Wednesday, December 01, 2004

All Day, All Night, Cary Grant

Looks like March 1, 2005 will bring some special editions of movies starring Cary Grant: a two-disc special edition of The Philadelphia Story, and, even better, the DVD debut of Bringing Up Baby (also in a two-disc special edition).

I'm not a huge fan of The Philadelphia Story -- Philip Barry's dialogue never strikes me as very funny or witty, and it's kind of repulsive that Katharine Hepburn is blamed (and seems to accept that she should bear some of the blame) for her father's adultery. But I will say that Donald Ogden Stewart's script for the movie is one of the best stage-to-screen adaptations of all time. Almost every change he made was for the better, such as eliminating the character of Sandy (Tracy's brother, who brings the reporter and photographer to the estate in the hopes of killing a scandalous story about their father) and giving his storyline to the Cary Grant character, thus increasing interest in that storyline and beefing up Grant's part. And while he sticks fairly closely to Barry's dialogue, the new scenes he added are if anything even better than Barry's own, like the scene between Grant and a drunk James Stewart ("Can't you?" "No, I can't you").

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