“Night and day, you are the one…”
With the help of his devoted wife (Alexis Smith) and friend (Monty Woolley), Cole Porter (Cary Grant) rises from obscurity to worldwide fame.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Alan Hale Film
- Alexis Smith Films
- Cary Grant Films
- Jane Wyman Films
- Marital Problems
- Michael Curtiz Films
- Monty Woolley Films
The plot of this notoriously fictionalized biopic (made while Porter was still alive) is, as noted in the DVD Verdict review (see link below), “little more than a clothesline on which the musical numbers hang.” Indeed, the narrative takes so many liberties with Porter’s life — incorrectly positing him as a war hero, and neglecting to mention his homosexuality — that one must choose simply to ignore the facts and enjoy the music. On the other hand, Grant — while still indubitably “Cary Grant” — does a fine job depicting Porter as someone who’s more interested in kissing his wife passionately on the cheek than on the lips, and who remains resolutely untempted by the bevy of adoring singers constantly surrounding him; if you read between the lines, hints are definitely there. Comparisons between this and the more recent “authentic” Porter biopic De-Lovely (starring Kevin Kline) are inevitable, but I must say I prefer the original — for my money, it’s much more effective at portraying the exuberance and joy Porter brought to the world through his inimitable, sophisticated musical style.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Many creatively staged renditions of Porter’s songs
No, though it’s an enjoyable diversion.