My Favourite Wife

Marilyn Monroe took the role in ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ to extreme heights before bidding a farewell to everyone from this world. Doris Day similarly in ‘Move over Darling’ was charming and did justice to her role. While one of the movies had to be abandoned the other was seen as a good remake of this 1940 movie.

My Favourite Wife is the one in discussion which gave the source to the aforementioned movies while the same being inspired by Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “Enoch Arden”. This movie had a pre-cursor, plot-wise in the silent era most notably D W Griffith’s epic ‘Enoch Arden’ in two parts made in 1911.Ellen Arden (Irene Dunne) is supposedly killed in a ship wreck seven years ago. Her husband Nick Arden (Cary Grant) after having hoped all these years to see his wife come back decides to have her issued dead in the court. This was a move so that he could marry Bianca (Gail Patrick) legally. Nick has two kids from Ellen. Nick and Bianca get married and are on their way to honeymoon.Twist in the tale as Ellen appears after having rescued by a ship from a distant island. She comes home and gets to know about Nick’s wedding and feels sad about him moving on with life. She decides to surprise him and goes to the hotel where the new wed couples have booked their honeymoon suite. The expression on the face of Nick upon seeing Ellen is a treat for audiences. He feels guilty upon the fact that he cannot embrace his long lost wife with the same compassion. At the same time, he cannot think about his newly wed status with Bianca.
Hesitation to come out with the truth to Bianca, he escapes from confrontation and the scenes have been shot well portraying Nick’s denial to face the truth.Nick is jealous about the fact that Ellen had spent the last seven years with a guy on that island. He was curious to know who that guy was. Ellen tries to camouflage this fact by introducing a dumb guy so that Nick doesn’t have an issue to get back at her. Incidentally Nick, driven by jealousy decides to find who that guy was. It turns out to be quite a handsome guy. Unable to bear this, he expresses his irritation to Ellen. In the meantime, Bianca is confused as to why she isn’t been able to live with Nick and keeps wondering what’s going on Nick’s mind. He tends to avoid her whenever she tries to get close to him or when she is a mood to make love.
Out of two wives, Nick has to make a choice. He chooses his favourite wife and that being Ellen. One can sympathise with Bianca as I feel she has been wronged here. But, since this being a movie on the lines of screwball comedy, one can imagine having characters like Bianca. Irene Dunne and Cary Grant match up to their previous success on a husband wife theme, The Awful Truth. Irene Dunne in particular looks fresh and one cannot believe she was older to Cary Grant in real life. The scenes involving the hotel manager and the judge are mind blowing-ly funny. Randolph Scott plays the role of Steve Burkett, as the guy who accompanied Ellen on the deserted island.Directed by Garson Kanin, this movie was initially slated to be directed by Leo MaCarey. A freak accident prevented him to direct and hired Garson Kanin to do the honours. The movie was a success and managed to receive three Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Music – Original Score and Best Writing – Original Story (looks like by altering story and some of its elements from another play are considered original)


We live in a world where numbers form a majority. How much ever an individual tries to be different, he or she often encounters majority, be it in the form of opinions, values or the way things need to be handled and the best of all is, the way to lead one’s life. Wish it was as simple as to follow a book of code written by one individual. The point is not to berate or deride the opinions made by the person who shared his views on leading life; the mistake is to believe that is the only way to lead a life.
Holiday epitomises such kind of mood through various protagonists who dare to question the status quo. Johnny Case (Cary Grant) a charming young business man who goes by his inner voice. One can see in the way he goes about his life and the view he holds for his life.
He is in love with Julia Seton (Doris Nolan) and proposes her to marry him. She agrees. How often we marry the person we love and also say we share each other’s vision for life? Are we complacent that we can cajole the other partner to make them to come terms with our expectations?
Well to make love, it isn’t. To marry, it becomes the talking point. The free spirit that often embodies the lovers is majorly narrowed when the talk of marriage do the rounds. What is it that marriage continues to hold a different view? Marriage involves society to a larger extent and this has continued through ages and will continue. One can fall in love and that’s acceptable but can we marry the same in all situations ? Often society comes to picture and in the larger interest I believe it’s a form of excuse unless it is a belief of the individual.

Johnny is surprised to know the wealthy status of Julia. He meets Linda (Katherine Hepburn), Julia’s free spirited sister and Ned (Lew Ayres) who both feel bottled up under their father’s authoritarian behaviour. The movie has a kid’s playroom which is analogous and quite a contrast to the outer world which calls for increased sophistication and hypocrisy. Linda is in love with Johnny as she finds him to be the right guy who would respect and also complement her free spiritedness. Although Johnny is in love with Julia, he can’t deny the fact that he is intellectually connected to Linda.Irrespective of her being rich, he is keen holding on to his dreams. Julia on the other hand is convinced about Johnny accepting her dad’s proposal of working and earning money. Johnny while asking the hand of Julia speaks his heart to her dad, which surprises Julia. The idea of Johnny working for few years and then taking a holiday to discover his life doesn’t fit the bill of pragmatism as per Julia and her dad. Although he couldn’t convince Julia; Johnny with his straight mind convinced Linda without having to actually convince her.
The movie isn’t a serious one, it has well written dialogues and is more of a romantic comical drama. The child playroom is often seen as a metaphor to allow the kid in us to be in healthy state even while we are growing each day.

Directed by George Cukor, this movie brings out the best of Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant and the chemistry they share on screen is something that’s been talked by many over the years. The storyline isn’t out of the box, but a simple reflection on the society we live in. The playroom scenes of tricycles, puppets and other horse saddling reminds us, each individual has a child which is fearless inside us and loves to enjoy irrespective of what other think in its own fashion. This certainly is one among my favourite Cary Grant movies. Released in 1938, Holiday is a remake of the 1930 movie of the same title. With the affluent sets being used, Holiday managed to get a Oscar nomination under the category of Best Art direction.

