Happy Birthday, Cary Grant

January 18, 2011

Today, is his birthday and it's being celebrated by TCM with movies of his all day.  Archibald Alexander Leach or Cary Grant as we know him, would have been 107 today. Talk about style, the man had it it boatloads.  So much so, there's whole books written about it. 

My personal favorite film was His Girl Friday with the fabulous Rosalind Russell (of Aunt Mame fame).  I don't know which is better- their outfits or their banter.  

His favorite film was North by Northwest where he has a dramatic run in with a plane while dressed perfectly.  He had some great lines in that movie. Here's one:

Roger Thornhill: Now you listen to me, I’m an advertising man, not a red herring. I’ve got a job, a secretary, a mother, two ex-wives and several bartenders that depend upon me, and I don’t intend to disappoint them all by getting myself “slightly” killed.

If you haven't seen one of his films in a while, run to rent.  Overall, he made 72 films so you have options. 

(And didn't he get paired with the loveliest ladies?  Here's two style icons hard at work-Grace Kelly and Mr. Grant on the nail biter To Catch a Thief. Only Cary could make an ascot look cool instead of absurdly uptight.)

My Top Ten Cary Grant Movies  
1. His Girl Friday
2. Notorious
3.  An Affair to Remember
4.  To Catch A Thief
5.  The Awful Truth
6.  Bringing up Baby
7. North by Northwest
8.  The Philadelphia Story
9.  The Bishop's Wife
10.  Houseboat (this is the weakest but we get to see Cary with the girl who got away-Sophie Loren). 

With Katherine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart in The Philadelphia Story. 

Things to learn from Cary:

1.  Classics always look good. His well cut suits and classic style seem as cool today as they did in 1940. 
2.  Have a sense of humor.  He's devilish smile might give him away but he had a way of making light of things but getting his point across. 
3.  Be more than a pretty face.  He was known for being the up most professional actor who was always on time and well prepared.  I like that in a guy.  
4.  He kept his private life private.  He ended his friendship with Sophie Loren after she wrote about their love affair. I wish more stars kept their dirty laundry from our eyes. 
5.  He liked to dress well. And didn't it suit him?  He makes wearing a tux seem like the most comfortable thing in the world.  Sigh.   Sure hope Heaven is having fun with you, Cary.  

Live large, 


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