“You may remember that during the first part [of North by Northwest] all sorts of things happen to the hero with such bewildering rapidity that he doesn’t know what it’s all about. Anyway, Cary Grant came up to me and said, ‘It’s a terrible script. We’ve already done a third of the picture and I still can’t make head or tail of it.’ … Without realizing it he was using a line of his own dialogue.”
—Alfred Hitchcock in Hitchcock, by François Truffaut
“You know I have about the same interest in jewelry as I have in politics, horse racing, modern poetry, and women who need weird excitement – none.”
—Cary Grant, To Catch a Thief
(Via Walker Lamond.)
Q: Who are your style icons?
A: Cary Grant; and I knew him too. The first time I went into his office he said, “Is that a Brooks Brothers jacket?” I said, “Yes.” And he said, “Right off the rack, right? They’re great.”
Whilst cleaning up some of my Safari bookmarks, I once again came across “Cary Grant’s Suit” by Todd McEwen, a wonderful little piece from a few years ago on the suit Cary Grant wears in North By Northwest.
Money Quote: “North By Northwest isn’t a film about what happens to Cary Grant, it’s about what happens to his suit.”
(Related Reading: The Sartorialist: Cary Grant – North By Northwest.)
In his blending of the urbane and the rambunctious, he found a way to be true to his own background, which he plainly adored, while reconciling that background to the vision of a suave man-about-town that he had aspired to as a working-class young man. Although Grant’s early Hollywood image seemed a denial of his former self, he kept Leach very much with him after he came into his own: he always spoke matter-of-factly and lovingly of his working-class origins, and he savored playing Cockney characters – see Sylvia Scarlett, Gunga Din, and the uncharacteristically sober None But the Lonely Heart, his most personal film; his references to “Archie Leach,” of course, would be an affectionate running gag in his pictures. The key to his appeal was that, as Kael noted decades ago, his “romantic elegance is wrapped around the resilient, tough core of a mutt, and Americans dream of thoroughbreds while identifying with mutts.”
—Benjamin Schwarz, “Becoming Cary Grant,” The Atlantic Monthly