Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Great On Screen Couples: Cary Grant and Carole Lombard

Ok for the few people in blog land who may not know this...Cary Grant and Carole Lombard are my favorite actor and actress ever. I love them more than any other actors and actresses. And while I think Irene Dunne is Cary's best on screen partner, due to the three wonderful films they made together (The Awful Truth, My Favorite Wife and Penny Serenade), Cary and Carole had some great chemistry of their own. True they only made one full film together in 1939's In Name Only, they co-starred early in their career in The Eagle and The Hawk with Fredric March, but they shared no scenes together. Also just learned from VP81955 that Cary had a role in one of Carole's earlier films, Sinners in The Sun and they do share the screen together. Must track that down to watch that one. Thanks VP!

So it is with In Name Only, one terrific romantic drama from the golden year of 1939 that showcases my two favorite people working their magic. Cary is Alec Walker, a wealthy New Yorker in a loveless marriage to Maida (the amazing Kay Francis) who meets the beautiful and caring Julie Eden, a widow (played by Carole) with a young daughter. Alec and Julie hit it off immediately but Maida will not let him out their marriage. She will hold onto Alec even if it makes him miserable.

So this is a true romantic tear-jerker with an love triangle that just won't give an inch, especially by Maida.
Top notch drama and it's great seeing Cary and Carole in a film together. A nice change of pace of Carole in one of her few dramatic roles. She proves she can hold her own with the Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburns. Her pairing with Cary is just wonderful to see. I mean I would have loved for them to team up again for a screwball comedy but sadly that would not happen.

In Name Only is one of my all time favorite films. If you have never seen it, watch it immediately.


This movie was intended to be a reunion for Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, but following the failure of Bringing Up Baby at the box office from the previous year, Hepburn left RKO being after deemed "Box Office Poison". Carole Lombard was subsequently brought in as her replacement.

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie onDecember 11, 1939 with Carole Lombard, Cary Grant and Kay Francis reprising their film roles.

Filmed on location in San Marino, California


  1. The performances are wonderful and Lombard, is absolutely gorgeous. I think another good reason to see this film, is to see Kay Francis performance as Maida, Cary Grant's vindictive wife, which is great fun to watch. Lombard's fans won't be disappointed either.

  2. Cary had a supporting role in one of Carole's early Paramount vehicles, "Sinners In The Sun" (1932), and they do share the screen on occasion.

  3. Sweet VP81955...another movie I can look forward to seeing with my favorite two people! Thanks.

  4. "In Name Only" is a beautiful movie, and I think Cary and Carole worked beautifully together. As one who pretty much cannot stand Katharine Hepburn, I am glad she was not the one to do this film with Cary. It would have been ruined for me if she had.

  5. I hadn't seen "In Name Only" for ages when I caught it not too long ago on TCM. Was happy to find it had lost none of its appeal over the years. Kay Francis was very good as CG's heartless, greedy wife and I enjoyed the scene where she is caught out by her wealthy in-laws as much this last viewing as I did the first.

    For some reason I was under the impression for a long time that Grant and Lombard had made more films together. Probably because they should have. I enjoy Hitchcock's only screwball, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" - Lombard and Robert Montgomery. While Montgomery does a fine job, I've always thought the film would have become a timeless classic with Cary Grant in the role. I later learned that the director had wanted but was unable to get Grant for the male lead.

  6. That is also my favorite scene where Kay Francis, is over heard by her wealthy in-laws.

    I agree with you.. Cary Grant, would have been perfect playing the part of Mr. Smith.


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