Cary Grant: The Signature Collection [DVD]
Get £1 Off Amazon Video*
Box set comprising four classic Cary Grant films as well as a documentary about his life and work made in 2004, 'Cary Grant: A Class Apart'. 'Night and Day' (1946) is a fictionalized biography of Cole Porter, made while the composer was still alive, starring Grant in the title role. The film begins in the 1910s when Porter is at Yale University, then follows him through the First World War, in which he works as an ambulance driver in France and marries a nurse from an aristocratic family (Alexis Smith). Director Michael Curtiz then focuses on Porter's glittering career through the 1940s, and the film contains performances of many of his most famous songs. It is now generally conceded that many of the facts on which the film is based are wildly inaccurate: Porter was in fact gay and married a divorcee friend for convenience, and his much-feted military experiences were a hoax. 'Destination Tokyo' (1943) is a suspenseful wartime drama about a US submarine, USS Copperfin, sent into Tokyo harbour under secret orders in the early days of the Second World War. Cary Grant plays the submarine's commander, whose mission is to get the submarine and its crew into the harbour undetected and send a landing party ashore in order to obtain vital information for the planned Doolittle air raid on Tokyo. 'North By Northwest' (1959) is a masterful mix of comedy and suspense from Alfred Hitchcock. Advertising executive Roger Thornhill (Grant) is lunching in a restaurant with his mother when he mistakenly answers a page for one George Kaplan. He soon finds himself on the run across the country, being pursued by enemies of the government who are convinced that he is a secret agent. He finds a friend in Eve Kendall (Eve Marie Saint), who helps conceal him during a perilous train journey, but soon discovers that she is not all she seems. 'Arsenic and Old Lace' (1944) is a macabre comedy about the elderly Brewster sisters, who poison lonely old men to put them out of their misery and bury them in their basement. When their nephew Mortimer (Grant) calls to announce his engagement, he discovers the grisly family secret. To complicate matters, his evil sibling Jonathan (Raymond Massey) has just escaped from jail, and arrives at the family home with murderous intentions of his own.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
First up is ‘Night and Day’ (1946). Filmed in colour, its two hours tells the story of Cole Porter. I am not a man who likes musicals, so it left me cold. The disc has three extras: (i) ‘Musical Movieland’, a twenty-minute film from 1944; (ii) a ten-minute feature from 1946 on Desi Arnaz and his orchestra; and (iii) a six-minute Bugs Bunny cartoon of 1946.
‘Destination Tokyo’ is a World War II drama. Grant plays the captain of an American submarine charged with a mission to enter Tokyo Bay. It’s in black-and-white, and lasts just over two hours. It was made in 1944, so it is full of subtle and not-so-subtle propaganda, but it also seeks to show the reality of submarine life at war. This disc’s extra is a twenty-minute film musical from 1934 called ‘The Gem of the Ocean’ and starring Jeanne Aubert.
I think ‘Destination Tokyo’ is the second-best film in this set. The best by far is Hitchcock’s mystery-comedy-thriller-romance ‘North by Northwest’ (1959), filmed in colour, and the reason for buying the set. Although the plot has holes, nevertheless it is a well-crafted film and has been described as a proto-James Bond movie in tis use of set pieces. It comes with a commentary by screenwriter Ernest Lehman, but it later becomes clear that the commentary is actually culled from an interview with him that features in another extra, the forty-minute making-of documentary ‘Destination Hitchcock’. Interestingly, the disc also has a music-only version of the film.
Finally, there is ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’, a 1944 black-and-white farce that is too stupid to be funny.
Overall, then, we have two three-star movies (‘Night & Day’ and ‘Arsenic & Old Lace’), one four-star film (‘Destination Tokyo’), and one five-star film (‘North by Northwest’).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Will get round to watching them in near future. But when who knowsPublished 6 months ago by Maxine Davies