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Cary Grant: A Celebration of a Leading Man (1988)

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A retrospective of the life and career of actor Cary Grant, including clips from his films and interviews with his friends and co-workers.

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Title: Cary Grant: A Celebration of a Leading Man (TV Movie 1988)

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Credited cast:
Himself - Host
Stanley Donen ...
Himself (archive footage)


Cary Grant was the very essence of a movie star - a man every woman loved and every man wanted to be. His deft comic style merged easily with his strength as a romantic leading man. But the suave exterior concealed a complex and often sensitive individual. Cary's painful journey from his lonely working-class beginnings to the peak of Hollywood royalty is made vivid through family photos, archival footage, clips from many of his films -- including his first, following his discovery by blonde bombshell Mae West, starring role in She Done Him Wrong. Other movies include His Girl Friday, Notorious, An Affair To Remember, To Catch A Thief, North By Northwest, Charade, and more. Among friends and colleagues interviewed on-screen are Leslie Caron, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr, Deborah Kerr, Eva Marie Saint, Ralph Bellamy, Stanley Donen, Richard Brooks and Stanley Kramer. Written by Zara Janson

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Release Date:

5 June 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cary Grant: The Leading Man  »

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Archie Leach to Cary Grant
18 August 2004 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

This Gene Feldman directed documentary on Cary Grant shows us Grant's Archie Leach origins as a Bristol vaudeville player, to reveal the transformation from acrobat to Hollywood romantic comedienne. However, beneath this surface change are only hinted at disturbances - Grant's sexual ambiguity, the effect of having an institutionalised mentally ill mother, and his relationship with women, involving his many wives and an observed wariness of the female sex.

The documentary covers Grant's career highlights, noting film milestones like She Done Him Wrong, Sylvia Scarlett, Suspicion, and North by Northwest, his perceived failure as a character actor, and tells of the anarchy behind the scenes of The Awful Truth, which was said to be made without a script. It also recognises Grant as one of the earliest freelance independent actors, a decision made to get out of his Paramount contract in the late 1930's, way before the studio studio collapsed in the 1950's.

Technically, we see Grant in Paramount publicity shorts, some titles are only represented by trailers, and there is even footage of Grant beseiged by paparazzi.

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