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Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style


From Genre magazine:


Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style by Richard Torregrossa (Bulfinch Press)

is filled with more than 100 photographs --many of which have never been seen

before- and has a foreword by Giorgio Armani as well as an afterword by

Michael Kors. Sounds good, right? Here's what else Richard had to say when

I got the chance to ask him a few questions...


What inspired you to write a book on Cary Grant and his personal style?

In 2003, I was working as a journalist, covering fashion. And that year,

Giorgio Armani said that his menswear collection was inspired by Cary

Grant's timeless elegance in the Hitchcock classics, Notorious and North

by Northwest.  Cary Grant is not an actor of my generation---but when

Mr. Armani says something, you listen. So, I went back and watched some

of Cary Grant's movies, and saw exactly what he meant. No doubt about

it ---Cary Grant's sense of style is timeless, as relevant now as it was back

in his day. Mr. Armani inspired me to write about Cary Grant not only as

a movie star but as a man of style.


Was there anything you thought you knew wasn't actually true?

That his ease and elegance wasn't a birthright or the result of a posh pedigree.

It was actually carefully created, step by step --from the way he wore his clothes,

to the way he walked and talked. His seeming effortless took quite a bit of effort.

His life is an example how style can be used as a tool of empowerment, a means

to transform yourself into the person you want to be.


What surprised you most about Cary Grant?

His keen intelligence. He was an astute businessman, almost visionary in this

realm. He was the first actor to break free of the suffocating restraints of the

studio system and freelance successfully. He negotiated the rights to some of

his early films to revert back to him after 7 years, when the studios assumed

nobody would want to watch old movies. But the television came along in the

1950's and Cary Grant movies were in great demand and those rights were

worth a small fortune.


What is your favorite Cary Grant movie and why?

I can't really pick one. I like The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby and

Holiday--those early slapstick comedies in which he does pratfalls.

You see his athletic grace, his ability to make fun of himself while still

appearing elegant, very rare quality. I love To Catch a Thief  and North

by Northwest, because the clothes and the movies themselves are so

stylish--qualities lacking in today's Hollywood films.


And--you know I have to ask--what is your take on the rumors

that Cary Grant was gay?

To my mind, there's just no convincing  evidence for it, no documentation

that I could find. It was, as you say, all rumors--some launched vindictively

to hurt his career. It should be noted, however, that he had many homosexual

friends and was not homophobic in any way. He was not judgmental. I think

this comes from the fact, early on, he mixed with all kinds of people, admired

their talents and was grateful for their friendships regardless of their sexual

preferences or the color of their skin.










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