I’ve been wanting to explore a sense of style à la Cary Grant for quite some time so you can imagine how my brain exploded with potential when I came across the above photo of the actor posing with several bonsai trees: could an image be more apropos to the Currey & Company point of view? This led me to the remarkably chic movie Charade.
A Handsome Charade
There were any number of film choices I could have drawn from that would have served this post well because his career spanned three decades (from 1932 to 1966) and he made 72 movies within that time. I chose Charade because Grant and his costar Audrey Hepburn have one of my favorite bits of repartee in it, which you’ll see in the clip of the film below:
CG: Do we know each other?
AH: Why, do you think we’re going to?
CG: I don’t know; how would I know?
AH: Because I already know an awful lot of people and until one of them dies, I couldn’t possibly meet anyone else.
CG: Hmmm. Well, if anyone goes on the critical list, let me know.
CG: Uh, huh?
AH: You give up awfully easily, don’t you?
The film gleaned only one major Oscar nomination: Henry Mancini was tapped for Best Music, Original Song for the movie’s theme song. Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn were nominated for Golden Globes, and Hepburn won a BAFTA. Peter Stone was up for a Writers Guild of America Award for the screenplay he adapted from his own novel but not an Oscar. This was a very competitive year for films and actors: Sidney Poitier won the award for best actor for Lilies of the Field; and notable nominated films included Cleopatra; The Birds; It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World; Tom Jones; Federico Fellini’s 8 ½ and Hud.
It’s remarkable to think that Grant never won an Academy Award but it’s true. In the video above, he’s accepting the Oscar for Ingrid Bergman in 1957 for her role in Anastasia. He starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s film noir classic Notorious with her, released in 1946; and in Indiscrete, which debuted in 1958. The two are shown in the photo below with Hitchcock, who directed them in Notorious.
Among the leading ladies with whom he was paired during his long career are Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, Ginger Rogers, Jayne Mansfield, Eva Marie Saint, Doris Day and Deborah Kerr, to name a few. An Affair to Remember with Kerr has become a classic that still airs on romantic channels. Grant’s sense of style was impeccable, as the images that illustrate this post prove, so I thought it would be fitting to delve into Currey & Company’s offerings and tap products that would be smashing choices for his tailored sophistication.
After I highlight these, I’ll share the opening of Peter Stone’s screenplay and novel for Charade so you can see where the two characters—Regina Lampert, or Reggie, and Peter Joshua played by Hepburn and Grant respectively—were born.
One look at the image above and you can see why Grant, whose real name was Archibald Alexander Leach, is quoted as saying, “Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.”
Furnishing the Handsome Charade
Let’s make him more Cary Grant than he ever was with these Currey & Company offerings. There are a few bestsellers in the mix and a sneak peek at a new product that will be debuting during High Point Market in just over eight weeks (Can it really be that we’re closing in on October again? My, how time flies!). Be sure to read all the way through the post for What’s New What’s Next details, which takes place on September 14th.
Our Tête à Tête sofa is the perfect marriage of form and function. It also illustrates designer Edward J. Wormley’s belief in practical, streamlined beauty. This piece is in the Dunbar Collection
The Karlson credenza is made of solid oak that is covered with natural vellum veneer on the front and a caviar black finish on the frame. It’s a veritable work of art.
The simple forged iron base of the Boyles Silver drinks table, one of our bestsellers, has been treated to a black iron finish. It proudly lifts its antique silver tray-like top to make this an attractive table when only a small amount of space is available.
The Huntsman chandelier with its metal slats in alternating satin brass and antique brass finishes has bagged high style that it puts into orbit overhead. The six-light fixture is one of our bestsellers.
The Verona nightstand is one of our bestsellers; the black beauty with its sexy touch of gold is covered in black lacquered linen that is accented with champagne-finished metal detailing.
The Primo Brass wall sconce, in our Currey in a Hurry program, is to a space what a classic lapel pin is to a woman’s elegant suit. It was inspired by mid-century stylistic notes that would place it squarely on the forefront of design of that era.
The Fulton table lamp, a tailored composition of leather and nickel-plated metal, is one of our new products debuting during High Point Market.
Cary Grant could always rock a pin stripe suite, as he proves in the above photo from 1940. Don’t you think the products we’ve chosen for him would fit him to a tee were he setting up house today? If only it wasn’t a complete charade!
Charade the Novel and Screenplay
And now to the sampling of screenplay versus novel I promised you. I think you’ll see why I say I am much more enamored with the screenplay than the novel, as the movie treatment is lush in its descriptions while the novel, as any spy caper should be, opens more to the point. Here’s the opening of the screenplay from which Charade was made:
FADE IN (BEFORE TITLES)
- EXT. FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE – DUSK
Silence – complete silence for the urbanite, though the oncoming darkness is punctuated by sounds of farm country – a few birds, a distant rumble of thunder from some heavy clouds on the horizon, a dog’s barking.
CAMERA PANS the green, squared-off flatland, lit only by a fine sunset in its final throes. Then, gradually, starting from nothing, a rumble is heard, quickly growing louder and louder until the sound of a train can be recognized.
CAMERA PANS quickly, discovering the railroad line atop a man-made rise of land, and the speeding passenger train is upon us, flashing by with a roar.
Then, as if from nowhere, the figure of a man hits the embankment and rolls crazily down to the bottom into the thick underbrush alongside the tracks.
The novel Charade opens with this paragraph:
“Two weeks at Trouville on the Normandy coast had darkened Regina Lambert’s skin, lightened her hair, added six pounds to those parts of her that were most often admired and convinced her to divorce her husband….”
I certainly don’t see the six pounds on Hepburn in the above photo of her and Grant in Paris while filming the movie but it’s not the novelist’s fault, as he had a protagonist in mind who was not a Hollywood superstar!
Here’s how he describes her in the screenplay:
- FADE IN
EXT. MEGEVE – DAY
A handsome and elegant hotel perched on the mountain-side overlooking the French resort town. A large, open sun deck – tables, gaily colored parasols, sun bathers. One of the latter is REGINA LAMBERT, a lovely young girl. She is, besides taking in the sun, involved in her favorite activity – eating.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this handsome charade featuring Grant, who we see above with Clark Gable, Bob Hope and David Niven at the Academy Awards in 1958, and below on the opposite side of the camera than we normally saw him.
With “The End” of our Cary Grant caper, we would be remiss if we didn’t offer you a peek at our own bonsai superstar, Brownlee Currey, watering one of his trees during High Point Market!
What’s New What’s Next
Come by the showroom to see us during What’s New What’s Next on September 14 and meet legendary designer Bunny Williams. We will have our new lighting additions to The Bunny Williams Collection for Currey & Company on hand. The inspiration for her designs spring from antique fixtures she has sourced for her design clients over many years. It is bold in scale and makes a statement in its broad range of materials and styles. We look forward to welcoming her to our corner of NYC when the festivities get underway at 1pm. We’ll be there until 9pm so stop by if you can. Our showroom number in the New York Design Center, or 200 Lex, is 506.
Saxon Henry also blogs as The Modern Salonnière.