Cary On Charming

Three Hollywood favourites starring the silver-tongued man of style

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To Catch A Thief Rating Star

RETAIL DVD (PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT, FULL SCREEN)

Houseboat Rating Star

RETAIL DVD (PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT, FULL SCREEN)

Cary Grant, rated by no less imaginative an authority than David Thomson as the greatest screen actor of all time, stars in three outrageously enjoyable humdingers. The magnificent His Girl Friday is fast as a cheetah, its quips flying furiously as Grant and Rosalind Russell jockey for position in Howard Hawks’ newspaper-world romantic comedy, a 1940 remake of The Front Page. Verbal gymnastics that cinema’s long since dumbed down from. That no one delivers a line with as many disingenuous ambiguities as Grant is reaffirmed in Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief (1955). Otherwise it’s slow and flawed in pitch, not one of Hitch’s best, but Grant as a retired Riviera cat-burglar is inspired casting, and Grace Kelly’s never what you’d call hard to watch. Sophia Loren is an ageing foil for Grant in ’58’s Houseboat, more of a soft family movie, flatly directed by Melville Shavelson, with kids galore. Even so, Grant twinkles.

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