BBC Arts – Inside Cinema: Cary Grant

Our festival director, Charlotte Crofts, wrote and voiced this short video essay about Cary Grant for BBC Arts – Inside Cinema. How a working class boy from Bristol became one of the brightest stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, the height of silver-screen sophistication in films ranging from His Girl Friday and An Affair to Remember, to Bringing Up Baby and North By Northwest. But while Cary Grant (born Archibald Leach) may have come to symbolise the epitome of Hollywood style and glamour, it was the irresistible tension between his on-screen persona and the real man behind it that fuelled his star appeal.


Cary Grant Statue Turns 20

Check out our events celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the unveiling of the Cary Grant statue in Millennium Square, Bristol UK.

We’re putting on a special edition of the Looking for Archie walking tour of Bristol City Centre which ends at the statue on Sunday 5 December, starting at 2pm. Then on Tuesday 7 December – the actual anniversary – we’ll meet at the statue to celebrate Statue Cary’s 20th birthday at 6.30 followed by a live online conversation with David Long, the man who successfully campaigned for the statue, to hear all about how he convinced Bristol to honour one of our brightest stars.

David Long gazing at Cary Grant statue
David Long gazes at the Cary Grant statue

Nobody puts Baby in the corner

We’re delighted to be partnering with Plymouth Arts Cinema for their #OpenAirCinema screening of Bringing Up Baby (1938) on Sun 1 Aug at The Box, Plymouth.

Book now to win one of these beautiful vintage style Bringing Up Baby posters, which were originally designed for us by by Sam Bessant for our 2016 gala screening at Bristol Museum!

Plymouth Arts Cinema is celebrating the opening of The Box, a major new museum, art gallery and archive, by screening films with a museum connection. Directed by Howard Hawks, Cary Grant stars as hapless palaeontologyst Dr David Huxley, with Katharine Hepburn as ditzy socialite Susan Vance, in this screwball comedy classic.

Keep Calm and Cary Online

Our festival director, Dr Charlotte Crofts (Associate Professor of Filmmaking at UWE Bristol) presented a paper entitled ‘Keep Calm and Cary Online: Cary Comes Home Festival and Online Film Culture During the Pandemic’ at the #BAFTSS2021 the annual conference of the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies on 9 April 2021.


The Cary Comes Home festival seeks to celebrate Cary Grant’s Bristol roots, develop new audiences for his work and recreate the golden age of cinema going – but how does that work during a global pandemic?!  

In this presentation I will explore the impact of moving the 2020 Cary  Comes Home Festival online due to the corona virus crisis. The paper will first outline the sense of “communitas” that the physical festival usually egenders by inviting people to “make the pilgrimage” to Cary Grant’s home town Bristol. It will then explore how the 2020 festival attempted to recreate that sense of “communitas” virtually, reflecting on how online film communities can go some way to creating a sense of connection in isolation. The paper will situate the virtual festival within the wider context of the role of online film culture during the pandemic, drawing on Carol Morley’s #FridayFilmilmClub initiative that took place on Twitter, and how Cary Grant and Paul Newman trended in the early days of the first lockdown as people gravitated towards nostalgic film-watching.  

Whilst virtual events mean we cannot be co-present, we still experience them as embodied human beings. What are the affordances of the various platforms used (Crowdcast, Zoom, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Docs) in terms of User Experience? How has moving online enabled people to access the festival who may not have been able to attend in person? How can you programme an international festival across timezones? How does hosting the festival on a platform like Crowdcast, which offers an asynchronous catch up or “watch again” option, provide the potential for a “long tail” of engagement?  

Given that we are experiencing the conference online, the paper will provide the opportunity to reflect on how some elements of the online experience – e.g. sustainability, inclusion – could be incorporated into live events when they resume.

You can watch the full presentation here.

