"I do agree with all of the Holiday issues-it should be released on a separate disc, and that is why this set is not rated 5 stars. However, the movies in the set are all GREAT. They are some of the best of Cary Grant and all of the other reviewers seem to completely ignore that. If you don't have two or three of the movies aside from Holiday, I would highly suggest this set-it is most certainly worth it. For those who already own three of the four previously released, I would think about how much I really loved Holiday before buying this.
A quick rundown of the movies in this set (for those who do not already know about them.): His Girl Friday (1940)-a hilarious comedy, one of Cary Grant's best, is an update of The Front Page with Rosalind Russell as reporter Hildy who is attempting to leave Grant's newspaper to get married. Great comedic timing and perfomances turn this into an instant classic-and one of AFI's top 20 American comedies of all time. Directed by Howard Hawks, this is the best of the set (in my opinion).
Only Angels Have Wings (1939)-another funny one, also directed by Howard Hawks, with Jean Arthur as Cary's love interest, is an Andes Mountain adventure of planes and past loves and lots of comedic drama. It flows very smoothly and provides great entertainment from beginning to end. It has a great supporting cast-Thomas Mitchell, Richard Barthelmess, a young and beautiful Rita Hayworth-and thrilling suspense. A great movie.
Holiday (1938)-one of the four Cary Grant/Katherine Hepburn movies, not their best (The Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby are even better) but still wonderful. It is touching and funny, with tender and sweet moments, and more of a love story than the others in this set. It's a great New Year's Eve movie, with Cary's Johnny Case engaged to Kate's black sheep millionaire heiress, and family drama abounds. One of the many Hepburn movies directed by George Cukor.
The Awful Truth (1937)-A great balance of equal parts romance and comedy, starring Irene Dunne (in an Oscar-nominated performance) as the Cary's almost-divorced wife, and they are both planning to remarry, although their crazy screwball antics may end up ruining both of their plans. Nominated for Best Picture Oscar and winner of Best Director for Leo McCarey (also nominated for Screenplay and Supporting Actor for Ralph Bellamy as Irene's new love interest), this is one of the best screwball comedies of all.
The Talk of the Town (1942)-This is the only one of the set that I haven't seen-I'm a newbie Grant lover, and I plan to watch the one I got in the set, but I'm sure it's wonderful as well. It has a great director-George Stevens, Jean Arthur again, who is really very funny and underrated, also Ronald Colman starring as a law professor in line for the Supreme Court. It was nominated for 7 Oscars, including Picture, Original Story, and Screenplay, and the basic plot is that Grant has recently escaped from prison and is staying with Jean Arthur, while Colman is already a guest. Supposed to be very funny, and I am sure it is.
Again, this set is for those who are either looking to be introduced to Cary Grant-what a perfect collection of movies, for those who only own one or two of the movies, or for those who just love Holiday that much. If you are waiting out for the single disc of Holiday, by all means, e-mail the studio and complain and make noise and do big things to make it happen, but don't create a false idea that this set is awful for those who aren't Cary Grant die-hard fans (when I wrote this review, the set was rated 2 and a half stars, which is not even close to how high the quality is). This is an amazing collection of movies."
Five of Grant's best in one attractive package
Richard E. Hourula | Berkeley, CA. United States | 06/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The problem with some DVD box sets is that there's usually a film or two included that you could very well do without or perhaps would not even like in your film collection. No such problem with the simply named "The Cary Grant Box Set" which includes five movies that are all among Grant's very best. That alone makes this a must-have for Grant fans. So the featurettes, the vintage replica movie postcards and the overall attractive packaging are bonuses -- significant ones at that. The films feature such wonderful leading ladies as Jean Arthur (twice) Rosalind Russell, Irene Dunne and the incomparable Katherine Hepburn. Hepburn appears in "Holiday" directed by George Cukor, a depression era film that skewers the upper class. Grant plays Johnny Case an up and coming young business man who thinks more of exploring life than of making money. He finds himself in love with the daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur but it is soon obvious that he has more in common with the girl's sister. Lew Ayers turns in a memorable performance as the brother, a philosophizing drunk. "Only Angels Have Wings" offers a very different Grant, this time playing a the leader of a crew of daring mail pilots in South America. Here Jean Arthur is the love interest though a lovely young Rita Hayworth offers competition. Thomas Mitchell is part of a stellar cast directed by the great Howard Hawks. "Talk of the Town" is to me one of the most underrated films of all time. Grant is Leopold Dilg a labor activist framed for a factory bombing. After escaping from jail he hides out in the bucolic summer home of an old childhood friend played by Jean Arthur. The catch is that she's renting the home to one of America's leading legal minds a supreme court candidate played by Ronald Coleman. There is comedy, the inevitable romance and a good deal of politics in this surprisingly thought provoking film directed by George Stevens. Grant is again directed by Hawks but this time in a classic screwball comedy in "His Girl Friday." This remake of "Front Page" introduced the concept of rapid fire overlapping dialogue, principally between Grant and co-star Russell who play a former husband and wife team that doubled as a newspaper reporting dynamic duo. Grant would like them back together again but Russell and a would-be second husband played by Ralph Bellamy have other ideas. Grant is diabolical and hilarious as he manipulates events around a forthcoming execution in an effort to get the girl and the story. Among the laughs, "His Girl Friday" also has a points to make about corruption, media and justice. "The Awful Truth" starring Grant and Dunne is straight screwball as the two stars play a divorcing married couple that maybe doesn't really want to separate. Leo McCarey directed this fast paced romp, poor old Ralph Bellamy is again Grant's hapless foil. In the unlikely event I'm sent to a desert island that has a DVD player and can only bring a few DVD sets, this one is coming with me. In any event this box set should find itself on the the shelves of any Cary Grant fan."
