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Entries in Cary Grant (18)

Monday
Jul 14 2014

Podcast: Katharine with a side of Bette!

In this special edition of the podcast,Nathaniel welcomes two Katharine Hepburn buffsNick DavisandAnne Marie Kellyto talk about their (shared) first Actress Obsession.NaturallyKate the Greatisn't the only diva that finds her way into the conversation.Expect supporting roles or cameos: Bette Davis,Cary Grant,Barbara Stanwyck,Tennessee Williams,Deborah Kerr,Spencer Tracy,Audrey Hepburn,George Cukor and more...

You can listen at the bottom of the postordownload the conversation on iTunes.Continue the conversation in the comments.

00:00 Intro.Plus Middle School drama: Hilariously "intense"early obsessions
13:00 Types,Genres,andSuddenly Last Summer
17:00 Her autobiography and films she loathed likeDragon Seed
22:00 Chemistry and co-stars
33:00 Revisiting unsatisfying movies -- raise a cocktail to this peculiar cinephile habit
40:00 The Spinster & The Magic Penis
47:00 Bette Davis and why we compare them.Silliness before the sign off.

Further Reading
Hit Me With Your Best Shot:Summertime
Nick's Hepburn Oscar Profile
A Year With Kate:Pat & Mike
A Year With Kate:Dragon Seed
A Year With Kate:Christopher Strong
Me: Stories of My Life(Book)
The Making ofthe African Queen(Book)
Alex Von Tunzelmann & Self Styled Siren(Twitter)

Kate with a side of Bette

Wednesday
Apr 16 2014

A Year with Kate: The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Episode 16 of 52asAnne Mariescreens all of Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order.

In which Katharine Hepburn wins it all back and then some.

For Classic Hollywood stars whose images so often transcended or eclipsed the films they appeared in,there often emerges one film that becomes image-defining.This film has the power to stretch forward and back in time,coloring biographical details and even other performances by that actor.It's the film that will show up in retrospectives and Turner Classic Movies montages,be quoted by fans and impersonators.For Bette Davis,it'sAll About Eve.For Gloria Swanson,it'sSunset Boulevard.For Katharine Hepburn,it'sThe Philadelphia Story.

What sets Kate andThe Philadelphia Storyapart is how deliberately this star-defining was done.Davis was a last-minute replacement for Claudette Colbert,and Swanson was on a list of Pre-Code potentials that included Mae West.But from the beginning,nobody but Kate was Tracy Lord.The part was written for her by Philip Barry,purchased for her by Howard Hughes,and performed by her first on Broadway,then on tour,then finally back on the silver screen again,less than two years after she'd departed.Tracy LordisKatharine Hepburn,and Katharine Hepburn would spend much of her career playing variations on Tracy Lord.

So who exactly is Tracy Lord?

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Wednesday
Apr 09 2014

A Year With Kate: Holiday (1938)

Episode 15 of 52 asAnne Mariescreens all of Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order.

In which Katharine Hepburn is named Box Office Poison,which might be the best thing that could have happened to her.


WAKE UP!HOLLYWOOD PRODUCERS

Practically all of the major studios are burdened with stars--whose public appeal is negligible--receiving tremendous salaries necessitated by contractual obligations...

Among these players,whose dramatic ability is unquestioned but whose box office draw is nil,can be numbered Mae West,Edward Arnold,Garbo,Joan Crawford,Katharine Hepburn,and many,many others...Hepburn turned in excellent performances in 'Stage Door' and 'Bringing Up Baby' but both pictures died."

Reading that "wake up call"on the morning of May 3rd,1938 had to sting.The Manhattan Independent Theatre Owners Association bought a full-page ad inThe Hollywood Reporterand theIndependent Film Journalto air its grievances,and the effects for Kate were immediate.Here's how quickly the dominoes fell...

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Wednesday
Apr 02 2014

A Year With Kate: Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Episode 14 of 52 fromAnne Marie's series screening Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order.

In which there is a leopard on your roof and it's my leopard and I have to get it down and to get it down I have to sing!

Bringing Up Babyis a movie I'm honestly a little afraid to discuss.This golden Howard Hawks comedy about a befuddled professor (Cary Grant),a ditzy socialite (Kate) and a leopard (Baby),rightly occupies many "best of"lists.But while we all know the legend behind the film--troubled production,loses money,critically panned,"box office poison,"etc--the reality is a little less dramatic.Well,except the critically panned part:

"In Bringing Up Baby Miss Hepburn has a role which calls for her to be breathless,senseless,and terribly,terribly fatiguing.She succeeds,and we can be callous enough to hint it is not entirely a matter of performance."

