Cary Grant, Arsenic and Old Lace
I have a couple of confessions to make that, after experience taught me how wrong I was, humiliate me to say:
- I once didn’t care for Cary Grant as an actor in the least.
- I put off seeing any of his comedies because I didn’t believe (even for a second) that he could be funny.
My first Cary Grant film was In Name Only and, while I loved (and love) the movie, he wasn’t… shall we say… one of my favorite dramatic actors. In fact, there were several scenes when I thought, “Why didn’t the director yell CUT and reshoot the scene a little less… well… hammy?!” His acting was, in a few scenes, a little too Garbo for me. HOWEVER, he would go on to become an excellent dramatic actor.
By my second Cary Grant movie, The Philadelphia Story, I could see a huge change in his onscreen demeanor. There was a great confidence and sense of “I belong!” that would stay with him for the rest of his career.
During the time between my second Cary Grant film and my third (Bringing Up Baby), I kept reading about his comedies but I never got excited about seeing him because (in my mind) he was a dramatic actor… sometimes very dramatic lmao!
Fortunately one day Bringing Up Baby was coming on TCM and… because I LOVE Katharine Hepburn… I sat down to watch. Cary Grant… yes… Cary Grant… nearly stole the movie from Hepburn! He was absolutely hilarious and his comedic timing was beautifully natural and on the mark each and every time. Words can’t describe how brilliant the man was with comedy.
Comedy has to be the most difficult thing for an actor/actress to do… and yet this is where he truly shines.
After Bringing Up Baby, I immediately found and watched Arsenic and Old Lace. Again, he blew me away. He was a comedic GENIUS and I honestly felt like I had discovered a whole new actor.
Over the years, I have watched and loved many of his dramas, as well, but let’s make no mistake about it…. comedic Cary is my favorite Cary.
If you’ve never seen Cary Grant’s comedies, I hope you’ll seek them out. Starting with either Arsenic and Old Lace or Bringing Up Baby is highly recommended!
Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby