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The Cary Grant Box Set [5 Discs] [DVD]

  • SKU: 7649048
  • Release Date: 02/07/2006
  • Rating: NR
  • 5.0 (1)
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$39.99
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
5.0
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (1 out of 1)

Synopsis

Only Angels Have Wings
Virtually a textbook example of Howard Hawks' "macho" mode, Only Angels Have Wings takes place high in the Peruvian Andes. Cary Grant heads a ramshackle airmail and freight service, forced to fly in the most perilous of weather conditions to the most treacherous of destinations. Facing death on a near-hourly basis, Grant and his flyers have adopted a casual, all-in-day's-work attitude towards mortality. If a pilot cracks up and dies, it's simply because he didn't have what it took, and that's that. Stranded showgirl Jean Arthur can't stand this cavalier attitude at first, but before long she becomes, in true Hawksian fashion, "one of the guys". Complicating the story is the presence of Richard Barthelmess, who has been persona non grata with the other pilots ever since his carelessness cost the life of one of their number. In addition to a surfeit of guilt, Barthelmess is saddled with a faithless wife, played by Rita Hayworth in her first important A-picture role. Hayworth makes a play for Grant, but he spurns her, finally realizing that, in spite of himself, he's in love with Arthur. Grant himself is riddled with guilt when near-blind pilot Thomas Mitchell insists upon taking on one final flight. Having lost his best friend, Grant drops his hard-bitten shell, and for the first time opens himself up emotionally to Arthur-which of course leads to a nail-biting climax wherein Arthur suffers mightily as Grant faces certain death. Scripted by Jules Furthman from a story by Hawks, Only Angels Have Wings is a treasure trove of terse, pithy dialogue: our favorite scene occurs when, upon discovering that he's about to die, Thomas Mitchell says he's often wondered how he'd react to imminent death-and, now that death is but a few moments away, he'd rather that no one else be around to witness his reaction. Though sometimes laid low by obvious miniatures, the aerial scenes in Only Angels Have Wings are by and large first-rate, earning a first-ever "best special effects" Oscar nomination for Roy Davidson and Edwin C. Hahn. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Holiday
Both film versions of Phillip Barry's stage comedy Holiday have their merits, but the 1938 version has the added advantage of supercharged star power. Katharine Hepburn and Doris Nolan play Linda and Julia Seton, two daughters of a very well-to-do family. Linda feels a bit lost in the shuffle as sister Julia prepares to marry self-made financier Cary Grant. Hepburn has always rebelled against her privileged trappings, and finds a kindred spirit in the unorthodox, iconoclastic Grant. On the verge of compromising his down-to-earth values with his marriage to the wealth-obsessed Nolan, Grant chooses instead to plight his troth with soul-mate Hepburn, celebrating his "liberation" by doing several cartwheels. Donald Ogden Stewart is careful to bring the pre-Depression frivolities of the Barry play up-to-date, first by changing the character of Grant's best friend (played in both films by Edward Everett Horton) from a lazy socialite to a dedicated professor, and by including several lines indicating how out of touch the privileged classes are--and choose to remain--with 1930s realities. The only element in which the remake does not improve on the original is in the casting of Hepburn's alcoholic younger brother; charming though Lew Ayres is in the 1938 film, he is still outclassed by Monroe Owsley in Holiday (1930). Katharine Hepburn managed to temporarily defray her "box office poison" onus when Holiday proved to be a success; alas, her next film, Bringing Up Baby (which reteamed her with Grant), was a financial bust, compelling her to return to Broadway--where she made a spectacular comeback in another Philip Barry play, The Philadelphia Story. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