Cary Grant, The Making of a Hollywood Legend: UK Book Launch

We hope you had as best Christmas as you could have possibly had under the circumstances and we wish you a wonderful 2021. Whatever it may throw at us, may Cary Grant bring a bit of light into our lives!
UK Book Launch: Cary Grant, The Making of a Hollywood Legend
Crowdcast, Monday 18 January 2021, 6pm GMT
Tickets: Pay what you feel
On what would have been Cary Grant’s 117th birthday, 18 January 2020, 6pm, Mark Glancy – whose new book launches in the UK next week – talks about Cary Grant’s experiences growing up as Archibald Leach in Bristol, England, including startling new revelations about his family history, followed by a Q&A and panel discussion with festival director Charlotte Crofts, chaired by Andrew Kelly of Bristol Festival of Ideas.Two copies of the book will be given away in a prize draw, courtesy of publishers Oxford University Press and OUP have offered a 30% discount to attendees for books purchased via their website – only available if you attend the event.
Cary Grant, The Making of a Hollywood Legend (Oxford University Press, 2020) – A definitive new account of the professional and personal life of one of Hollywood’s most unforgettable, influential stars.

Archie Leach was a poorly educated, working-class boy from a troubled family living in the backstreets of Bristol. Cary Grant was Hollywood’s most debonair film star—the embodiment of worldly sophistication. Cary Grant: The Making of a Hollywood Legend tells the incredible story of how a sad, neglected boy became the suave, glamorous star many know and idolize. The first biography to be based on Grant’s own personal papers, this book takes us on a fascinating journey from the actor’s difficult childhood through years of struggle in music halls and vaudeville, a hit-and-miss career in Broadway musicals, and three decades of film stardom during Hollywood’s golden age.

Leaving no stone unturned, Cary Grant delves into all aspects of Grant’s life, from the bitter realities of his impoverished childhood to his trailblazing role in Hollywood as a film star who defied the studio system and took control of his own career. Highlighting Grant’s genius as an actor and a filmmaker, author Mark Glancy examines the crucial contributions Grant made to such classic films as Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Notorious (1946), An Affair to Remember (1957), North by Northwest (1959), Charade (1963) and Father Goose (1964). Glancy also explores Grant’s private life with new candor and insight throughout the book’s nine sections, illuminating how Grant’s search for happiness and fulfillment lead him to having his first child at the age of 62 and embarking on his fifth marriage at the age of 77. With this biography—complete with a chronological filmography of the actor’s work—Glancy provides a definitive account of the professional and personal life of one of Hollywood’s most unforgettable, influential stars.
What is “Pay what you feel”?We want to make our events 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.

Love Affairs to Remember Marathon

Join us for the Love Affairs to Remember Marathon – a watch-along screenings of all the remakes, launching with the original Love Affair (1939) to the Bollywood remake, Mann (1999), introduced by Monia Acciari (UK Asian Film Festival) as well as a late-night watch-along of Nora Ephron’s homage in Sleepless in Seattle, followed by an informal discussion with Ross Wilkcock.

Ross Wilcock is an LGBT poet, writer, social media influencer, and activist living with multiple disabilities. He has recently begun working within the access sector assisting film festivals to become more accessible. He volunteers with The Seamore Neighbourhood Cinema, Matchbox Cineclub, and other film events in Glasgow, and has programmed for SQIFF.

The Journeys of Cary Grant

Back in July we put a call out for video essays on the theme of journeys as part of the centenary celebrations of Archie Leach emigrating to America, the first leg of his incredible journey to becoming Cary Grant. The call was in collaboration with the Video Essay Podcast, and we are blown away with the level of engagement from the videographic film community. You can watch the Journeys of Cary Grant: An Audio-Visual Celebration and hear from the filmmakers in an episode of the Video Essay Podcast to be recorded live at the festival later in November.

Festival Highlights

Festival Highlights

Two illustrated talks: festival director Charlotte Crofts explores Pauline Kael’s likening of Grant to a loveable but tough ‘mutt’ and tells another Bristol-boy Nipper’s comparable story of his rise from humble mongrel origins to world fame as His Master’s Voice;

  • In “Roamed About Again” – Mark Glancy joins us again to explore Cary Grant’s Wanderlust and its roots in Bristol as a port city, chaired by Matthew Sweet. You can also watch his book launch here.

2020 Festival Programme Announced

We are excited to announce the full programme for the 2020 Cary Comes Home Festival which, due to the pandemic, is taking place entirely online this year from 20-21 November.

Read more on our main Events Pages or book events directly on our new Crowdcast Channel where you will also be able to watch recordings again or catch up later. An overview of the Full Programme is available on a live Google Doc with links directly to the CrowdCast events. All advertised times are GMT.

