My ranking of the 5 Howard Hawks/Cary Grant films

by s007davis | created - 01 Oct 2014 | updated - 01 Oct 2014 | Public

My ranking from best to worst of the 5 Cary Grant films directed by Howard Hawks

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1. Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Not Rated | 121 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

86 Metascore

At a remote South American trading port, the manager of an air freight company is forced to risk his pilots' lives in order to win an important contract.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth, Richard Barthelmess

Votes: 10,504

A truly great film from the classic Hollywood year of 1939. Grant does quite well in a macho role that's a precursor to Humphrey Bogart's in "To Have And Have Not" and John Wayne's in "Rio Bravo" and "Hatari". Rita Hayworth is quite glamorous in her only film with Grant. Perhaps THE definitive Howard Hawks film.

2. His Girl Friday (1940)

Passed | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 46,876 | Gross: $0.30M

A bona fide, fast-moving seriocomedy classic with a terrific source material, i.e., "The Front Page."

3. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard, Baby.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles, Walter Catlett

Votes: 49,695

Not much more I can say about what is probably the definite 1930s screwball comedy that hasn't already been said by others. My only criticism is that Grant's character isn't as strong as Geoff Carter or Walter Burns hence I don't rank it as highly as the first two on my list.

4. I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

Approved | 105 min | Comedy, Romance, War

After marrying an American lieutenant with whom he was assigned to work in post-war Germany, a French captain attempts to find a way to accompany her back to the States under the terms of the War Bride Act.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Cary Grant, Ann Sheridan, Marion Marshall, Randy Stuart

Votes: 6,639

Not quite as strong as their first 3 efforts but still amusing fare from Hawks and Grant.

5. Monkey Business (1952)

Approved | 97 min | Comedy

A chemist finds his personal and professional life turned upside down when one of his chimpanzees finds the fountain of youth.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn

Votes: 11,303

Grant reteams with his "Once Upon A Honeymoon" leading lady Ginger Rogers and for the only time with Marilyn Monroe. The results are pleasant and mildly amusing but not quite up to the quality of the previous 4 Grant/Hawks combos

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