Creme de la Cary.
Ruby Tuesday | San Francisco, CA | 04/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The idea of putting a collection of a screen star's films is always a great idea, but most of the time it doesn't follow through (Exhibit A: The James Stewart Signature Collection. As much as, well, everybody loves Jimmy Stewart, did we really need "The Cheyenne Social Club"??). That is hardly the case here. Included are essential Cary Grant films, both classic (His Girl Friday), underrated (Only Angels Have Wings) or unreleased (Holiday), his breakthrough role (The Awful Truth), and a charming social comedy (The Talk of the Town).
*THE AWFUL TRUTH: Jerry (Grant) and Lucy Warriner (Irene Dunne) both think that they have caught each other in infidelity (He returns home from a "business trip" from Florida with oranges from California, She comes back arm in arm with her French voice teacher), so they divorce each other, with 90 days until the thing becomes final. In those 90 days, she dates a sweet, bumbling oil man from Texas (Ralph Bellamy, who made a career out of playing the guy who loses the girl to Cary Grant, see HIS GIRL FRIDAY), and he romances an heiress. As their divorce's final date gets closer and closer, they realize that they're not ready to let each other go...leading to screwball results. This is the film that established Cary as a genuine star, a romantic leading man. His rapport with Irene Dunne is magical, and she's hysterical, especially towards the end when she tries to embarrass his stuffy fiancee's family by pretending to be his boozy sister "Lola Warriner." But beneath the laughs lie a deep understanding of marriage and the melancholy of love, leading to one of the cleverest ending shots in history.
*HIS GIRL FRIDAY: Undoubtably the funniest, fastest film ever made. Ace reporter Hildy Johnson (the brilliant Rosalind Russell) just wants to quit the newspaper business and settle down with a safe (re: dull) fiance Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy) in Albany. But her ex-husband/boss/editor Walter Burns (Grant) won't let her go that easily. Russell is probably the only woman who could go shoulder-to-shoulder with Cary Grant, in a way that even Katharine Hepburn and Irene Dunne couldn't have topped. She delivers each of her lines with precise timing, and proves that, like all great Hawksian women, she is "just one of the guys." This was the third collaboration between Grant and Howard Hawks, the versatile director of "Bringing Up Baby", "Scarface", "Only Angels Have Wings" and "The Big Sleep." They made 5 films together, 4 screwball comedies and one action-adventure/drama (ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS). This is the best of their screwball comedies, and Cary Grant's on-screen persona as a lovable rogue who gets the girl by being the crueller of the two and always indirectly asking her to stay, is at his best here. This film is a must-have for any film buff.
*THE TALK OF THE TOWN: Although this is the least flashy of the set, it's a nicely made comedy of social manners directed by George Stevens. Leopold Dilg (Grant) is a political activist who is framed for arson and murder. He hides out in the summer house of Nora Shelley (Jean Arthur), a teacher as well as Leopold's childhood sweetheart. But Nora has rented out the house to a stuffy candidate for a seat on the Supreme Court, Professor Lightcap (Ronald Coleman). After Leopold has introduced himself to the professor as Joseph the Gardener, Nora and Leopold must convince the professor to help Leopold out. The dialogue about social conflict hasn't aged very much and translates well today. Though the love triangle is a little bit stale and the film is about 20 minutes too long, all three actors make their roles lively and believable. Jean Arthur particularly has nice chemistry with Grant.
