Local boy made good

by Chris Bertram on January 18, 2004

Today is the centenary of “Cary Grant’s”:http://en2.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cary_Grant birth. Grant was born Archibald Leach in “Bristol”:http://en2.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol, the city where I live and work and attended Bishop Road School, the same local primary school where my own children went many year later (and which Nobel-prize-winning physicist “Paul Dirac”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirac also attended). There’s a “statue of him”:http://aboutbristol.co.uk/sta-06.asp in the new Millennium Square (near to Bristol boy-poet and forger “Thomas Chatterton”:http://www.bartleby.com/65/ch/Chattert.html ). His best films? I’d vote for “Bringing Up Baby”:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029947/ and “North By Northwest”:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053125/ .



Peter Briffa 01.18.04 at 10:37 am



Anon 01.18.04 at 11:16 am

Yeah, “Bringing Up Baby” was hilarious! “Arsenic and Old Lace,” too! But “Charade” with Audrey Hepburn probably gets my vote.


Conrad Barwa 01.18.04 at 1:56 pm

Great actor; his mother I believe stayed in England for the rest of her natural life owing to her mental illness and refusal to move to the US, despite his earnest entreaties to do so. I think he visited regularly as was possible after setting her up comfortably in her own home, I can’t remember whether she lived out the rest of her life in Bristol or somewhere else. Elements of this relationship can be seen in his performance as a son taking care of his sick mother in “None but the Lonely”.

His best film? I would go for “Philadelphia Story” not only an excellent film but one where he manages to outshine Jimmy Stewart, doing his wide-eyed, amiable-innocent routine, not an easy feat.


Dedman 01.18.04 at 4:59 pm

No His Girl Friday?


Ophelia Benson 01.18.04 at 5:25 pm

Holiday. Everybody’s seen Baby, hardly anyone’s seen Holiday. But it’s great.

Still, I’m not sure it has the equivalent of my two favorite bits of Baby –

‘Because I just went gay, all of a sudden!!’


‘Oh look at the nasty little cur.’


Rook 01.18.04 at 6:36 pm

I’m with Jim: His Girl Friday puts the banter on Moonlighting to shame.


david 01.18.04 at 7:11 pm


Bringing Up Baby is horrible. Almost unwatchable. Just saying.


Julian Nightingale 01.18.04 at 8:24 pm

When she was alive my mom used to rave about a movie that starred both Cary Grant and Mae West. Has anyone here seen it?


Invisible Adjunct 01.18.04 at 9:34 pm

I’d also like to register my vote for His Girl Friday.


Andrew Boucher 01.18.04 at 9:58 pm

North By Northwest, His Girl Friday, My Favorite Wife, Holiday


Belle Waring 01.18.04 at 10:34 pm

I had to go to some trouble to conceal his homosexuality from my grandmother in later years (only because it would wreck her crush, not because she objected to gay people in general). She was disappointed enough about Montgomery Clift.


degustibus 01.19.04 at 1:04 am

The Boys from Brazil


skybluewater 01.19.04 at 2:20 am

Notorious is great. Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House is pretty funny.


scott h. 01.19.04 at 6:07 am

Julian, that’s “I’m No Angel”. That was the movie where Mae West spoke her most famous line: “Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?” (Not: Why don’t you come up and see me sometime.) And the person she said this line to was Cary Grant.


scott h. 01.19.04 at 7:55 am

“To Catch A Thief” is also a really good Grant film. (Directed by Hitchcock, too.)


harry 01.21.04 at 3:00 pm

His mother stayed in (or close to) Bristol till her death. He was, by all accounts, an extremely good son. Ronnie Corbett has a cute anecdote in his autobiuography about Cary Grant turning up at a show he did in Bristol, and then coming backstage to say what a fan he was.

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