Cary Grant’s birthday was yesterday (January 18, 1904) so I thought I’d share what I believe to be the 10 greatest movies he ever made.
The funny side of Cary Grant is on full display in this absurd film about a man’s second marriage being complicated by the sudden resurfacing of his dead first wife. (She wasn’t actually dead, but I don’t want to spoil the fun. Just watch it. It’s hilarious.)
Possibly Grant’s most lighthearted performance, this charming film showcases his ease with women and with his own sense of play. I think his portrayal of Phillip Adams is a reflection of who Cary Grant had finally settled into being in real life. And with the stunning Ingrid Bergman as the other half, it’s impossible for this flick to be anything short of wonderful.
8. His Girl Friday
As the screwball era was beginning to wind down, this fast-paced, witty, and cynical look at the lives of American journalists is an absolute must. The dialogue is littered with ad-libs and inside jokes that enrich an already brilliant movie.
7. To Catch A Thief
Cary’s charm and edge are both turned up all the way in this Hitchcock masterpiece. Possibly the most glamorous pairing in cinematic history, the radiant Grace Kelly gives our hero (or villain?) a run for his money.
6. The Philadelphia Story
The Philadelphia Story is great the first time you see it, better the second time, wonderful the third, and nearly perfect the fourth. The incredible subtleties and underplayed comedic dialogue makes this film more delightful and thought-provoking every time you see it. The trio of these giants from the golden age are perhaps at their very best.
This whimsical film would make you think Cary Grant’s character is a Millennial. His dreams and disdain for traditional ideas about working and careers was a truly bizarre thing to behold for the original viewing audience. But I know you’ll find yourself feeling too old-fashioned and conventional after watching this massive dose of optimism.
4. North By Northwest
I really think of this as the first James Bond film. The name is different and the character’s background is different, but the man is everything Bond should be. In fact, legend has it that Ian Flemming fashioned Bond after himself and Cary Grant. Since Grant turned down the offer to play 007, this is the next best thing. In only one suit during the entire film, he still manages to look better than everyone else. His legend begins to precede him in this breathtaking film.
3. The Bishop’s Wife
Although this is a Christmas movie, I watch it a few times throughout the year to remind myself that the world would be a better place if more people were like the character Grant plays. Some aspects of his character would be impossible to reproduce because he’s an actual angel. If you’ve seen The Preacher’s Wife starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston, you must see the original. You’ll find yourself being in the Christmas mood for a long time.
If you like murder mysteries, you can’t go wrong with this thrilling film. The plot makes you love Cary, fear him, and almost hate him. But I think you’ll still love him when it’s all over. He and Audrey Hepburn are many years apart, but you won’t notice. The chemistry between them is beyond time and space.
1. An Affair To Remember