In March of 1938,New York Times film critic Frank S.Nugent devoted not one buttwocolumns to evisceratingBringing Up Baby.Though he was only one voice -Bringing Up Babyreceived mixed reviews both negative and positive - his vitriol cast a pall over the film's reputation.It hurts my sense of justice that Nugent was allowed to say such terrible things about Hepburn and Bringing Up Baby,yet Kate never responded.I refuse to let that stand.

What followsare quotes from Nugent's March 4th and 13th reviews (best read in the voice of Addison de Witt) with rebuttals taken from the film.After 76 years,Kate should get the last word.

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Tuesday
Aug 06 2013

Team Top Ten: Most Memorable Performances in a Hitchcock Film

Amirhere,with this month's edition of Team Top Ten.To celebrate Alfred Hitchcock's birthday next week (Aug 13th),we've decided to celebrate his career by looking at something that isn't discussed quite as often as it should be: the performances he directed.

Hitchcock has more auteur cred than any other director so its understandable that his presence behind the camera attracts the most attention in all discourse about his oeuvre.Yet,his films are undeniably filled with amazing performances,from archetypal blondes and influential villains to smaller,eccentric supporting turns from characters actors.The list we've compiled today is theTop Ten Most Memorable Performances from Alfred Hitchcock's Films.

Make of "memorable"what you will!Our voters each certainly had their own thinking process.Some of us - myself included - took the word literally and voted for what had stuck with us the most,irrespective of size and quality of the performance.Some went for the best performances,some for the best marriage of actor and role and some for a mix of all of those things.Naturally,the final list veers towards the consensus,but as always,I've included bits and pieces of our individual ballots that stood out after the list.

Without further ado...

10.Grace Kelly as Lisa Fremont (Rear Window)
There's memorable,and there's iconic.And then there's Grace Kelly in Edith Head.A performance all at once decadent and demure,Hitchcock's crown jewel struts and strolls glowingly inRear Window,lithely giving off the allure to which she's come to recognize is her signature (and she worries,her sole) appeal.It's only as the mystery of the picture begins to unravel that the shades are lifted (literally) and the flinty little girl we thought we knew positions herself to be the real knight in shining armor.The famed icy Hitchcock blonde archetype manages that most remarkable and memorable of transformations in this,his best film;thanks to and because of Ms.Kelly,the sculpture discovers itself and its purpose.It's a beautiful thing when an actor can make a director forget himself and his tendencies.Something New Happens.
- Beau McCoy

9 more iconic turns after the jump

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Friday
Mar 18 2011

When Did Stars Start Posing As Other Stars?

Remember these photos of Julianne Moore as Bette Davis,Ann-Margret and Marlene Dietrich?I can't remember when they were taken exactly.I want to say 1999?


When did all this start?It's a question for the pop culture historians out there.It's been going on for as long as I can remember.And one of the funniest things about is it people get excited each time like it's a new concept.Remember the hoopla over that Vanity Fair Alfred Hitchcock shoot a couple years back when Jodie Foster didThe Birds,Javier Bardem and ScarJo didRear Windowand Marion Cotillard didPsychoand so on and so on and so on?

Often this star-on-star mimicry involves Marilyn Monroe.One might have an easier time listing the people whohaven'tposed as her than listing the people who have.I'm not even talking about the people who have actuallyplayedHer (or thinly veiled interpretations of her) in the movies or on television or stage and that list is even longer.

Here's just a small sampling or Marilyn tributes from Madonna,Lindsay Lohan,Angelina Jolie and Scarlett Johansson.

Yes this has a lot to do with iconic imagery and nostalgia but both iconography and nostalgia predate the birth of Marilyn Monroe.Unless the scientists and the zealots are both wrong and the world began on June 1st,1926.And if it did why the hell wasMarilyn Monroe pretending to be Theda Bara?

But anyway...by the time I was born,Marilyn was already well established as Hollywood's most present ghost and she's never stopped haunting popular culture.[Tangent: The first star that I actually remember the death of was Natalie Wood on November 29th,1981 sinceWest Side Story,which I watched religiously every time I could find it on tv,was my gateway drug into movie freakdom.Rapid onset Oscar mania was just a few years round the corner.Was I trying to fill the hole that Natalie left by discovering Streep,Close,Hurt & Turner,Bridges & Pfeiffer and all the rest?  I was...distraught...  to say the least.]

This subject is on my brain since I unpacked that "Life at the Movies"book and saw this photo of Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood doing a silent film Rudolph Valentino & Vilma Bánky thing.

Isn't that cute?But wait there's more.How about Paul Newman as a swashbuckler a la Fairbanks / Power

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