You know I'll use any possible excuse to look for images of Cary Grant. And since today is his birthday -- he was born in 1904 -- a photo was inevitable. I selected this particular photo over some very nice images from His Girl Friday and Bringing Up Baby that I'll have to find a reason to post later. I figured that most of us remember what Grant looked like in late 1930s and 1940s films, but it's easy to forget the films from the early 1930s, before the iconic Grant we knew started to take root, back when he was a pretty boy playing the love interest for Mae West or Marlene Dietrich.

The above photo is from She Done Him Wrong, a Mae West vehicle from 1933, adapted from her hit Broadway play Diamond Lil. West was a playwright as well as a performer. The plots of her movies are never as memorable as the dialogue, although I enjoyed I'm No Angel, a West film released a year later that also includes Grant. She Done Him Wrong is the film in which West first said "Why don't you come up sometime and see me," which she reused in I'm No Angel, changing it to the now-legendary line, "Why don't you come up and see me sometime?" She Done Him Wrong was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, but lost to Cavalcade, an adaptation of a Noel Coward play.

Grant isn't onscreen in the two West films often enough to suit me, and it's rumored that he didn't like working with West. By the end of the decade, the Production Code of film self-censorship essentially hobbled West's career, but Grant was just warming up into the onscreen personality we associate with the actor.
categories Features, Cinematical