CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Top 25 Favorite Cary Grant Films Part 1 (#13 - 25)

I've done lists on a lot of things because I love making lists. You know ranking your favorite such and such. So I can't believe I have never ranked my favorite Cary Grant films since he is my favorite actor of all time. Well I'm making up for that right now with this top 25 list (I had to make the cut somewhere) of my personal favorite Cary Grant films.

25.) MR. LUCKY (1943) Cary is gambler Joe Adams, who assumes the identity of a dead gangster in order to avoid the draft. He schemes to use a war relief charity to get his gambling operation up and going. That is until he meets Dorothy Bryant (played by Laraine Day) who is one of the administrators of said war relief charity. This is a breezy light comedy/drama that shows Cary in a different light i.e. a criminal. But Cary also gets to have several comedic moments. One of his lesser known efforts but still a very good one.

24.) CHARADE (1964) A very Hitchcockian mystery/thriller with Grant as Peter Joshua, a mysterious man who helps Audrey Hepburn find her recently deceased husband's missing money. Of course, everything is not what it seems in this delightful movie which mixes action, mystery, romance and comedy perfectly. Grant and Hepburn make a wonderful team.

23.) NONE BUT THE LONELY HEART (1944) Cary gets to strut a Cockney accent as no good son Ernie Mott, who returns home to care for his ailing mother (the great Ethel Barrymore). Cary gets to show some dramatic range in this effective drama. Co-starring Jane Wyatt and June Duprez.

22.) SUSPICION (1941) The first pairing between Grant and Alfred Hitchcock is a solid thriller. Here he plays smooth gambler Johnny Aysgarth who meets and romances shy Lina (played by Joan Fontaine). Well after they are married, Lina begins to suspect that Johnny is not all who he seems to be. A good start to Grant and Hitchcock's partnership that would only get better.

21.) MONKEY BUSINESS (1952) For my money, I always thought Grant was best when working with director Howard Hawks. No offense Hitch, but let the films that Grant and Hawks did together speak for themselves: His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby, Only Angels Have Wings, I Was A Male War Bride and this entertaining comedy which had Grant and Ginger Rogers as a married couple who thanks to Grant's fountain of youth pill, start acting like kids. Look for Marilyn Monroe as Grant's secretary. Good fun. The scene where Grant dresses up like an Indian and gets all the local neighborhood gets to capture his rival is hilarious.

20.) NOTORIOUS (1946) The second pairing between Grant and Hitch is an entertaining thriller with starpower between Grant as a government agent and Ingrid Bergman as a woman he recruits for a dangerous mission. Slick, grand Hollywood movie magic.

19.) OPERATION PETTICOAT (1959) This is one of those check your brain at the door kind of movies. But it's all good fun as Grant and Tony Curtis have the only pink submarine during World War 2, and also have 5 young attractive nurses on board. Good clean fun.

18.) HOLIDAY (1938) Cary is free thinker Johnny Case who is about to marry the very rich Julie, but ends up falling for her black sheep sister Linda (played by Katherine Hepburn). Not your pure screwball comedy, but it does have some screwball moments. But this film mainly works as a light comedy with several doses of drama.

17.) TO CATCH A THIEF (1955) Pure Hollywood glitz as Grant plays suave ex-cat burglar John Robie on the French Riveria. A rash of thefts prompt the local police to believe Robie is back up to his old tricks. So Robie works to clear his name while also romancing the gorgeous Frances Stevens (played by Grace Kelly). This was the third team-up between Grant and Hitch and it proved to be very successful.

16.) ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (1939) Grant is Geoff Carter, a pilot who runs a small airline company in South America, is up to his neck dealing with dangerous flying conditions, a stranded showgirl(Jean Arthur) and an ex flame (Rita Hayworth) who turns up with a new husband and rival pilot. Heroics and drama take center stage in this exciting film directed by Howard Hawks.

15.) TOPPER (1937) Manic screwball farce with Grant and Constance Bennett as fun loving couple George and Marion Kerby who after dying in a car crash, return as ghosts. They take it upon themselves to lighten up the life of their stuffy banker Cosmo Topper (played by Roland Young). Entertaining fantasy/comedy, that was followed by two sequels but without the services of Cary.

14.) GUNGA DIN (1939) In this rip roaring action thriller, three British soldiers and a native must stop a Thuggee cult in India. Grant is Cutter while Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Victor McLaglen play his buddies. And Sam Jaffe is memorable as Gunga Din. Exciting adventure yarn directed by George Stevens.

13.) FATHER GOOSE (1964) Grant is perfect as a crochety beachcomber during WW2 who spots enemy planes for his government on his own little island. His party is crashed when a French schoolteacher (Leslie Caron) arrives on the run from the Japanese with her pupils in tow. Good old fashioned fun and one of Cary's best latter day films.

So that's my first part to my favorite Cary Grant films of all time. Check back in a few days when I post the second part.


Dawn said...

Monty, My favorite Cary Grant films from part 1 of your list are:

Emily(bluekygirl) said...

I love Cary Grant! I love Arsenic and Old Lace, To Catch a Thief, Suspicion (it's weird seeing him as a bad guy) and Penny Serenade.

Sally said...

Great list! I can't wait to find out the rest. In fact, I'm very curious. I love that you have Father Goose in there. That was one of my childhood favorites! Also love Holiday and Monkey Business. And, thanks to this list, I've now added Only Angels Have Wings because it sounded really good from your description.


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