We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

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Aim high

“Don’t fear failure. After all, without aiming high and occasionally hitting something else entirely, we’d never have discovered how tasty Northern Spotted Owls can be.”

Stephen Green, of Vodkapundit, making a wonderful line in the course of an article where he writes about learning about individuality from Cary Grant. (The article is in the latest edition of the Objectivist publication, the New Individualist. Not yet on the web, as far as I can tell. Cary Grant is the patron saint of all well-dressed guys the world over).

11 comments to Aim high

  • Verity

    About three or four months ago, Steve Green wrote a fascinating piece about Cary Grant having decided, after working with Mae West, that he would never be the pursuer, but always the pursued. He felt that the audience always watched the object of someone else’s desire with more attention. If you look back at his films, he was indeed always pursued by a woman, always reluctant to fall for her.

    I cannot think of another male movie start who could have pulled this off and still emerged a romantic hero and not a churl.

  • John

    OT, from Instapundit(Link):

    ANOTHER VICTORY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: DESPITE MASSIVE GOVERNMENTAL AND INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT, a gun control referendum has failed in Brazil, and by a rather sizable margin:

  • Julian Taylor

    Talking of owls, we should be thanking the Labour Party and all its anti-hunt supporters/saboteurs for not only helping fox hunting to keep going, but also for encouraging a resurgence of falconry in the UK.

  • Now, Verity, no real romantic hero would ever be caught dead chasing and beseeching women. That’s the worst way to get women to think of you as a romantic hero. Besides, wimmen love churls. No?

  • Verity

    Robert Spiers: “besides, wimmen love churls. No?”


  • zmollusc

    I thought that Gary Crant had the script altered so he was pursued by the young tarts so he didn’t appear to be a predatory dirty old man?

  • Verity

    No. He learned it when he worked on “She Done Him Wrong” with Mae West. He never had any scripts altered. It was known that he would only consider movies in which he was not the pursuer.

    The woman is often in danger, and she falls in love with him while he is rescuing her in pursuit of some other issue. As in North by Northwest, for example. And To Catch A Thief. He’s always engaged in something nefarious and a beautiful woman always turns up, who falls in love with him against his will. Even in the last romantic thriller he made, when he must have been around 60, he had Audrey Hepburn chasing him all over Paris, dressed by Givenchy. Hepburn, that is. Not Paris.

  • zmollusc

    I shall have to consult my ‘Ladybird Book of the Motion Picture Arts (1962)’ to find out if I am confusing that story with another actor/ imagining the whole thing/ accurately reporting someone else’s misinformation.

  • Verity

    It might have been when he was older that he didn’t want to look like an old man falling for a young woman, but according to Steve Green, he made the decision when he worked with Mae West – and he was very much the younger person – she was in her 40s and he was just starting out in Hollywood – that he saw how effective it was to be the pursued.

  • Johnathan

    Verity, my two favourite Cary Grant movies are His Girl Friday, which has some incredibly fast dialogue and is very funny, and To Catch a Thief. Gracy Kelly: wow!!!

  • Verity

    Jonathan – There’s that one with Ingrid Bergman where he rescues her by supporting her – she has been drugged – as they walk down that circular staircase – incredible tension! I think it was Notorious.

    I don’t think I’ve seen His Girl Friday. Must get it! He was very talented at delivering fast dialogue. To Catch A Thief – yes, indeed. But if you haven’t seen Charade, you should. Witty dialogue, lots of action, Audrey Hepburn simply beautiful and elegant and – of course! – in danger, James Coburn, Walter Matthau and you never know exactly who Cary Grant is. Great music by Henry Mancini and, all of it set in Paris.

    But it’s Hepburn chasing Grant through it all and him resisting falling in love with her – as always.