Cary Grant(1904-1986)

     There's no actor that quite compares to with Cary Grant. The British born Grant had a unique style, a genius for comedy, a debonair way with the ladies, and an action style that combined the clever remark with a sense of the moment. Grant, who started out as a Vaudeville acrobat, was a graceful screen presence right from the get-go. Born Archibald Leach, the young man arrived in New York in 1920. This is the Night, a 1932 comedy, was Grant's screen debut.
     So many classic films that starred Cary Grant. Gunga Din, Notorious, Suspicion, North by Northwest, , Topper, Bringing Up Baby, Only Angels Have Wings, Philadelphia Story, His Girl Friday, Talk of the Town, Destination Tokyo, To Catch a Thief and Charade. Grant was an actor that aged impeccably. He was a leading man right through his final film, Walk, Don't Run in 1966. Silver-haired and elegant, Grant opted for retiring from movies while he still had star magic.
     The apparent acting ease with which Grant assayed his roles cloaked the consummate skill of the performer. Think about that glorious moment in Bringing up Baby when Grant covers Hepburn's exposed behind and together they two step out of the country club preserving what dignity the daffy heiress has left. The movement is brilliant. It's staccato and awkward, but built on a base of grace. That's Grant. Improbable combinations mixing to perfection. As Cutter in Gunga Din, though he is often cutting up, he manages to create wellsprings of emotion at the right moment. And Robie in To Catch a Thief positively defines the essence of polish. Still, I remember the power of Grant using a cockney accent in a powerful dramatic performance, None But the Lonely Heart. Though it's not my favorite film, legions of ladies are breathless over Grant in An Affair to Remember.
     On screen, Grant was most comfortable in a business suit. His polish and elegant delivery of dialogue went perfectly with a well-tailored suit. But he was dashing as a soldier in India, he filled a leather flyer's jacket with grace, and he even managed to look just fine in underwear in his final film. Don't miss out on catching some of Grant's great films.

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