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TCM Greatest Classic Legends Film Collection: Cary Grant [4 Discs] [DVD]

  • SKU: 5147139
  • Release Date: 10/16/2012
  • Rating: NR
  • 4.0 (1)
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
4.0
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (1 out of 1)

Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Night and Day
Faced with the challenge of writing a screenplay based on the life of fabulously wealthy, fabulously successful composer Cole Porter, one Hollywood wag came up with a potential story angle: "How does the S.O.B. make his second million dollars?" By the time the Porter biopic Night and Day was released, the three-person scriptwriting team still hadn't come up with a compelling storyline, though the film had the decided advantages of star Cary Grant and all that great Porter music. Roughly covering the years 1912 to 1946, the story begins during Porter's undergraduate days at Yale University, where he participated in amateur theatricals under the tutelage of waspish professor Monty Woolley (who plays himself). Though Porter's inherited wealth could have kept him out of WWI, he insists upon signing up as an ambulance driver. While serving in France, he meets nurse Linda Lee (Alexis Smith), who will later become his wife. Focusing his attentions on Broadway and the London stage in the postwar years, Porter pens an unbroken string of hit songs, including "Just One of Those Things," "You're the Top," "I Get a Kick Out of You," "Begin the Beguine," and the title number. The composition of this last-named song is one of the film's giddy highlights, as Porter, inspired by the "drip drip drip" of an outsized rainstorm, runs to the piano and cries "I think I've got it!" The film's dramatic conflict arises when Porter is crippled for life in a polo accident. Refusing to have his legs amputated, he makes an inspiring comeback, even prompting a WWI amputee to remark upon his courage! Corny and unreliable as biography, Night and Day is redeemed by the guest appearances of musical luminaries Mary Martin (doing a spirited if disappointingly demure version of her striptease number "My Heart Belongs to Daddy") and Ginny Simms, the latter cast as an ersatz Ethel Merman named Carole Hill. Jane Wyman, seen as Porter's pre-nuptial sweetheart Gracie Harris, also gets to sing and dance, and quite well indeed. Beset with production problems, not least of which was the ongoing animosity between star Grant and director Michael Curtiz, Night and Day managed to finish filming on schedule, and proved to be an audience favorite -- except for those "in the know" Broadwayites who were bemused over the fact that Cole Porter's well-known homosexuality was necessarily weaned from the screenplay. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
Fed up with crowded big-city living, advertising executive Mr. Blandings (Cary Grant) decides to seek out a big, roomy house in the country. Armed with more enthusiasm than common sense, Blandings causes many a headache for his lawyer/business manager Melvyn Douglas, who tries to keep the costs within a reasonable amount. Alas, Blandings bulls ahead on his own, first purchasing an estate on the verge of collapse, then opting to build his dream house from scratch. An unpleasant legal squabble over the fact that Blandings purchased his new property without checking with the prior owners throws even more good money after bad. The construction of the new Blandings digs is slowed down to a walk by doors and windows that don't fit, plumbing that fails to function, doorknobs that break upon contact with human flesh, temperamental workmen, and various and sundry other homeowners' nightmares (if all this sounds like the much-later Tom Hanks/Shelley Long comedy The Money Pit, it only shows to go how little has changed in forty years--except, of course, for the costs of things). Attempting to keep a level head throughout the proceedings is Mrs. Blandings (Myrna Loy), though even she is guilty of pretensions and excess, especially in the classic "choice of colors" scene. The humor in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House springs so naturally from the central situation that it seems intrusive when the scriptwriters throw in an arbitrary French-farce scene wherein Blandings suspects that his wife and his lawyer are fooling around (a plot point that the original Eric Hodgins novel did just fine without). One of the best bits comes near the end, when Louise Beavers, the Blandings' cook, saves the day for everyone by ad libbing "If you ain't eating Wham, you ain't eating Ham." Why should we spoil your enjoyment by explaining that line? Now you'll have to see the picture. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
Judge Myrna Loy decides that the best way to curb the excesses of playboyish art teacher Cary Grant is to force him to do what he does best--romance a willing young lady. In this instance, the girl is Loy's own sister, played by a blossoming Shirley Temple. Aware that Temple has a serious crush on Grant, Loy orders him to date the teen-aged Temple until the girl gets him out of her system; he is also ordered to keep his hands to himself lest he wind up in the pokey. Grant finds the irrepressible Temple rather wearisome, but he throws himself into his sentence full-force, donning teenaged clothes, speaking in nonsense slang ("Voodoo! Who Do? You Do!" etc.) and participating in the athletic events at a high school picnic. Grant eventually divests himself of Temple by arranging for her to fall for a boy her own age; meanwhile, Loy realizes what we've realized all along--that it is she who is truly smitten by Grant. Adding to the frothy fun of Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer are the supporting performances of Ray Collins as a sagacious psychologist and Rudy Vallee as a stuffy district attorney. The film's screenplay won an Academy Award for Sidney Sheldon, who went on to create I Dream of Jeannie and to matriculate into a best-selling novelist. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

My Favorite Wife
Leo McCarey was supposed to both produce and direct My Favorite Wife, but an illness forced him to relinquish the director's chair to Garson Kanin, who did a splendid job. This hilarious retread of the old "Enoch Arden" legend stars Irene Dunne as Ellen, who returns home to her husband Nick (Cary Grant) and children Tim (Ann Shoemaker) and Chinch (Mary Lou Harrington) after being marooned on a desert island for seven years. Thing of it is, Ellen has been declared legally dead, and Nick has taken unto himself a second wife, the bitchy Bianca (Gail Patrick). Upon discovering that Ellen is still alive, Nick is on the verge of a tender reunion-until it discovers that she spent those seven lost years in the company of handsome Mr. Barkett (Randolph Scott). The superb supporting cast includes Granville Bates as a flummoxed judge, Chester Clute as a meek shoe salesman whom Ellen tries to pass off as Barkett, and Donald MacBride as a beetle-browed honeymoon-hotel clerk. My Favorite Wife was remade in 1963 as Move Over Darling, in which Irene Dunne and Cary Grant were replaced by Doris Day and James Garner. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Cary Grant
    Cary Grant - Cole Porter
  • Alexis Smith
    Alexis Smith - Linda Lee Porter
  • Monty Woolley
    Monty Woolley - Himself
  • Jane Wyman
    Jane Wyman - Gracie Harris
  • Dorothy Malone
    Dorothy Malone - Nancy

Overall Customer Rating

(1 Review)
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