Cary Grant (that's he at right, as if you didn't know) -- a sexy romantic lead who was also funnier (and subtler) than most comedians. And so good looking. Yet rarely, if ever, did he change his hair style (nor, for that matter, his characterization). He didn't need to: That barely-rising, pitch-black near-pompadour seemed to suit him to a T, as did every role he undertook. The hair, like his handsome face, was something you could always count on.
There's at least one film I wager you'll not have viewed: THIRTY DAY PRINCESS (below). One of Grant's earlier movies (from 1934: amazingly enough, this man acted in 14 films in the two years previous to this one!), it also features Sylvia Sidney (below, right) and Edward Arnold, while providing the opportunity to see the actor learning on the job. His crack timing is still developing, and so, in fact, is his way around the romantic lead. If he's a bit too hesitant, the actor seems to have innately understood that one simply does not push. Instead, even if the timing is a tad off, he holds back and charms us -- and his leading lady -- with a sex appeal that's as reticent (and sometimes funny) as it is unstoppable.
Henry Stephenson), we're in early Hollywood's idea of a tiny foreign kingdom, and a dearer place it would be hard to imagine. The movie is one of those throw-away comedies that were probably produced in record time and left audiences happily contented in the knowledge that Wall Street and Main Street are in the same boat, helping each other like good troupers should.
Preston Sturges (shown left), and that fact alone should have buff's salivating a bit. If Sturges, like Grant, has not yet mastered full dexterity here, the film still offers some verbal alacrity. Visual, too: at one point there's a sudden, very funny roomful of look-alike coppers. The movie's a little choppy, and the pacing is sometimes off, yet its charm and spirit, like Ms Sidney's, conquers all. Thirty Day Princess -- in a newly struck 35mm print -- open BAM's Cary Grant series this Friday, July 9, with screenings at 4:30, 6:50 and 9:15.
You can find the entire series here. And getting to BAM is easier than I imagined. Obtain your directions -- subway, bus, address, etc. -- here.