Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monday Man Candy: Cary Grant and a Few Words about Hitchcock

Cary Grant is hands down one of the hottest leading men of the studio era. He was really talented and made a lot of movies (no one did screwball comedy like Cary) but I feel safe saying he wouldn't have been quite so successful if he hadn't been so damn hot.


Here, he's perfectly Brylcreemed and cufflinked, pen held just so. I'm a grammar nerd; this photo simply makes my heart stop. I believe this is a promotional image for "His Girl Friday", which is maybe my favorite Cary Grant movie.
Cary had a really interesting life. He was born in Bristol, England, in 1906 as Archibald Alexander Leach and thank goodness he changed that name. When he was very young, his mother was sent to a mental institution but he was just told she went to a seaside resort (that's the English for you). He literally ran away to join the circus as a young teen, learning stilt walking, acrobatics and other skills. I think the physical comedy he learned in the circus really helped make him hilarious in his films. When his troupe toured the U.S., he decided to stay and keep performing onstage.

Still pretty nimble all those years after the circus

After a number of Broadway musicals, Grant got to Hollywood and was a leading man from the start. Mae West had to have him as her love interest in "She Done Him Wrong". 
All matinee idol softness via

From 1932 to 1966 he was a big, big star in comedies, dramas and thrillers. And you can bet he had his choice of women--Cary married a whopping five times. I mean, seriously, after three times, is there even a point?

You can't blame him, or the ladies. Goodness, didn't he just age like fine wine! 

In "To Catch a Thief", Cary is 49 to Grace Kelly's 25. But I'm 26 and I would absolutely have tried to jump his 49-year-old bones. 

Directors kept wanting to pair him with the youngest, hottest starlets, and like a real gentleman, he was a little creeped out by the age difference between himself and actresses like Audrey Hepburn. He insisted that if he were to star in "Charade" next to her that she would have to be the one chasing him, lest he seem like a weird old lech. Good call, Cary. That of course went out the door when he later married a woman 47 years his junior. Yikes.

And now, the Hitchcock bit. For my New York readers, Film Forum is running a big Hitchcock festival until March 27, including some double features. Unfortunately, they're not showing "North by Northwest" anymore but you can still catch Cary onscreen. Check the movie schedule here.

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