A Love Letter To Cary Grant

5 Good Reasons Why Cary Grant Continues To Induce Heart Flutters

Classic film actor, Cary Grant poses with a cigarette in one hand. Smoke billows beside his face.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this coming. I’ve spent the last few weeks slowly drifting into a one-sided love affair with the debonair, yet boyishly charming, every man’s man, Cary Grant. I have a tendency to zero in on the unattainable, mostly famous musicians and actors — dead or alive — and fill the space around me with them until it fades. I don’t know if this is some form of pacification or the result of an always-longing heart paired with love for artistic expression, but my current fascination is of the actor, famous for his transatlantic accent.

It began with, you guessed it, a comedy collection of his films on The Criterion Channel. Of course, I’ve known who he is and I’ve watched his films but having access to one after the other and being at a place in my life where I really do appreciate gentlemen, it was all over. I should’ve seen it coming. You should’ve seen it coming. The perfect storm.

A young Cary Grant looks intently into the camera lens.

I believe the first film of his I can recall watching was screwball comedy legend, Frank Capra’s, “Arsenic and Old Lace” when I was maybe 11 or 12. Watching it again as an adult, and being able to pick up on the humor, innuendos, and small improvisations by Grant, was so much more… dare I say it… magical?

Cary Grant makes his way up a staircase with a glass of milk.

UGH. I know what you’re thinking… “Get a life… get a … boyfriend?”. Trust me, I am well aware of the way I’m making myself sound to the public. Up until this moment, this one of many, many quirks I bare has been in the section of my mental Rolodex, filed under “For close friends & family only. DO NOT OPEN.”. But ya know, I think I’ve spent a fair amount of time in my life working hard to curate an image of myself as this cool girl who loves film and art and has a quirky side but it’s all still so socially acceptable. Fuck that. Yes, I’m cool — you’re here aren’t you? Self-explanatory. I love film — I have since before I could remember. Art is life — even if I have the shakiest hands and cannot for the life of me create visual art, I spend a lot of time appreciating other’s art. I am quirky — in some ways that may turn odd looks. But what I’m trying to tell you is, Cary Grant was just the best. Let me count the reasons why.

ONE. He was incredibly handsome, but never really knew it. I mean, sure, he had to have some inclination, but he wasn’t… a dick about it. His shining personality shone through in his roles. He could’ve been the fugliest person (by societal standards) around and still won over so many hearts because of how genuinely good he was. On and off camera. I read that unlike his male counterparts, he was respectful to his female co-stars. Handsome and good. That was Cary Grant.

A publicity image of Cary Grant.

Two. He was open-minded. Forever on the search for his authentic self, Cary Grant was incredibly open to new experiences for a man of that time. He claimed to have taken over 100 doses of LSD during therapy sessions. Sure, LSD was more common in the 60’s, whereas now it’s a bit more “taboo”, but find me any classic actor who can say the same. He only resorted to LSD after trying all kinds of other forms of therapy, like yoga, that really didn’t serve him.

A more mature Cary Grant sits in a chair, holding a flower.

Three. He had a pretty tragic childhood. His shitty father had his slightly unhinged mother locked away in a mental asylum, lied about it, and said she had ran away. Cary wouldn’t know the truth until his late adulthood, by then his mother was very old — albeit alive. Important to note, his mother suffered from some mental health issues that stemmed from the death of Cary’s baby brother. His “mommy-issues” which wouldn’t have even been a thing if not for his lame father, trickled into his personal life, making it really hard for him to make a solid romantic connection. He ultimately pivoted his view of his lovers to that of his mother, and negativity sprouted. No wonder he had to resort to LSD for therapeutic value. Things like this just make me want to give him the biggest hug.

A young Cary Grant looks at the camera and smiles.

Four. His talent. Cary Grant is to this day one of the most prolific Golden Age of Hollywood actors. You think “classic leading man” and you probably picture him and his soft eyes and dimpled chin. I’ve yet to view a Cary Grant film I didn’t like or find incredibly good. He just never churned out less than favorable work — to my knowledge and opinion. From his earlier work with Mae West to one of his last pictures, “Father Goose”, he never missed a beat on delivering a character that’s so easy to fall in love with.

Cary Grant and his little daughter, Jennifer Grant.

Five. He was an incredible father. He became a father pretty late in life but from the moment his daughter Jennifer was born, she was his entire world. You could see it in the way he looked at her, the intimate footage from her childhood, and how he spoke of her. We all love a good father. There is something so incredibly attractive about a man taking care of his children.

Even much later in his life, Cary Grant still emoted something that really drew you in. I’ll be bold here by saying that I believe he was just good. Nothing else to it. How else can one explain such a prolific career, nothing but positivity (aside from his well understood issues with romance), and being able to attract both men and women with a look? Cary Grant was good. Genuinely good and I don’t think I’m wrong to say, they don’t make them like that anymore.

There you have it! Just a few reasons why Cary Grant is the best — on and off screen. This article strayed from what I’m usually publishing here, but I hope you enjoyed. Keep an eye out for some Cary Grant specific film reviews in the near future. Don’t forget to drop your favorite Cary Grant film in the comments below! AA

A headshot of Cary Grant.

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Aliya Nicole Al-Balooshi

Aliya Nicole Al-Balooshi

Bahraini/Baloch Audience & Revenue Strategist II, Community a la Camber Creative + independent film fan with a casual writing style & a pocket full of thoughts.