a chance to watch, as well as a radio adaptation of the movie starring both Grant and Temple that does a nice job of condensing the move into a one-hour comedy.

I had never even heard of this movie before being gifted the TCM DVD set, and it ended up being a very enjoyable surprise. At the very least, I'd recommend it for a rental, but if you're a Grant fan and can get this set for under $10, it's another steal of the century worth going for.
 

Nelson Au

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Well, I hope you'll indulge this post. I pulled the two Cary Grant sets that I have because I was curious about how my DVD set differs from your set Josh. I have one set called Cary Grant The Signature Collection. It's from Warner and for the date on the box, from 2004. No doubt the exact same transfers and content, the titles are:

1. Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (The main reason I got the set)
2. Destination Tokyo
3. The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
4. My Favorite Wife
5. Night and Day.

Of those titles, I've only watched Blandings, Tokyo and Bobby-Soxer, so the rest needs to be watched.

The other set I have is called Cary Grant DVD Collection. It's from Artisan and Rebublic Pictures. It contains:
1. Father Goose
2. The Grass is Greener
3. Indescreet. (The reason I got this set)
4. Operation Petticoat
5. That Touch of Mink

I've only viewed Indiscreet and I have the blu-Ray as well, and Operation Petticoat. I find for some reason the titles from 1960 and onward less watchable because I'm so used to seeing the earlier films, even the 1950's films. I admit I've never really given them a chance, though I've sampled Mink when it aired on PBS. So I'll try to follow your example and pull titles I haven't seen yet.

I also pulled out of the shelf, Gunga Din, Arsenic and Old Lace, House Boat, and His Girl Friday DVDs which includes a Biography, Cary Grant on Film. Thought I had those titles in another box set. And I'll pull out the Criterion Charade.

Also the blu ray of Suspicion arrived today, though I have that DVD in a Hitchcock set. And you mentioned the lack of interviews, there's a blu-Ray or DVD I believe of one of his films with a terrific biography film as an extra. I can't recall which disc it's on.
 
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davidmatychuk

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Nelson, all five of those Artisan/Republic Cary Grant titles are old, non-anamorphic transfers. Olive has done us the MASSIVE favour of issuing very good (sensational by comparison to the DVD's) Blu-Rays of all five of those. I hope that good ol' Kino Lorber gets around to "The Pride And The Passion" sometime soon, so that all of the Cary Grant movies of the widescreen era are available on very good to spectacular Blu-Rays, or at least very good anamorphic DVD's.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Nelson, you've got some great stuff there! Please, I absolutely welcome your contributions to this thread. I agree wholeheartedly with David, those Olive Blu-rays are a massive improvement over the old DVDs.

If we're thinking of the same documentary, it's on the DVD for Bringing Up Baby, and also on the Blu-ray for North By Northwest. There are so many great moments, but my favorite might be an interview clip with his ex-wife Betty Drake. Addressing the rumor that he might have been gay, this rather elegant looking then-82-year-old lady said, "I don't know why people would say he was gay… we were fucking all the time!" Oh dear god, that was worth the price of the whole set right there.
 

Josh Steinberg

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#6 - Night And Day (1946)
Viewed on March 7, 2016
Viewing Format: DVD (Warner)

I had never seen this movie before, and never imagined I would before getting it in the TCM set. The only thing I knew about it was that it was a terribly inaccurate (some would just say terrible) biography of Cole Porter. Years ago, I had seen Kevin Kline as Porter in De-Lovely, and there's a scene in that movie where Porter sees a bit of this movie and is pretty derisive of it. In a perfectly predictable move for 1946 that makes the movie cringeworthy in 2016, Porter, gay in real life, is portrayed as a straight man in love with a woman here. There's a rather typical Hollywood love story that cannot possibly be accurate mixed in with Porter's genius songs, sometimes rendered by Grant in slightly awkward fashion. The songs are easily the best part of the movie, but they're not enough to salvage the picture. Monty Woolley, a contemporary of Porter's, plays himself here and brings the picture to life for the precious few moments he's on screen.

This was Grant's first color film, but it's not well-served on this DVD. Though the movie was shot in Technicolor, the print used for the DVD appears to be from a later single-strip printing. The color is garish, occasionally misaligned, and generally displeasing. It often had the garish look of a colorized black and white movie. But frankly, even a perfectly restored Blu-ray would not make this two hour and six minute film any more enjoyable. It is what it is.

Overall, easily the worst of these first six that I watched. There had to be a stinker somewhere, and here it is. For completists only.

On the plus side, the DVD included a vintage short, Desi Arnaz And His Orchestra, that features a pre-I Love Lucy Desi performing his act choreographed in both nightclub and backlot settings. It was a delightfully entertaining piece of film, and easily the best thing on the disc.
 

Josh Steinberg

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#7 - Sylvia Scarlett (1935)
Viewed on March 11, 2016
Viewing Format: DVD (Warner)

As a fan of director George Cukor, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, this is a movie I had heard about many times over the years, but had never seen until getting the TCM Grant Vol. 2 set. It's true, it does have Cukor, Grant and Hepburn, but were it not for those names, this movie would probably be forgotten by now. The first pairing of those legendary three has very little to offer besides being an historical footnote. Hepburn plays a young woman, left to fend for herself after the death of her father, who poses as a man to get by. Along the way, she meets a charming but good natured con man played by Grant, before ultimately falling in love with another man who enables her to abandon her male disguise. It's a well intentioned movie that just never quite works. For their few scenes together, Hepburn and Grant demonstrate an easy chemistry, and you can see Grant's screen persona still being formed, but getting very close to what would finally click. But for the long stretches where Grant and Hepburn aren't onscreen together, the movie drags.

The DVD is merely okay. The movie is over 80 years old, and while being completely watchable, it does show its age. But audio is mostly clear, and it's never difficult to understand what's happening onscreen. It gets the job done. The DVD includes a cartoon and a short that I didn't get a chance to watch. This disc isn't available on its own (though it can be streamed at the different services), but is available in both the TCM set and the Katharine Hepburn 100th Anniversary DVD set (same disc, it's originally from the Hepburn set).

It's worth seeing once if you're a fan of any of the principals, and the TCM set (which can be found for about $10 on Amazon, and was $7 when it was purchased for me) is a great value. I'm glad I saw it, but probably won't be revisiting it anytime soon.
 

Robin9

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#7 - Sylvia Scarlett (1935)
Viewed on March 11, 2016
Viewing Format: DVD (Warner)

. . . . It's worth seeing once if you're a fan of any of the principals . . . I'm glad I saw it, but probably won't be revisiting it anytime soon.

Cary Grant is one of my five favorite film stars, and I find his work in this film interesting, partly because, as you say, his screen persona is still being formed. Like you, I have no burning desire to see this film again. Perhaps about fifteen years from now?
 

Bert Greene

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I know "Sylvia Scarlet" has some adherents, but I always found it one of the most gratingly annoying films of the 1930s I've seen. And I've seen a LOT of films from that decade, down to hundreds of little b-westerns and poverty-row obscurities. But there was just something about the characters and the plot of "Sylvia Scarlet" that I just found downright irritating, despite the high degree of talent involved.
 

Nelson Au

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Thanks David for that info on those DVDs, I had not realized that was the case. I did see that a few are on blu-ray, so I think I'll be doing some shopping for the Olive discs. :)

Josh, that's the documentary! Cary Grant- A Class Apart. Thanks for reminding me. :). And thanks for the continuing reviews of the films you're viewing. I have not seen those last two yet.
 

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