Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cary Grant: Master of His Own Destiny


The studio system of signing stars to exclusive contracts and grooming them to fit the mold it had created for them was at its most powerful in the mid to late Thirties. And what star in their right mind wouldn't want the protection, money and promotion these entities had to offer? Cary Grant, that's who.

By the mid 1930's Grant had been under contract to Paramount Pictures for half the decade and by 1935 they were casting him in one mediocre film after another. That same year, when his contract with Paramount expired, he made the unheard of at the time decision to become a freelance actor and be paid on a per film basis, allowing him to control his own career and script choice. It was a gamble that paid off big time.

By 1937 he had found his niche in the sophisticated screwball comedies Topper and The Awful Truth (the latter with the wonderful Irene Dunne) and from there the hits just continued to roll for Grant. He became and remained one of Hollywood's top box office draws for the next 25 years.

2 comments:

  1. This is one of the many reasons I admire Cary Grant so much. He was always ahead of the curve.

    ReplyDelete

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