*HOLIDAY: Johnny Case (Grant), a fun-loving man with a joie de vivre, thinks he has met the love of his life in Julia Seton (Doris Nolan), a woman he knows little about other than that he loves her. When he goes to meet her family, he realizes that she belongs to a very rich family of bankers, whose patriarch is particularly stuffy and wants his daughter to marry into another rich family. Johnny also meets Julia's siblings, the alcoholic Ned and independent-thinking Linda (Katharine Hepburn). As the film continues, Johnny and the audience find out just how much Julia is like her father, someone who only cares about money, and we see that Johnny is really a much better match for Linda. But will he follow his brain or his heart? (Little hint: if you actually think that Cary Grant will ride off into the sunset with someone named Doris Nolan, you've never seen a movie.) Slight predictability aside, this is a sparkling gem. Johnny doesn't want to work all his life; his plan is to save up enough money to spend his days in relaxation and on holiday, then go back to work when he's figured out what he's working for. This type of thinking would become a hit in the 60s, so it's incredibly surprising to see it shown in a movie from 1938. Katharine Hepburn is wonderful in her signature role, an independent woman with a heart full of love underneath it all. I liked how even though you know that Cary and Katharine will end up together, you see genuine chemistry, especially in their body language, between Cary and Doris Nolan. Her flaw isn't initially obvious, unlike how you see a mile ahead that Meg Ryan and Bill Paxton aren't a match in SLEEPLESS IN SEATLE. This film was ahead of its time in so many ways, and if not for the lack of sex, violence and today's modern stars, I'd confuse it for a romantic comedy made from today.
*ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS: Bonnie Lee (Jean Arthur again) is on her way back to New York, just passing through a small Columbian town Barranca, home to a group of tough-shelled pilots who fly mail to hard-to-reach places. The leader of these pilots is Geoff Carter (Grant), who has the toughest shell to crack. He never has attachments to anybody, probably due to the frequent deaths of friends. This is shown in the first twenty mintues of the film, when the death of a pilot devestates Bonnie but the gang acts as though nothing has happened. It doesn't take her long to become just "one of the guys", and she decides to stay. Another unexpected visitor comes in the form of Bat Kilgallen--MacPherson, a pilot shunned for previously jumping out of a crashing plane, leaving his engineer to die...the man he left to die was the brother to Kid Dabb (Thomas Mitchell), Geoff's best friend. Also along for the ride is Judy MacPherson (Rita Hayworth in a breakthrough role), Geoff's ex-love. As tensions both personal and sexual start to rise, we are entertained by a nifty script with numerous memorable quotes, excellent performances and some spectacular flying scenes which aren't cutting-edge by today's standards but nonetheless thrilling. This is a great role for Grant, as a stoic man who gradually unravels the veil to reveal a sad and broken man, something he would do 7 years later in NOTORIOUS. Jean Arthur makes another great Hawksian woman, probably the most vulnerable of them all. Her chemistry with Grant is sweet (just look at the scene where he scoops her up in his arms, thinking her leg is hurt) and natural. An underrated film for both Grant and Hawks, this was a big hit in 1939, considered the golden age of cinema. This film is usually passed over for films like GONE WITH THE WIND and MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON among others, but this melodrama comes off as a standard action film and ends up becoming a revealing character study. If only Michael Bay could take notes from this film.
You won't find a better collection of Cary Grant films in a better boxed set. Included are 10 postcards from his films (Represented for each is film is one picture of him and his leading lady, the other is a copy of the original poster), plus the box package has some swank photos of Cary and some of his greatest quotes ("Everybody wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant."). Don't we all, Cary. Don't we all..."
Cary Grant Collection
John Farr | 06/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No actor epitomizes classical Hollywood cinema like the ultra-suave, thoroughly professional Cary Grant, the leading man's leading man. This box set collects Grant's greatest hits of the late '30s-early '40s, right after he jettisoned his stifling Paramount contract to become a free agent for Columbia and RKO. Acting opposite Irene Dunne, Katharine Hepburn, and Rosalind Russell in the set's three uproarious screwball comedies ("Truth", "Holiday", and "Friday", respectively), Grant shows off his inimitable flair for witty, machine-gun repartee. Only the riveting "Angels" and more cerebral "Talk" (opposite the incomparable Jean Arthur) demonstrate why Hitchcock, among others, found the gentleman star such an appealing straight man. If you adore Cary Grant the way I do, this set is a must-have."
The Cary Grant Box Set , Wonderful Set & Value!!
Tcfoxfan | Menifee, CA United States | 03/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This box set is OUTSTANDING! I read reviews that were not too favorable, but since I've been wanting these films for a long time, I took the chance. Wow...I'm so happy that I did. The films are preented in great shape and the packaging was very atrractive. Cary Grant Grant is always a delight and when opposite Rosalind Russell, Jean Arthur or Katherine Hepburn who can go wrong.
Many others who have purchased this thought it was unfair that the film Holiday with Katherine Hepburn was not available alone, but only as part of this box set. This didn't bother me and when it happens with other sets that I purchase I present them as gifts for family & friends. After all one can't have too many great old films in ones collection! Highly recommended!!!"