Cary Grant is the REASON so many women my age and older swoon over an older man. Suave, debonair, handsome–he is all of that and more. Tall, dark, handsome, funny, sweet and successful is my usual list for a dream guy and he checks every box on that list. He’s they older man of every woman’s dreams. That’s what makes him the undisputed king of cross-generational romances — the kind on film, that is.
For me the hardest part was choosing which films to highlight–there are so many and each one is a jewel in the King’s crown. How to identify the Star of India, if you will, was really a tough one. He played the romantic lead to just about every fabulous actress of his time. It was tough but I decided to pick the biggest stars among his leading ladies as the criteria for inclusion. Even that made it rough–inevitably someone superb had to be left out.
Then there is genre–Cary is best known for screwball comedies, but later on he became a big star in Hitchcock movies as well. So, I had to pick some from both genres and that made for more debating, more coin tosses, more “Oh heck, I’ll just give him a whole month of posts.” Lovely as he is to the eye, I really didn’t want to devote an entire moth to him though, so choices have been made and some really fabulous films and their fabulous leading ladies have been left out. I’m sorry if your all-time favorite was among them.
Today’s film is Charade–staring Cary with one of my very favorite actresses–Audrey Hepburn. This is a murder-romance cross-genre film with the plot centering on the murder of Audrey’s husband. This film is generally mistaken as a Hitchcock film, instead it is the work of Stanley Donen. I really don’t care about the plot. This movie is all Audrey and Cary to me.
They are the movie to me, in spite of James Coburn, Walter Matthau and George Kennedy as co-stars to make the plot happen. It’s the romance that matters here. A romance with dazzlingly flirtatious lines. In fact the lines were so flirty that Cary Grant didn’t want to do the film–he feared being seen as, well, ahem, a bit pervy in today’s parlance. The writer switched the script and gave Audrey the come-on lines making her the aggressor. If you do the math, the hubby she’s supposedly mourning would have been about 20 or so years older, so she was very comfortable with an older man. [Source]
Seriously–who cares about a murdered husband when you have Cary Grant wooing you across the table? Audrey didn’t! And, the husband? Heck, he’d made off with money in the war. Not a great catch compared to Cary–at least not in my humble opinion.
Audrey’s clothes, hair, expressions they are all classy, gorgeous and exactly tailored to draw this man’s beautiful eyes to her. As for Cary, what woman wouldn’t swoon at being to her face is lovely?
The give-and-take of their on-going flirtatious repartee is incomparable.
So, for day 1 of Cary Week, I give you Charade.