“Roamed About Again”: Cary Grant’s Wanderlust
Online, Saturday 21 November 2020, 6-7pm GMT

Tickets: Pay what you feel, 0-£10


An illustrated talk with Dr Mark Glancy, author of Cary Grant, The Making of a Hollywood Legend, followed by a Q&A with Dr Matthew Sweet.

In 1918, when Archie Leach was just 14 years old, he kept a diary that recorded his daily activities. ‘Stayed away’ was a frequent entry, and it was usually accompanied by the statement ‘roamed about’ or ‘roamed about again’; his shorthand for noting that he skipped school and spent his days wandering the streets of Bristol. He was a restless boy, and he would grow up to be a restless adult. His diary ends when he ran away from home to embark on a show business career that ultimately took him on long tours of music hall and vaudeville theatres throughout Britain, Canada and the United States. Still, he did not tire of touring, and indeed the tours seem to have been crucial to his development as a person and a performer.

In this illustrated talk, Glancy explores the source of Archie’s wanderlust, and considers how his travels affected and educated, chronicling his many journeys, and the influence that they would have on the star image of Cary Grant.  


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Mark Glancy is Reader in Film History at Queen Mary University of London. His book, Cary Grant: The Making of a Hollywood Legend, is published by Oxford University (USA, 2020; UK 2021). He was editorial consultant on Becoming Cary Grant (Yuzu Productions, 2017), and he has written articles about Grant’s career for The Many Cinemas of Michael Curtiz (Palmer & Pomerance, eds) and London on Film (Hirsch & O’Rourke, eds). His other publications include Hollywood & the Americanization of Britain, From the 1920s to the Present (Tauris, 2014), The 39 Steps: A British Film Guide (Tauris, 2003), When Hollywood Loved Britain: The Hollywood ‘British’ Film, 1939-45 (Manchester University Press, 1999), and, as co-editor with James Chapman and Sue Harper, The New Film History: Sources, Methods, Approaches (Palgrave, 2007).

Matthew Sweet is author of Inventing the Victorians (2001), Shepperton Babylon (2005) and The West End Front (2011). A familiar voice in British broadcasting, he presents Free Thinking and Sound of Cinema on BBC Radio 3 and The Philosopher’s Arms on BBC Radio 4. He has judged the Costa Book Award, edited The Woman in White for Penguin Classics and was Series Consultant on the Showtime/Sky Atlantic series Penny Dreadful. In the BBC2 drama An Adventure in Space and Time he played a moth from the planet Vortis. His most recent book Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers and Themselves (2018) is published by Picador. @DrMatthewSweet 

What is “Pay what you feel”?

We want to make the festival accessible whatever your budget, but for those that can afford it, we’d really appreciate it if you can give generously to keep the festival afloat in these difficult times.

We rely on ticket sales as our main source of income, but Covid-19 has made this impossible this year, creating a huge shortfall in our finances. We’re a biennial festival so we’re hoping by 2022 we’ll be able to return to live events, but in the meantime we’re determined to celebrate Cary Grant as best we can virtually. If you’ve enjoyed watching this event, please consider donating.

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Celebrating Bristol’s status as a UNESCO City of Film, in recognition of the city’s vibrant screen heritage, of which Cary Grant is one of our brightest stars.