Cary and Irene (THE AWFUL TRUTH)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Top 10 Favorite Screwball Films of Cary Grant recently did a top 25 of my favorite Cary Grant films which covered all genres: action, thriller, comedies, etc. So for here I decided to condense it to a top 10 list of my favorite screwball comedies starring Cary. Enjoy.

10.) TOPPER (1937) Manic screwball farce with Grant and Constance Bennett as fun loving couple George and Marion Kerby who after dying in a car crash, return as ghosts. They take it upon themselves to lighten up the life of their stuffy banker Cosmo Topper (played by Roland Young). Entertaining fantasy/comedy, that was followed by two sequels but without the services of Cary.

9.) I WAS A MALE WAR BRIDE (1949) Terrific comedy by Howard Hawks and co-starring Ann Sheridan. Cary plays Captain Henri Rochard, a French officer assigned to work with Lieut. Catherine Gates (Sheridan). Through a wacky series of misadventures, they fall in love and marry. When the war ends, Capt. Rochard tries to return to America with the other female war brides. Of course things are not that easy and Henri must resort to dressing in drag to get home. A very funny movie.

8.) MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE (1948) And now begins the screwball run of Cary films as my top 8 films are all comedies starting with this one. He and Myrna Loy play a married couple who are fed up with the city and move out to the country and buy this ramshackle of a house. The situations they have to deal with while trying to fix the place up are hysterical.

7.) THE BACHELOR & THE BOBBY-SOXER (1947) Another team up with Myrna Loy and it's even better than Mr. Blandings. Cary is perfect as a playboy who runs afoul of Judge Turner (Loy) and must date her younger sister (Shirley Temple) or face jail. It's a complicated story but it's funny as can be. Grant is in top form for this one.

6.) THE AWFUL TRUTH (1937) The first pairing of Cary and Irene is an absolute delight. They play a married couple who are getting a divorce and comic mishaps occur along the way. Classic screwball comedy at it's best.

5.) THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940) How's this for star power: Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and Jimmy Stewart. Cary plays CK Dexter haven, the ex-husband to Kate's Tracy Lord. Well Tracy is planning on re-marrying much to the dismay of CK and a reporter (Stewart). A sophisticated comedy with three legends giving great performances.

4.) ARSENIC & OLD LACE (1944) Wicked black comedy with Cary as writer Mortimer Brewster who returns home to visit his two kind aunts and realize they are murdering elderly men who come a calling. Mortimer also has to deal with a visiting brother who has just escaped from prison (Raymond Massey) and his sidekick (Peter Lorre). And wonderfully directed by Frank Capra.

3.) MY FAVORITE WIFE (1940) This movie is hilarious. And I give all the credit to Irene Dunne in this one. She plays Ellen, a woman who was shipwrecked on a deserted island and declared dead. Well Nick, her husband (Grant) decides to move on with his life and re-marries. Lo and behold when Ellen returns home. Cary is good as usual but Irene is simply amazing. She makes the movie.

2.) BRINGING UP BABY (1938) The classic film with Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Skippy the dog (Asta from the Thin Man movies), a pet leopard named Baby, an escaped dangerous leopard, and an inept town sheriff all combine for a riot of a movie. And you won't be able to get that song out of your head, "I can't give you anything but love, Baby!"

1.) HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940) No need to go into detail here. Not only is this my favorite Cary Grant movie, but it's my favorite movie, period. Grant as newspaper editor Walter Burns is terrific and Rosalind Russell is just as good as Hildy Johnson, his ace reporter and ex-wife. This has to be the fastest talking movie ever made. The wisecracks fly by every few seconds and you rarely have time to catch your breath. I watch it a few times every year.

There you have it my ten favorite Cary Grant screwball films. Note that on my original list that 8 of the top ten films were all screwball comedies. If you're curious about that list just click on the link to check it out.

1 comment:

Desiree said...

I loooove them alllll with a passion! Haha. I really agree with your top 5. My #1 and #2 would be switched of course :) Gosh, Cary was perfect in screwball, wasn't he?