Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dork Hero: Cary Grant

Growing up on classic films, few actors could stand next to Cary Grant when it came to embodying the Golden Age of Hollywood.  Sure, my favorite actor since I was a boy has been Humphrey Bogart, but I think it's because I feel myself reflected in him, I can relate to him.  Cary Grant, I don't relate to, not really.  I look up to, I want to be, but I don't see myself reflected in him.  I see an idealized version of me, maybe.

"Everyone wants to be Cary Grant.  Even I want to be Cary Grant." -Cary Grant

Obviously, the man is among the most handsome men to ever be put on film, but handsome only goes so far.  Grant has a humor and a charm that elevate him to what we think of when we think 'movie star.'  And he's a fascinating guy, an engineered persona that he sort lived until it became real.

And he followed one of the oldest pieces of advice for any showman.  He left us wanting more.  Still a relatively young man, he retired and lived out the rest of his days doing what he pleased, I suppose.  There are photos of him as an older man, going to events, on the street, with his child.  But he never did another movie after Run, Don't Walk.  Part of me laments the lack of great Old Man Grant performances.  But then, in that day, how many great roles would there have been?  No need to dwell on what might have been, because we have what was, and it is a heck of a body of work.

So, go check out some of the great Cary Grant films; North by Northwest, His Girl Friday, Holiday, Only Angels have Wings, Charade, or any number of others.  I'm not gonna say every film he was in was gold, but the lion's share were darned entertaining.  So, celebrate one of the titans of film, one of the greatest movie stars of all time, by just watching his movies.  The man may be dead, but Cary Grant lives on.


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