Bright Lights Film Journal

Cary Grant! So totally gorgeous! And so totally NOT GAY!

Benjamin Schwarz, literary editor of the Atlantic, apropos of just about nothing at all, as far as I can determine, bursts into joyous praise of Cary Grant here. Well, I like Cary as much as the next galoot, but I can’t help noticing that Bennie, in all his enthusiasm, passes over a few things, LIKE THE FACT THAT CARY WAS GAY. Even so manly an author as Tom Wolfe couldn’t help but be impressed by Cary’s wardrobe: “all worsteds, broadcloths and silks, all rich and underplayed, like a viola ensemble.”*

Schwarz correctly notes that My Favorite Wife** was Cary’s breakthrough pic, “seemingly from nowhere the Cary Grant persona gloriously appeared, fully formed.” But he doesn’t note that Cary hated working on the flick, distrusting director Leo McCarey’s improvisatory approach, and fought to be taken off the picture! As I explained here! (Carefully cribbing from Marc Eliot’s excellent 2005 bio of Cary.)

*Yeah, Tom, exactly like a frickin’ viola ensemble! Exactly!

**OK, not so much. As Erich points out, Cary’s breakthrough pic was The Awful Truth, which I totally knew. This is what happens when I crack a forty before 10 AM. Stupid! Stupid!