Thursday, June 22, 2017

Granted

An documentary popped up out of nowhere on Showtime about Cary Grant.  This is really the sort of show you'd expect on TMC.  But any look at Cary Grant's life is appreciated.  I've always considered him the ultimate movie star, and someone who was in more than his share of Hollywood classics.

It's told mostly on chronological order, going over the familiar landmarks: his rough childhood in Bristol; coming to America as part of an acrobatic troupe; being on Broadway; getting into movies; early days as a somewhat stiff leading man; Virginia Cherrill; Sylvia Scarlet; finding out his mother is alive; The Awful Truth; Howard Hawks; Barbara Hutton; Alfred Hitchcock; Penny Serenade; None But The Lonely Heart; Betsy Drake and so on up till his final days.

But the show is different in that it attempts more than most to get into his inner life.  It has speculation from a number of film experts, but also includes excerpts from his unpublished autobiography.

Unfortunately, he wrote it around the time he was going through LSD therapy, and he keeps referencing its effects, and talks a lot about his feelings.  I'd rather hear (movie fan that I am) what it was like working with Hawks or Irene Dunne, or whatever was going on in his professional career through the years.

The doc also includes lots of rare footage, include film shot by Grant himself.  Unfortunately, there's also a lot of arty stuff, with images of seashores and the like which (even if shot by Cary--we don't know) don't tell you much.  And too much mood music, and well as lots of unidentified excerpts from his films that supposedly tell us something about his life.

If it doesn't nothing else but help introduce him to a new generation, it'll be a worthy effort.

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