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Cary Grant: Now That's A Movie Star

 

You can have your Tom Cruises, your Ashton Kutchers, your Robert Pattinsons....as far as I am concerned, the definition of a REAL movie star is Cary Grant. Evidently the Brooklyn Academy of Music agrees with me, because they are in the midst of their second Grant retrospective through the end of July. If one has never seen the great man on the big screen.....pounce.

After last year’s successful series, BAMcinématek honors the leading man whose repertoire is mpressive and essential enough to merit a second retrospective. The great director Howard Hawks said of Grant, “[he is] by so far the best that there isn’t anybody to be compared to him.”

Throughout his illustrious 30 year career, which includes pictures by Alfred Hitchcock, Hawks, Leo McCarey, George Stevens and Frank Capra, Grant was at the top of his game as a debonair sophisticate comfortable in everything from hard-edged dramas to zany comedies to kinetic action films to romantic melodramas. Since his retirement from films in 1966 (saying he was getting a little long in the tooth to act opposite budding female ingenues), wags have dubbed various actors with the promise as "the next Cary Grant" (Pierce Brosnan---close, Hugh Grant---nuhuh, George Clooney---a possible contender). The truth is that there was only one Cary Grant and no one is likely to take that mantle.  

This series shows off the actor in all of his lush glory. The series opened on July 9 with one of the actor's first appearances, in a long-forgotten comedy THIRTY DAY PRINCESS (1934), co-written by the legendary Preston Sturges. The mini-retrospective showcases his best work with director Howard Hawks, including his hilarious turn opposite frequent co-star Katharine Hepburn in BRINGING UP BABY (1938); the gender-bending army satire I WAS A MALE WAR BRIDE (1949); and the zany comedy MONKEY BUSINESS (1952), opposite Ginger Rogers and Marilyn Monroe.

His work with the legendary Alfred Hitchcock is the stuff of legend. The series includes two of his greatest performances directed by the "master of suspense": NOTORIOUS (1946) opposite the luminous Ingrid Bergman and the penultimate thriller epic NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) with the feral blonde Eva Marie Saint. Other highlights in the series include: CHARADE (1963), director Stanley Donen’s comedy thriller which paired him with the ever-chic Audrey Hepburn; SHE DONE HIM WRONG (1933) opposite the man trap Mae West; and AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER, the 1957 sudser with co-star Deborah Kerr that has been hailed as the most romantic movie ever made.

For more information on these and some lesser known delights, visit http://www.bam.org/view.aspx?pid=2346

Sandy Mandelberger, Film New York Editor

 

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Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

The Ultimate Guide to the New York Film, Video and New Media Scene.

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