Surreysmum's Reviews > Cary Grant: The Lonely Heart

Cary Grant by Charles Higham
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's review
Sep 26, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: 1992, actors, biography, film-history
Read in August, 1992

[These notes were made in 1992:]. Read in the 1989 Harcourt Brace Jovanovich edition. I don't know who was the lead on this project - both Charles Higham and Roy Moseley, his co-author, recount incidents of personal interaction with Grant, and both have written about other Hollywood personalities of this period. Certainly, there was quite a bit to write about: in all sorts of ways Grant was not what he seemed. There is some question as to whether Elsie Leach (whom he falsely believed to be dead for many years - she was in an asylum) was his real mother. Connected with that mystery was Grant's pattern of claiming Jewishness. Then there was the quite unmysterious but of course in his day unrevealable matter of his bisexuality. Notwithstanding his five marriages & numerous other consummated relationships with women, Grant also sustained relationships with designer Jack Kelly, actor Randolph Scott and, briefly, Howard Hughes, as well as a number of briefer encounters, one of which got him arrested. The powers-that-be bailed him out on that one (it was during the WWII period) mainly because he was acting as a British agent in Hollywood, gathering information on Nazis & Nazi sympathizers like Errol Flynn. This book does not even pretend to be an examination of Grant's films, or of his strengths, weaknesses & techniques as an actor. There is no filmogrpahy, and although I believe the films are all mentioned as they came up chronologically, the authors have focussed on his relationships (working & otherwise) with costars & directos, his behaviour on the set (always interfering with set design) & the general box-office appeal of the movie. The one comment they do quite consistently make about the movie is when Grant appears in drag or inserts some "gay" innuendo into the dialogue or action. Not without an agenda, our authors, but they certainly mustered lots of evidence. Although it's not a total hack job, Grant emerges form these pages as a very troubled human being who caused a lot of grief for those around him.

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