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"He was a commodity; you knew who you were going to see," Ralph Lauren says of the subject of Cary Grant: A Class Apart (2004), a documentary by Robert Trachtenberg. "If you wanted to be happy, you were going to see a Cary Grant movie," adds Lauren, who is interviewed in this admiring yet candid portrait of the "ultimate movie star" along with such other Grant friends and colleagues as Eva Marie Saint, Stanley Donen, Peter Bogdanovich, Jill St. John, Martin Landau and Dina Merrill.
Helen Mirren narrates the documentary, which also features the voice of Jeremy Northam reading passages from an autobiographical essay by Grant himself. Grant's widow, Barbara Harris Grant, and his third wife, actress Betsy Drake, also comment on Grant's unparalleled film career and often-conflicted personal life. Drake offers uninhibited, sometimes bawdy, reminiscences of Grant's affair with Sophia Loren during their marriage, his use of LSD and the long-standing rumor that he was romantically involved with one-time roommate Randolph Scott. Also included are analyses of Grant's appeal from biographers and film historians, and vintage interviews with two of Grant's most influential directors: Alfred Hitchcock (Suspicion, 1941; Notorious, 1946; North By Northwest, 1959) and George Cukor (Sylvia Scarlett, 1936; The Philadelphia Story, 1941).
BW & C-87m. Closed captioning.
by Roger Fristoe