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Part of SFFILM Festival

David Thomson Master Class: Thinking About Cary Grant

21 Apr
Sun, Apr 21 at 1:00 pm


He retired in 1966 and never came back. He was 62, entirely fit, and as suave as he had ever been. Why stop? Well, he had a daughter, his first and only child, and he longed to prove that the idea of family could work. Retirement didn’t really matter: He is the movie star we still think about because … he was so funny, yet so dark sometimes; so straight … yet enigmatic; so Cary Grant, yet so Archie Leach (his real name, born in 1904 in Bristol, England). He watches us watching him, and knows how hard it is reaching a conclusion. He makes us realize that watching and deciding are the trickiest things we do. – David Thomson

David Thomson will reflect on this unique screen career, reaching from Notorious (1946) to North by Northwest (1959), from Bringing Up Baby (1938) to His Girl Friday (1940), from The Awful Truth (1937) to Suspicion (1941). Was he English or American, one of the gang or a solitary? Grant seemed chronically intelligent, and so dubious about violence. Try thinking of him shooting a gun or having to bother with a fight. Perhaps, like many of us, he just wanted to be “Cary Grant.”