His Girl Friday
The second screen version of the Ben Hecht/Charles MacArthur play The Front Page, His Girl Friday changed hard-driving newspaper reporter Hildy Johnson from a man to a woman, transforming the story into a scintillating battle of the sexes. Rosalind Russell plays Hildy, about to foresake journalism for marriage to cloddish Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy). Cary Grant plays Walter Burns, Hildy's editor and ex-husband, who feigns happiness about her impending marriage as a ploy to win her back. The ace up Walter's sleeve is a late-breaking news story concerning the impending execution of anarchist Earl Williams (John Qualen), a blatant example of political chicanery that Hildy can't pass up. The story gets hotter when Williams escapes and is hidden from the cops by Hildy and Walter--right in the prison pressroom. His Girl Friday may well be the fastest comedy of the 1930s, with kaleidoscope action, instantaneous plot twists, and overlapping dialogue. And if you listen closely, you'll hear a couple of "in" jokes, one concerning Cary Grant's real name (Archie Leach), and another poking fun at Ralph Bellamy's patented "poor sap" screen image. Subsequent versions of The Front Page included Billy Wilder's 1974 adaptation, which restored Hildy Johnson's manhood in the form of Jack Lemmon, and 1988's Switching Channels, which cast Burt Reynolds in the Walter Burns role and Kathleen Turner as the Hildy Johnson counterpart. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Awful Truth
Leo McCarey directed this classic screwball comedy in which Cary Grant and Irene Dunne play Jerry and Lucy Warriner, a couple whose marriage is starting to fall apart. Jerry informs Lucy that he's taking a vacation alone in Florida; instead, he holes up with his buddies and plays poker for a week (while sitting under a sun lamp so he'll have an appropriate tan). Lucy concludes that Jerry was never in Florida just as Jerry discovers that Lucy was spending her time with Armand Duvalle (Alex D'Arcy), a handsome voice teacher. Both Jerry and Lucy believe the other was unfaithful, so they agree to a trial divorce, with a bitter battle fought over custody of Mr. Smith, the dog (Lucy gets the dog, but Jerry has visitation rights). Determined to make Jerry jealous, Lucy continues keeping company with Armand while also dating Daniel Leeson (Ralph Bellamy), a wealthy oil man from Oklahoma. Convinced that turnabout is fair play, Jerry starts going out with Dixie Belle Lee (Joyce Compton), a brassy nightclub singer, as well as socialite Barbara Vance (Molly Lamont). However, Lucy has belatedly decided that she wants Jerry back, and she hatches a plan to win him back by making a spectacle of herself at a party. The Awful Truth was based on a play which had been filmed twice before, but McCarey gave his superb comic cast free reign to improvise and add new business, and the results were splendid; you haven't lived until you've heard Irene Dunne attempt to sing "Home on the Range." ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

The Talk of the Town
George Stevens' Talk of the Town is a quick-witted comedy driven by wonderful performances by Cary Grant, Ronald Colman and Jean Arthur. Michael Lightcap (Colman) is a stuffy law professor in line to a Supreme Court appointment, who is spending the summer at the house of schoolteacher Nora Shelley (Arthur). But Lightcap is not the only guest at the house. Shelley has also let Leopold Dilg (Grant)--a man who had recently escaped from prison, where he was serving a sentence for false accusations of immolating a local factory--stay at the house, telling Lightcap that he is a gardener. In addition to striking up a friendship, Lightcap and Dilg also compete for the affections of Shelley. Eventually, the professor learns of Dilg's true identity, finding out that Leopold was framed by a crooked government, led by the foreman of the factory, who supposedly died in the fire. When Dilg is captured by the police, Lightcap comes to his defense, bringing the still-alive foreman out of hiding and, in the process, clearing Leopold of all the charges. Talk of the Town received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Original Story, Best Score, Best Editing, and Best Interior Decoration, yet it lost in all of the categories. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Cary Grant
    Cary Grant - Geoff Carter
  • Jean Arthur
    Jean Arthur - Bonnie Lee
  • Richard Barthelmess
    Richard Barthelmess - Bat McPherson
  • Rita Hayworth
    Rita Hayworth - Judith McPherson
  • Thomas Mitchell
    Thomas Mitchell - Kid Dabb

Overall Customer Rating

(1 Review)
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