Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cary Grant versus Clark Gable...

                                 ...a refined ruckus

Recently, a few patrons have recommended that we create a classic movie section within our DVDs. Of course, with classic movies come movie stars. Everyone has their favorite. I certainly have mine -- Cary Grant combined smooth charm, wit, and physical slapstick in a way that I find irresistible. And he was a versatile performer, too. North by Northwest is a masterpiece of suspense. Before the Wayans brothers in White Chicks and Guy Pierce in The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert there was Cary Grant  in I Was a Male War Bride. And my favorite comedy of all time is Arsenic and Old Lace. I highly recommend it. Just in time for Halloween, it's a spooky lark starring -- of course -- Cary Grant as a hapless newlywed, with Raymond Massey as a Boris Karloff look-alike and Peter Lorre as his criminal side-kick. Throw in two maiden aunts poisoning lonely old men and an uncle who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt burying cholera victims in the Suez Canal, conveniently located in their basement. What could be funnier?

On the other hand, I've heard that Clark Gable could hold his own pretty well as a leading man. It Happened One Night is the romantic comedy from which all others can be judged. He was impressive in Mutiny on the Bounty and downright smoldering and unforgettable in Gone with the Wind.

A friend and I have discussed this a bit and, man to man, we're not sure who would win, Grant or Gable. Gable certainly comes off as tougher than Grant, a scrapper with more street smarts. But Grant is agile and crafty, and he always manages to come out ahead. Who would you bring home for a movie night?

Or maybe you'd prefer to stay in with Vivien Leigh, Claudette Colbert, Katharine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, or Humphrey Bogart. To find your favorite in our catalog, just enter their name and add "and DVD" (e.g. - Cary Grant and DVD) to see which of their films we have available. Then pass me the popcorn please.


Anonymous said...

Gable could totally take Grant - unless Cary had a biplane waiting in the wings! I remember watching gone with the Wind and thinking Clark had serious muscles under those fancy duds.

Lynne said...

Sure, Gable has the brawn, but Grant has the brains and the speed. And if there were any bystanders, he could stir up a mob against Gable with one smile.

Linda K. said...

Cary Grant wins hands down. Our household has a special attachment to "I Was a Male War Bride" because my husband took several classes at NEIU with the professor (pen name Henri Rochard) who wrote the book by the same title. We have a treasured signed copy of that book.

"Father Goose" and "Walk Don't Run" are also favorites. Then there's "Holiday" and ... In fact, I can't think of a Cary Grant movie that I don't like!

Maggie K said...

Maggie K said:

There are so many of those “old” actors that I like. However, I have to agree with Linda K; Cary Grant wins in my book, paws down. “I Was a Male War Bride” is one of my favorites. Dr. Roger H. Charlier, professor emeritus at Northeastern Illinois University, whose pen name was Henri Rochard, wrote the book “I Was a Male War Bride” as a humorous semi-autobiography of his adventures as a Belgian Air Force captain, whose country fell to Nazi invaders. He fought in the Belgian underground, was captured by the Nazis, and spent a long time in Nazi prisons. He eventually fell in love with and married an American Army nurse, Catherine, and was permitted to immigrate to the US under the War Brides Act which normally permitted American servicemen to bring their European brides back home.

Dr. Charlier was a brilliant man with four earned doctorates, the last from McGill University in Montreal, in oceanography; the others from Europe. Dr. Charlier was NEIU professor of Geography, Geology, and Oceanography. He spoke at least four languages and lectured in part from his class notes from the Sorbonne, translating on the spot. He also wrote “For the Love of Kate”, more than 500 articles, several texts for classroom use, and a book of poems in French, “Pensées”.

Getting back to the movies; Clark Gable is admittedly suave. However, I’d like to think that Gary would grab me, hug me, and give me all the catnip in the world. He is a real man in “Father Goose,” “Destination Tokyo,” “Philadelphia Story” and “Operation Petticoat.” What a guy!

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