Father Goose (1964): 31 Days of Cary Grant, Day 30

A close-up of Cary Grant on the set of Father Goose (1964).

During his one-man show “An Evening with Cary Grant” when asked which of his roles came closest to his real-life personality he’d answer, “the bum I played in Father Goose.” Indeed, in this rare recorded sound clip from one of his appearances, he admitted to a flaw that sounds more akin to gruff Walter Eckland than to Grant’s sophisticated public persona: “I do a lot of burping.”

Cary Grant in Father Goose

Image scanned from LIFE Goes to the Movies (Time-Life Books, 1975).

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).

 

His Girl Friday, 1940: 31 Days of Cary Grant, Day 13

Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday (1940).

On the subject of the movie’s famous overlapping dialogue, Grant recalled, “When I first started in pictures, an actor didn’t have the freedom to interrupt the dialogue. But in His Girl Friday, Rosalind Russell and I were constantly interrupting each other. The sound men would say, ‘We can’t hear you.’ And we’d say, ‘Well, you’re not supposed to hear us. People do interrupt each other, you know.'”

Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday, 1940

Image scanned from Hollywood Picks the Classics by Afton Fraser (Bullfinch Press, 2004).

And, by the way, I’m getting many of my quotes from or about Cary from Nancy Nelson’s beguiling Evenings with Cary Grant (Citadel Press, 1991), which I highly recommend for all fans.