Entertainment :: Movies

Cary Grant: Film Collection

by Ed Tapper
Contributor
Monday Apr 22, 2013
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The embodiment of the debonair, Hollywood leading man, Cary Grant left us a sizeable legacy of films, most of which have been released on DVD. Although he often proved himself a capable dramatic actor, Grant will be remembered for his many comedies; and is perhaps at his very best in films like "To Catch a Thief" and "Charade," which combine suspense with light, comic touches. Several Grant DVD selections have already been fashioned into boxed collections. The best of these is the Sony set, which includes masterpieces like "His Girl Friday" and "The Awful Truth." 20th Century Fox is releasing a new set ingeniously titled "The Cary Grant Film Collection." It proves a mixed bag.

Fox’s new DVD box contains six previously issued films that span a 25-year period in Grant’s career. Snuck in just before the enforcement of the Hays Code, the naughty 1934 "Born To Be Bad" is Loretta Young’s show. And she is radiantly beautiful, pulling out the stops as a tough, unwed mother who uses sex to get back her young son from his adoptive father, Grant. Having yet to create his unique, on-screen persona, Cary is adequate in a routine dramatic role. From the comic realm, there are two, late Howard Hawks, slapstick screwballs, "I Was a Male War Bride," and "Monkey Business." Though not of the level of the director’s earlier efforts, both offer some racy bits of dialogue and wacky laughs. The latter features a radiant Marilyn, co-starring as a none-too-bright, blond secretary.

Grant will be remembered for his many comedies; and is perhaps at his very best in films like "To Catch a Thief" and "Charade," which combine suspense with light, comic touches.

Three films from the 1950’s round out the program. Produced on the heels of "All About Eve," Mankiewicz’s worthwhile "People Will Talk" has Cary falling for another unwed mother, Jeanne Crain; but in this case, it may cost him his professorship. The notoriously extravagant, Technicolor soap opera "An Affair to Remember, with Deborah Kerr, is included, The star duo’s ill-fated romance could dredge tears from even the catatonic. Last, and most definitely least is the excruciating comedy "Kiss Them For Me." Virtually unwatchable, the talky, unfunny venture has naval officer-on-leave Grant romancing wooden Suzy Parker. The colorful support of Jayne Mansfield and Ray Walston fails to buoy this leaden anchor.

Though inconsistent, Fox’s affordably priced Grant Collection contains enough winners to satisfy fans of the legendary screen star.

The Cary Grant Film Collection
DVD
$34.98
www.foxconnect.com

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