12 Best Cary Grant Movies You Must See

February 23, 2018
9 min read

Cary Grant is quite simply one of the greatest stars of the Golden age of Hollywood. An actor with both the rugged looks and the comic and acting talent, Grant quickly rose to the top of the Hollywood industry. Often considered as one of the funniest actors, Grant was a man with impeccable comic timing and someone who did not take himself too seriously. A classic leading man, a suave gentleman and a heart-throb amongst the ladies, here is the list of top 12 Cary Grant movies.


12. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Directed by Frank Capra, this film is based on Joseph Kesselring’s movie of the same name. The plot follows Mortimer Brewster, played by Grant, who despite his frequent ridiculing of the institution of marriage falls in love with his childhood neighbor Elaine and marries her. When he goes to revisit his family, he discovers that his aunts are serial killers who kill elderly bachelors with poison. His brother Teddy, is insane and believes himself to be Theodore Roosevelt and another brother Jonathan, who looks like Frankenstein’s monster and is also a killer. The comic plot plays out as Mortimer tries to stay on top of the situation and save his insane brother Teddy while alerting the cops to Jonathan’s presence. The comic element comes from the absurdity of the situation and from the bumbling cops who are of no use. Grant delivers an excellent performance and establishes himself as a comic actor of a fine caliber in the movie.


11. Monkey Business (1952)

Directed by Howard Hawks, this film has a stellar cast starring Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, and Marilyn Monroe. Grant and Rogers’ on-screen chemistry is beautiful and Marilyn and Grant look like a picture-perfect couple when they are out on a date. The comic element in the movie comes from everyone reverting back to their old childhood phases and one of the funniest moments in the movie is when Grant plays make-believe Indians with a group of kids. For a man who rarely took himself seriously, this role was a perfect fit for Grant and he did a fantastic job as Dr. Barnaby, a serious scientist, but a young kid at heart.


10. His Girl Friday (1940)

This is another collaboration of Cary Grant and Howard Hawks. The film which is based on the play The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur sees Grant’s character Walter Burns as a hard-boiled editor working in The Morning Post. The plot follows Burns as he tries to sabotage his ex-wife’s plans to remarry by hiring her to do one last scoop on a convicted kidnapper about to be hanged. Burns really is petty and keeps framing his Hildy Johnson(his ex-wife’s) fiance on trumped-up charges. However, things work out in the end and Burns and Hildy agree to remarry and go to Niagara. However, Burns, ever the editor first and husband later, true to his character discovers that there is a strike in Albany and decides to cover it as it is en route to Niagara. Grant delivers a powerful performance, the comic element arising from his pettiness and his obvious wish to remarry Hildy. A finely made film, it emphasizes Grant’s comic prowess.


9. Charade (1963)

This film is a mixture of both a comedy and a thriller, something straight up Cary Grant’s lane. The film marks another collaboration between Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Grant plays the role of a government agent who dons various identities and teams up with Hepburn’s character, Regina, whose husband was a CIA operative and stole gold intended for the French resistance. Grant’s character helps Regina survive the onslaught of greedy parties all bent on recovering the gold for themselves and in the process of the movie Grant establishes that he is a diverse actor who can carry the gravitas of a moment and do screwball comedies at the same time. One of the finest films in Grant’s career, this movie is a pleasure to watch.


8. Houseboat (1958)

The film stars Cary Grant as Tom Winters and Sophia Loren as Cinzia Zaccardi. The film is basically a love triangle between Winters, Cinzia and Winter’s estranged wife Carolyn. A wonderfully wholesome movie where the couple initially is not sure of their feelings for each other and through a series of comic mishaps, Tom and Cinzia eventually marry and the children he had with his first wife, Carolyn eventually accept Cinzia as a mother figure. Sophia Lauren, ever beautiful, is a wonderful partner for the handsome Grant and their on-screen chemistry makes the film a success.


7. Holiday (1938)

Directed by George Cukor this film stars Cary Grant as Johnny Case, a man who falls in love with Juli Seton, a woman who he later discovers to be the daughter of a wealthy banker. The film follows a topsy-turvy emotional roller coaster as Linda Seton, Julia’s sister also falls in love with Johnny. The film progresses to a climax where Linda frees herself from her father’s influence and declares her love for Johnny. A well made romantic comedy Grant appears as his usual charming self, brightening the movie with his presence and his acting.

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