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Film Studies 101
Feature
In Praise Of... Cary Grant
Why we'll always love Mr. Archibald Leach

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In Praise Of... Cary Grant | He beat the Hollywood system
He beat the Hollywood system

Before Cary Grant, the idea of an actor being a free agent not tied to an exclusive contract with a studio was unthinkable. But Grant’s star rose so high and burned so bright that he started his own production company in the 1950s, Grantley Productions, and broke away entirely from the old studio system, demanding percentages of the film’s gross takings, and the right to pick his co-stars and even his directors on certain films.

On North By Northwest he earned $450,000 flat out, plus $315,000 in overtime for the film’s nine week delay – not to mention an undisclosed percentage of total profits. Now the studio system is dead and buried, and if you’re glad to see a leading man like Ryan Reynolds can skip gleefully from The Proposal to Buried to The Green Lantern without getting typecast, it’s in no small part thanks to our man Cary.

Example given:
Though Grant hated the finished film, That Touch Of Mink earnt him $4,000,000… plus a percentage of the gross. As it flopped, that didn’t much matter, but $4,000,000? Not too shabby at all.
 

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