Cary Grant’s comedies, which he starred in throughout the 1930s and 1940s, are among the funniest ever made.
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Cary Grant was a gorgeous, charming actor with a great sense of humor, onscreen and off. For most of his career, he’d try his hand at a variety of genres, but romances and comedies proved to be his most popular and lucrative.
Today, moviegoers will recognize the suave leading man’s name, and his finest comedy will bring them to their knees with laughter. The fact that he made his film debut more than eighty years ago shouldn’t diminish the influence the actor had on the silver screen.
1. Father Goose (1964) – 7.4
During World War II, Grant plays Walter Eckland, a beachcomber who is enlisted to spy on Japanese planes flying over his island. As if that weren’t enough, he ends himself taking care of a woman and her female students while they flee the Japanese forces.
It’s hard to believe that Cary Grant’s final film was a romantic comedy. A departure from the actor’s customary roles, the film received a mixed reception from critics and audiences alike. Grant is known for his dapper roles, but in this film, he takes on the role of a rough-and-ready beach bum.
2. The Talk Of The Town (1942) – 7.5
It turns out that “Gardener” (Grant) is an escaped convict who was childhood friends with Nora Shelley, who rents her house to law professor Michael Lightcap. The Professor is contemplating reporting the incident to the authorities.
The film was well acclaimed by critics and was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including best picture, editing, and cinematography.. For the first time in a sound film, Cary Grant was given the top billing instead of his co-star, Ronald Colman.
3. The Bishop’s Wife (1947) – 7.6
A Bishop is hoping that the fortune of a churchgoer widow will help collect money for a new church. Now, instead of focusing on his family, he turns his attention to the church, and Grant plays an angel who is sent to assist him. As a result of this, the Bishop is concerned about his future.
In addition to winning the Oscar for best sound, this film was nominated for five additional Oscars, including best picture, making it a critical success. While the 1996 remake of The Preacher’s Wife with Denzel Washington has become a cult classic, Cary Grant’s unorthodox angel has made this version an all-time favorite.
4. The Awful Truth (1937) – 7.7
In the beginning, Jerry (Grant) and Lucy (McCarthy) appear to be content with their divorce, but things take a turn for the worst when they start seeing other people and try to sabotage each other’s dates. To stay together, they’ll do whatever it takes, no matter how difficult it is for them to see past their anger.
Cary Grant became an A-list superstar after starring in this film, which also won him an Oscar for best director and five other nominations. Irene Dunne was Grant’s co-star in three of the three Grant-Irene Dunne films, the first of two in which Grant acted with Asta, the famed canine actor.
5. Holiday (1938) – 7.8
Johnny Case (Grant) and Julia Seton (Seton) fall in love while on vacation and decide to get married. Johnny, who rose from humble origins to become a successful businessman, is taken aback when he learns that Julia comes from an affluent family. Despite his plans to take an extended sabbatical from work, he only receives support from Julia’s drunken older sister and her sister-in-law.
When Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn teamed together in this picture for one of four films, it was a critical success. However, it didn’t do so well monetarily since the idea of purposely not working didn’t appeal to Great Depression era audiences.. Despite this, it has gone on to become one of Grant’s best-known pictures..
6. Bringing Up Baby (1938) – 7.9
Grant plays paleontologist David Huxley, who is on the verge of re-creating a brontosaurus and getting married to his assistant. A wealthy heiress (Katherine Hepburn) and a leopard named Baby, along with a dog eating his bones, all conspire to make securing a donation difficult for him.
Featuring the natural connection between Grant and Hepburn, this screwball comedy classic was directed by Howard Hawks. According to his usual persona, Grant portrays an awkward and soft-spoken bookworm. It’s also one of Katherine Hepburn’s finest roles.
7. His Girl Friday (1940) – 7.9
She is a well-known reporter for Grant Johnson’s newspaper, but when Grant Johnson returns home after a long abroad, he is divorcing Hildy Johnson and intends to marry an insurance salesman. After all, Walter Burns and his wife and star reporter have a belief that a convicted cop-killer they believe to be innocent is about to be executed.
The latest Howard Hawks screwball comedy, this time with the goal of making it more relatable and still hilarious. He is best recognized for portraying sexy and attractive characters in this Hawks-Grant collaboration.
8. The Philadelphia Story (1940) – 7.9
Grant and Hepburn, two Philadelphia socialites, wed quickly and divorced quickly because of his alcoholism. Ex-husband and tabloid reporter show up as she wants to remarry two years later. Hepburn is split between the three suitors.
With Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and James Stewart as its three stars, this romantic comedy adaption of a Broadway play rates as one of the greatest. According to Rotten Tomatoes, this is Grant’s best work.
9. Charade (1963) – 7.9
When Audrey Hepburn returns to Paris, she discovers that her flat has been plundered and that her husband has been killed by a burglar. When she learns that her husband was involved in a government gold theft during WWII and that three men are chasing her inheritance, the charming but enigmatic Peter Joshua steps in to help (Grant). Who can she rely on? ”
Alfred Hitchcock-like eccentric characters abound in this film’s blend of comedic, suspenseful, and mystifying elements. Hitchcock would have been proud of Grant in this performance because of his ability to demonstrate more versatility than many of his other roles and his ability to play a malevolent character.
10. Arsenic And Old Lace (1943) – 8.0
For the first time since his divorce from his first wife, Mortimer Brewster (Grant), a writer known for his rants against marriage, visits his unmarried aunts to announce his engagement. One body after another is found in and near his childhood home, making him fear for his safety.
It’s a Wonderful Life’s Frank Capra helmed this unusual example of dark humor in early Hollywood, which features a cast of quirky family members who have a passion for serial murder. This was a commercial hit and a lasting Grant favorite, despite a mixed reviews from critics.