Cary Grant forgets his heart problems at the heart of
New York and Chicago.
The main characteristic of Cary Grant, his secret, is to be
a happy man. He practices his life in the same way as he practices his
career: like an art. He was married 3 times: to Virginia Cherrill, to Barbara
Hutton and then to Betsy Drake. His two first unions did not last long: one
year and three years respectively, but his third marriage seemed to be much more
stable: he lives with Betsy Drake from 1949. It seemed that they get along
together perfectly: when Cary was filming abroad Betsy visited him; and besides,
he was 54 , the age that may be widely considered as reasonable : he himself
mentioned recently that until 35 years the men are idiots but after they
overcome this barrier they begin to become serious. That's why the announcement
that he has divorced from Betsy made an effect of exploded bomb.
Actually, though this marriage continued nine years, Cary
spent his life just as he spent it during his previous marriages. For him the
life is never anything else but one of these light-hearted comedies like those
that he performs so excellently on the screen. He does not take it tragically.
When his existence is menacing to turn into a drama, he changes it.
Besides, his life with Betsy has begun as a light-hearted
comedy. They met during the filming of "Every Girl Should Be Married",
a joyful movie in which Betsy puts her arm on him and brings him into the
entrapment of marriage. Being an elegant bachelor in real life he proceeded with
the humor of the situation until sooner repeating this scenario in reality, and
knowing Cary Grant and vivacity of his mind one may be sure that an irony of
this parallel between fiction and reality certainly had not escaped from him.
Their common existence went on like a light comedy also. Betsy was intelligent
enough for realizing the light climate in which her husband must live. They
lived pleasantly in their place and when they had a wish of changing an air,
they would take their car and left to Mexico or Canada. Their best travel
moments where those when the people would say to Cary: "You resemble Cary
Grant terribly". These situations never missed and Cary was never in a lack
of response: "This is curious, they have already told me before", a
joke which always made Betsy to giggle. Their common life was
equally terminated like a comedy: there was no drama, no loud cries, no big
sorrows confessed to journalists. Betsy was at the height of the situation and
revealed herself as worthy of her husband for whom the most essential thing in
life is to behave with elegance, with this elegance that makes him every year
one of the ten best dressed men in the world. They simply made it known that
they had separated. That's all. And they both started to work again every one in
his field. Betsy returned to the television. They said that she was going to
make a long voyage to Europe in order to try to forget. There is nothing right
in these rumors. She works, as if her marriage was only an interlude: a happy
interlude, a long and beautiful sequence from a light-hearted comedy, from the
movie where all worries and everything tragic should be forbidden. Her husband
can be proud of her.
Returning to him, he also works. He stares in Alfred
Hitchcock's "North by Northwest” together with Eva-Marie Saint. This is a
thriller which promises to contain a lot of humor: because if Cary Grant and
Hitchcock are somewhere there will always be a humor: these two Englishmen
universalized by their adoption in America, preserved the best qualities of
their nation eliminating the failings of insularity. In order to realize
this let us remember for example a thriller which have already resulted from
their collaboration : "To Catch a Thief" with Grace Kelly. Many
important scenes of "North by Northwest" take place at the heart of
the two greatest American cities: Chicago and New York. At the first of these
cities Cary Grant and Eva-Marie Saint were filmed at the impressive frame of
Michigan Boulevard, at the Midway airport, at the La Salle Street station,
on the sidewalk of the famous Ambassador East Hotel. In New York the stars were
filmed at the famous Grand Central railway station, at the Madison Avenue, which
is the largest parallel way to the Fifth Avenue, on the Long Island, on the
sidewalk in front of Plaza Hotel. Everywhere the crowds gathered. It was
certainly because of Cary Grant. Here the people not only thought that he
"resembles Cary Grant", they knew that he is Cary Grant.
I've even succeeded to exchange a couple of words with him.
I've asked him about the project that he is supposed to participate in, filming
of "Lolita", the movie that shows a man of an advanced age falling in
love with a twelve year old girl and seducing her. The novel which describes
this strange affair is a subject of scandal in the Anglo-Saxon countries at the
- The producers indeed contacted me, responded me Cary Grant, but I refused
to their offer. I don't want to play in that sort of films. The plots like this
may exist in the literature but not on the screen. Besides I would not be able
to get into the skin of that character. Anyway there are some limits that an
actor can not get over.
Really, the maniac "Lolita" tells about is
certainly a creature who sees life in a tragic way. What character could be
stranger to Cary Grant?
Subscriptions to the pictures in the order of appearance.
Cary Grant (marked with an arrow) stares at Madison Avenue
in New York, which extraordinary perspective, at the left, between the
buildings, provides a precious frame to this film sequence.
Betsy Drake, at the meantime, works for television. Here
repeating with George Fenneman.
Alfred Hitchcock directs Cary Grant, more elegant than ever,
at the Grand Central railway station in New York.
And this is another railway station, La Salle Street Station
in Chicago, where he directs Eva-Marie Saint.
Eva-Marie Saint is filmed in front of the Ambassador East
Hotel in Chicago,
At Long Island, Cary Grant poses for three little who asked
to take a picture of him. He feels indignant about the idea that in a movie he
may be demanded to seduce a girl of this age.
In the impressive surroundings of the Michigan Boulevard, in
Chicago, Cary Grant comes out of the taxi in the sequence from "North by
Northwest" which takes place here. The curious crowd is blocked on the
sidewalk. The people that continue to walk are the characters of the movie.