North by Northwest: 31 Days of Cary Grant, Day 26

Eva Marie Saint “shoots” Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1958).

Although the role of a suave advertising executive-turned-secret agent red herring seemed to fit Cary as well as his impeccably tailored suits, the actor was plagued with doubts during production. Screenwriter Ernest Lehman remembered the leading man complaining about how the script didn’t suit him, saying, “And what about this dialogue? You think you’ve written a Cary Grant picture? This is a David Niven picture.”

In the end, though, Cary happily ate his words after the film scored ecstatic reactions from an important preview audience. He phoned Lehman to congratulate him immediately afterwards: “I’m just calling to tell you how thrilled I am for you. For all of us!”

Cary Crant and Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest (1958)

Scanned from Great Hollywood Movies by Ted Sennett (Abradale Press, 1983).

 

The New Valentino?: 31 Days of Cary Grant, Day 4

In 1932, Modern Screen magazine ran an article on a newcomer called Cary Grant, entitled, “Will He Follow in Valentino’s Footsteps?” This publicity portrait taken around the same time certainly presents our hero in the smoldering matinee idol vein.

However, by his own admission, Cary felt inadequate at this point in his career. He recalled, “I copied other styles I knew until I became a conglomerate of people and ultimately myself… When I was a young actor I’d put my hand in my pocket trying to look relaxed. Instead, I looked stiff and my hand stuck in my pocket wet with perspiration. I was trying to imitate what I thought a relaxed man looked like.”

Note that he has his hand in his pocket here…

Cary Grant, early 1930s

Scanned from Hollywood Movie Stills: Art and Technique in the Golden Age of the Studios by Joel W. Finler (Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 1995).

Cary and Archie: 31 Days of Cary Grant, Day 3

Cary Grant and his dog Archie Leach (!), early 1930s. Enjoying his first success in Hollywood, Cary bought a Sealyham terrier and passed his birth name on to his new friend.

cary_and_archie_leach

Scanned from Cary Grant: A Biography by Marc Eliot (Harmony Books, 2004).