Scott, thank you for this post of Cary Grant. Grant has always been extremely special to me not only as a style inspiration, but as a role model for living fully and well. I find that I constantly refer to him and try to introduce him to a new generation of my clients, especially those young men who are really looking to develop and polish their image and expand their horizons (fair disclosure: yes, I do work in the fashion industry). Coming from a poor family, as did Grant, it was wonderful to be able to have this magnificent man to refer fm time to time in order to determine what kind of man I wanted to be in this world. He genuinely became, as those of us who love him know, the sophisticated, funny, suave and charming gent he portrayed in so many of his characters. He was not flawless, to be sure, for he was all to human in the best and worst senses that term implies. But, to echo the French in your title, il etait un homme. My enduring regret is only that the world will never see the likes of him again.
Are there really any words that can describe the style and screen presence of Cary Grant? Was there ever anyone like him? No. Will there ever be anyone like him again? Doubtful. He is 20th century style personified. And, besides the style and the way he wore clothes, the way he spoke, his charm and savoir faire, he was just simply bloody handsome as hell.
I was so happy to see this on your already amazing blog. Cary Grant epitomizes a classic stylish man. I don't think I've seen a more charming and handsome person onscreen. Not only was he capable of carrying dramatic thrillers, but also silly comedies. He had the amazing gift of being able to mix his wit into his dramatic roles. I can't get enough of him! Thank goodness for Turner Classic Movie channel!
oh, how I love cary grant…! (and on a quick side note: this book was recently featured in a major daily newspaper in Germany. however, the German version uses a different cover photograph, and now I'm really happy I didn't rush to buy it yet, because I must say I very much prefer the French cover version. just shows about the French and their sense of style, I guess!)
…..Old Cary is still packing them in. I've got a couple of CG books so I'll probably pass on this one but it looks interesting. That the fashion industry is still so dependant on Grant and Gary Cooper, who is quite his equal in the sartorial stakes, to be the beau ideal of how serious and adult men dress is an enormous testament to their quality and flair. There are still a few stars around when it comes to men's dress, including Matteo Marzotto who regularly appears here and Clooney of course, but they don't really have the visibility that Cooper and Grant had. Grant is responsible for making me first aware of men's clothes at age 15 or thereabouts when I saw him in North by Northwest. That grey suit. I wanted to look like Cary Grant. In the mid sixties when the transcontinental trains still ran I travelled across America in one but unfortunately never met Eve Marie Sainte in my sleeper.
Cary Grant is the reason behind my interest in men's fashion. He's the reason why I'm pursuing my dream as a men's stylist. It has been said before but, "Cary Grant is the epitome of fashion." That will never get old. I love Mr. Grant.
Oi blogger MAX. about your comment on soft collar shirts. Being you are from the UK you might try some Paul Smith mainline shirts they have a much softer feal than his London line. You may know this already but if not good luck. ModPaul…
Italian television had a few days ago a rerun of North by Northwest where Cary Grant crosses all America in his gray suit, that somehow manages to remain always well pressed and by the end has become very much like the armour of a modern knight. Both him and Eva Marie Saint are unsurpassed in style, IMHO. Saint is not as pretty as Grace Kelly and the other Hitchcock blondes, but manages to be hotter then them by clear and controlled acting, exceptional makeup and hairdos, and understated fashion. Both Grant and Saint manage to use sex as flyswatters – so they say – without the need of showing naked skin.
Luca said… " Saint is not as pretty as Grace Kelly and the other Hitchcock blondes, but manages to be hotter then them"
……..Agree with you about Marie Sainte, but you forgot about Kim Novak who epitomized hotness…..the others are way too ice maidenish even the delectable Kelly……Paradoxically as she got older she got hotter although she was truly a vision of loveliness in Rear Window and To Catch a Thief.
"Anonymous:A real man should at all times have coarse shoes."
……..Yes I'll be sure to put on my heavy soled Mephisto clodhoppers the next time I wear my DB striped suit…….it's horses for courses
You are spot on Max… As Mr Grant was the best looking man to ever walk on the planet. Steve McQueen was for sure the Coolest to ever rock the planet. There are two great books about him one called "40 Summers Ago…" the other is "Steve McQueen William Claxton photographs" Both must haves for the S.MQ. fan.. Folding Persols, Heuer Monaco watch and white tee's all part of my day to day uniform. Thanks to Mr M. If you can't find the books give me a shout. amodworld.blogspot.com Good Luck…
One more thought… As far as living style Kings lets not leave out my all time fave. Hailing from Woking England the Mod Father Mr Paul Weller. The man has Style, Massive Charisma and he's one of the greatest Rocknrolla's of all time.
Brummagen Joe, thanks for your comment. Kelly and Novak would have been gorgeous even in kitchen aprons, and Kelly had so much class to become a real life queen. Saint was not as pretty to start with, had a skinny face and was small and thin. Interestingly, Hitch transformed her in a glamour icon by a subtractive process, instructing her to lower her voice and not make unnecessary gestures. When MGM designers provided her with a wardrobe, Hitch trashed almost all, brought her to Bergdorf Goodman and bought her elegant but very conservative dresses. She seduces Cary Grant in a simple white shirt, no flesh shown, and in all the picture you can barely peep her knees just when she comes sliding down Mt. Rushmore.
Of course she was a first class actress in a first class role, but I always found so fascinating that such class could be reached better by understatement instead of overstatement.
Agreed, all around. That cover picture just shows how he can look at you as if you are the only one on earth. And the smirk on his face as if he could look either sad or happy with a fraction of a movement. He can be so dark, yet so sunny at the same time. He is my favorite actor of all time, and so effortlessly embodies style and a talent all his own. Thank you for posting!
Cary Grant is definitely the master of 1950s classic, semi-formal, style. However, as style icons from that decade go, I admire James Dean even more. His mix of casual and semi-formal attire still looks cutting edge today.
One of the things I noticed about these images is that on the first shot his hair is combed right to left, and on the 2nd and 3rd it's combed left to right. Did he change his hair? Or did someone reverse a negative film?
The top 2 photos are magnificent, and the upper one, especially, exemplifies a steadfastly rugged and untouchably handsome brand of masculinity.
As one poster mentioned, George Clooney could pull off something similar, although nowhere near as iconic as these images.
Clooney is in fact one of a very select few of the current crop of Hollywood leading men who could come even vaguely close to approaching this granite hewn version of handsome celluloid maleness.
He is possibly the single only A-list actor of today comparable to the likes of Clark Gable, Gregory Peck, Gary Cooper, Rock Hudson and of course Cary Grant himself.
Although, I must say that Sean Connery, when he first appeared on the screen as James Bond, lighting his cigarette at the casino card table in Dr No, came very close to matching Cary grant in the ‘timeless icon’ states.