The Amazing Adventure

It can be boring when there are no challenges to earn one’s bread. This is the story of Ernest Bliss (Cary Grant) who plays a rich man unable to find happiness with all the wealth he has at his disposal. Depression as a result of boredom being the reason, he consults Sir James Alroyd (Peter Gawthorne) who happens to be more than just a doctor, a philanthropist of sorts. He is aware of Ernest’s depression and suggests getting out of his comfort zone to earn a living for a year on his own. He also challenges not to use the ancestral money and also condemns about him not being able to live a year by his own. Ernest by this time gets a dose of realism and accepts the challenge and also places a bet of £50,000 for the same.
On the high road to win the challenge, Bliss soon discovers it isn’t easy as he thought it would be. He starts off being a stove salesman and realises the difficulty involved being a part of working class. He understands the big hearted working masses who give affection and also learns a bit about humanity by staying with them. He frequently changes jobs and finally settles in as a chauffer.
In this amazing quest, he encounters Frances Clayton (Mary Blain), his love interest. He leads a life in which he camouflages his true identity to her. During this adventurous journey, Ernest uses his wealth in order to help the people in need. Although the challenge involved him not using his personal wealth, I guess to help people in need but you is acceptable. In the end, he does manage to win the challenge and along the way wins quite a lot of things that would make him get rid of boredom. A life turning moment indeed.

This movie is based on a theme which common working class would identity with. Although, it is shot with poor technical standards; one can appreciate the acting of Cary Grant. It remains one of the last low budget movies he would be ever part of and also the only movie he appeared for a home studio in London.
Owing to a lot of problems, the movie I saw is about 61 minutes although the DVD suggests the official time to be 80 minutes. One of the observations was the poor quality and while I was curious to know as to why; I read an article which stated UK studios took a lot more time and they were a step behind in accquiring the technical acumen when compared with Hollywood at the time when this movie was shoot.Directed by Alfred Zeisler, The Amazing Adventure was inspired by the novel written by E. Philipps Oppenheim and was released in US under the name Romance and Riches.A serial from 1920, The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss is a silent precursor to this 1936 movie. Henry Edwards acts as Ernest Bliss while Henry Vibrant and Chrissie White play the roles of the physician and the Ernest’s love interest respectively.In my childhood I happened to watch a Dev Anand starrer movie Asli-Naqli directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. This Bollywood entertainer resembles the plot which was successfully adapted to suit the Indian culture and audiences in 1962.

Walk Dont Run

The year of Olympics 1964, Sir William Rutland played by Cary Grant arrives in Tokyo a week prior to the Olympics. As a result of this, he finds himself in an awkward situation of housing crisis. He finally manages to find himself an Apartment which is occupied by Christine Easton played by Samantha Eggar. Although she was looking for a woman, she finally agrees to let Sir William to share the apartment.

Sir William meets American Olympian Steve Davies who is also looking for a house to stay. He is offered to share with Sir William, much to the dismay of Christine. Steve Davies finds her very attractive and falls in love with her. Hesitant in the beginning, but even Christine becomes closer to Steve. She is confused as she is engaged to the British diplomat Julius P Haversack, who also happens to be very dry and out of life, in short boring.
Sir William notices the closeness among these two and plays the role of cupid and brings them together. Cary Grant has some of the well written witty lines to offer in many scenes. This movie also marked the end of Cary Grant’s long movie career that spanned for 34 years.
Quite strange to most movies of Cary Grant in his entire career, this movie didn’t involve him romantically with a girl.
Directed by Charles Walters, released in 1966, Walk Don’t Run is more vividly remembered as Cary Grant’s last movie and as a remake of 1943 classic ‘The More the Merrier’ starring Jean Arthur.

An Affair To Remember

What happens when a handsome playboy meets the gorgeous night club singer on a cruise. The first part of this Leo MaCarey’s classic ‘An Affair to Remember’ showcases the above scenario. Cary Grant as Nickie Ferrante plays the playboy and Debroah Kerr plays the dashing Terry Mckay.

Despite both being engaged, they couldnt help themselves falling in love with each other on the ship and make a promise to meet after six months at The Empire State Building.
With engagements being on hold, both wait for six months to see each other on the 102nd floor of the building. A perfect story in progress until Debroah Kerr meets with an accident right on the day of the visit. Cary Grant ambling to and fro on the 102nd floor can only console himself. He waits the entire day…. and wonders why till the end of the movie.
The discussion was whether they would get married would remain unanswered and accident becomes the reason that prevents the reunion of the couple.
The story was quite a drama back then, not the same when it was made in Hindi in 1999. One can copy the theme, not the entire storyline and scene settings. ‘Mann’ starring Aamir Khan and Manisha Koirala failed, because, it wasnt able to connect to the so called “modren-time” and the content not convincing. Times change, hence certain perceptions on love change. Unfortunately, Mann wasnt able to accomadate this change.

The highlights are the scenes shot in a garden mansion where Cary Grant takes Debroah Kerr to meet her grandmother. Their love blossomed at the very place. The last scene is a memorable one, when Cary Grants holds Debroah Kerr.

This movie is a remake of the 1939 movie ‘Love Affair’ starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer. Both directed by Leo MaCarey.

Released in 1957, An Affair to Remember was nominated for four Oscars in the Best Music, Best Costume, Best Song and Best Cinematography categories.