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Cary Grant and James Stewart [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Digitally mastered
  • Interactive menus
  • Chapter selections

Synopsis

Penny Serenade
While listening to a recording of "Penny Serenade," Julie Gardiner Adams (Irene Dunne) begins reflecting on her past. She recalls her near-impulsive marriage to newspaper reporter Roger Adams (Cary Grant), which begins on a deliriously happy note but turns out to be fraught with tragedy. While honeymooning in Japan, Julie and Roger are trapped in the 1923 earthquake, which results in her miscarriage and subsequent incapability to bear children. Upon their return to America, Roger becomes editor of a small-town newspaper, just scraping by financially. Despite their depleted resources, Julie and Roger want desperately to adopt a child. It seems hopeless until kindly adoption agency head Miss Oliver (Beulah Bondi) helps smooth their path. Alas, their happiness is once more short-lived: their new daughter, Trina (Eva Lee Kuney), succumbs to a sudden illness at the age of six. Reduced to hopelessness, Julie and Roger decide to dissolve their marriage, but Miss Oliver once more comes to the rescue. Sentimental in the extreme, Penny Serenade is also enormously effective, balancing moments of heartbreaking pathos with uproarious laughter. Only director George Stevens could have handled a scene with a copiously weeping Cary Grant without inducing discomfort or embarrassment in the audience. Since lapsing into the public domain in 1968 (though released by Columbia, the film was owned by Stevens' production firm), Penny Serenade has become almost as ubiquitous a cable-TV presence as It's a Wonderful Life. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Pot O' Gold
James Stewart once classified Pot O' Gold as his worst film, though this may have stemmed from his reported inability to get along with his costar Paulette Goddard (who is supposed to have dismissed Stewart's acting technique with a flippant "Anyone can swallow.") Inspired by the popular radio giveaway series of the same name, the film represented an ill-fated production venture for James Roosevelt, son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Stewart plays Jimmy Haskell, nephew of breakfast-food mogul C. J. Haskell (Charles Winninger). Befriending bandleader Horace Heidt (playing himself) and his orchestra members, Jimmy and his sweetheart Molly McCorkle (Paulette Goddard) tries to persuade C. J. to sponsor Heidt's radio program. The elder Haskell refuses until Jimmy and Molly's landlady mother (Mary Gordon) come up with a sure-fire "gimmick" for the program: they'll pick names from the phone book at random, call up those numbers, and give away huge prizes to whomever answers-provided that the call-ees are tuned into Heidt's show. This format worked beautifully for the real Pot O' Gold radio program, but tends to fall flat on screen, despite the energetic musical contributions of Horace Heidt and his entourage (including a very young and astonishingly articulate Art Carney, in his film debut). In England, Pot O' Gold was retitled The Golden Hour. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Amazing Adventure
Amazing Quest was the original British release title of the 1937 comedy Romance and Riches (aka Riches and Romance). Making a rare return trip to England, Cary Grant plays the heir to a huge fortune. Alas, Grant is miserable, because he's never worked for his money. Determined to prove his worth, Grant makes a wager than he can earn his keep for a full year without ever touching the family millions. He loses his bet when he must draw upon his money to wed poverty-stricken Mary Brian, the better to save her from an unhappy marriage of convenience. Still, his experiences among the working classes have left an indelible impression; turning his back on his "equals," Grant invites all of his newly acquired lowborn friends to his wedding reception. Like His Girl Friday, Penny Serenade, and Charade, Amazing Quest is one on the ever-growing list of Cary Grant films that have lapsed into public domain, and thus are more readily available than when first released. Amazing Quest was based on a novel by E. Phillips Oppenheim. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Made for Each Other
James Stewart and Carole Lombard star in this comedy-drama about the struggles of a young married couple directed by John Cromwell. Stewart and Lombard play a recently married couple, Jane and John Mason. John works as an attorney for the law firm of skinflint Judge Doolittle (Charles Coburn). Doolittle calls John back to work immediately after the wedding ceremony, forcing the couple to abandon their honeymoon. But John is ready to do Doolittle's bidding, since he hopes to become a partner in the firm. Doolittle is openly disappointed at the marriage, hoping John would have instead married his daughter Eunice (Ruth Weston). Eunice eventually marries another lawyer in the firm, Carter (Donald Briggs). John and Jane try to make ends meet and invite Doolittle, Eunice, and Carter to dinner. The dinner turns into a disaster, climaxing with Doolittle informing John he has decided to make Carter a partner in the firm. Crushed, John and Jane work hard but to no avail, sinking deeper and deeper into debt. Jane has a baby, but when the child becomes seriously ill, the only way to save the baby is to have a special serum flown in through a blizzard from Salt Lake City. John needs $5000 to hire a pilot and get the medicine, and his only hope is to beg Judge Doolittle for the money. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Irene Dunne
    Irene Dunne - Julie Gardiner Adams
  • Cary Grant
    Cary Grant - Roger Adams
  • Beulah Bondi
    Beulah Bondi - Miss Oliver
  • Edgar Buchanan
    Edgar Buchanan - Applejack
  • Ann Doran
    Ann Doran - Dotty
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.