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Cary Grant: Britain’s Greatest Export

August-September 2019

A two-month season devoted to ‘our man in Hollywood’, an actor oozing charm, charisma and impressive range.

Introduction by season programmer Justin Johnson

Cary Grant: Britain’s Greatest Export

Photograph: Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief. Courtesy of Rex Features


“I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be, and, finally, I became that person. Or he became me”
Cary Grant

Cary Grant was the UK’s secret weapon in Hollywood, emerging from a troubled childhood into a suave, dapper movie star that everyone wanted to work with.

Despite being seen by many as quintessentially American, sporting snappy suits and talking in a memorably irresistible mid-Atlantic accent, Cary Grant was born in Bristol and maintained a strong relationship with the UK throughout his life. This is where he learned his craft in the world of variety; acrobatics and slapstick later merged to inform his physical comedy and presence on the big screen. He was more than just a star, however; he was a true acting giant capable of delivering dark and light performances with enough depth to create rounded and complex characters. Hollywood’s leading ladies clamoured to work with him, as did the great directors of the time – many doing so on a number of occasions. Enjoy these selected works in part one of our two-month showcase.

Justin Johnson


See our screenings of Notorious, our Big Screen Classics, and a special library collections display.

Film at the BFI: Cary Grant: Hollywood’s Leading Man
Every Tuesday from 6 August - 24 September, 18:30-20:30
This eight-week evening course will explore the background, career and legacy of one of Hollywood’s greatest.

Coming in part two in September: Arsenic and Old Lace, Bringing Up Baby, Monkey Business, North by Northwest and more...

Promotional partner

BFI Flare


Generously supported by Col and Karen Needham

Charlotte Crofts and the Cary Comes Home Festival, Bristol


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