The overarching theme of the festival is Journeys – celebrating the centenary of one journey in particular – Archie’s emigration to the Big Apple in 1920, but also acknowledging other journeys of class and social mobility,  identity and self-discovery.

An Affair to Remember – which would have been our gala film on Saturday night if we’d been able to meet in person – is our key film, as it encompasses not only the geographical journey of the transatlantic cruise ship which ends in New York, but also the voyage of romantic awakening, loss and redemption (and of course Deborah Kerr also has a Bristol connection).

Because of the UK lockdown the festival has moved entirely online this year. Normally we’d have a big gala with lots of wrap-around content, live music, cocktails and dressing up. We can’t recreate exactly the same experience online, but we still hope to bring a sense of fun and glamour to proceedings by encouraging you to dress up and there is a competition on our socials for the best dressed outfits posted to #CaryStaysHome on Twitter and Instagram. We’ve included some ideas of what to wear and what to drink to accompany each film so you can be fabulous in your own homes. 

This also means that sadly we can’t actually stream films due to distribution rights, but we aim to create a sense of togetherness in isolation through watch-alongs. Before the start of the screening you will need to source your own copy of the film and cue it up ready to play (suggested Viewing Options are outlined on each event page).

After a brief 5-10 minute introduction on Crowdcast we will count down and all press play at the same time. The CrowdCast will end and we’ll watch-along together using the #CaryStaysHome hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, both @carycomeshome.

July Update

At the tender age of 16, Archie Leach emigrated to New York on the RMS Olympic (the Titanic’s sister ship), which arrived at Pier 59 at dawn on 28 July 1920. He was on tour with the Pender Troupe of Acrobats, running away from a difficult childhood and seeking his fortune in a new land. In his autobiography, Cary Grant remembers his first glimpse of New York:

Manhattan Island. That skyline in the early-morning July sunshine. New York City. There it was; but was I there? Was I actually there at the ship’s rail, neatly scrubbed and polished, standing with a small, solitary band of Pender-troupe boys–none of whom had slept all night for fear of missing the first glimpse of America? The excitement. Those skyscrapers I had seen so many times before. Oh my, yes. In England. In Bristol. In the films.”

Cary Grant

We had planned events in New York to celebrate the centenary, but sadly they had to be cancelled due to the global pandemic so we’re hosting some virtual events to mark the anniversary of Archie’s emigration to the Big Apple.

Sailing with Cary Grant

Tuesday 21 July 2020, 6-7pm BST
Venue: Online

A free illustrated talk with Cary Comes Home Festival director, Dr Charlotte Crofts. Learn about Archie Leach’s voyage on the RMS Olympic 100-years ago on the first leg of his journey to becoming Cary Grant.
Greeting Cary Grant
Date: Tuesday 28 July 2020, 11am-12pm BST
Venue: Online

Join our festival director Dr Charlotte Crofts on a virtual tour of Pier 59 where Cary Grant’s ship the RMS Olympic arrived in the early morning of 28 July 1920. Learn more about his time in New York and how it contributed to the development of his star persona.

The event will take place on Zoom and be live streamed to our Facebook Page.
Some Versions of Cary Grant

Date: Tuesday 28 July, 6-7pm BST
Venue: Online

James Naremore analyses the variety of performance styles in a range of  Cary Grant’s best-loved and lesser known films.As part of our centenary celebrations, we had planned exciting events in New York City, including a one-day symposium in partnership with The Graduate Centre at CUNY, which sadly had to be cancelled due to the global pandemic. But, our keynote speaker, Professor James Naremore, has kindly agreed to go ahead with an online event: Some Versions of Cary Grant, an illustrated talk analysing Cary Grant’s range of performances styles across his oeuvre, followed by a Q&A chaired by Dr Charlotte Crofts.

James Naremore is Chancellors’ Professor Emeritus of Communication and Culture, English, and Comparative Literature at Indiana University Bloomington and author of one of the seminal texts on Acting in the Cinema which includes a wonderful chapter on “Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1959)”.

The event will take place on Zoom and be live streamed to our Facebook Page.

“My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can”

Cary Grant

Win tickets to BFI Cary Grant Season intro

We’re excited to announce that our festival director, Dr Charlotte Crofts (UWE Bristol) is introducing the BFI Cary Grant Season with at talk entitled “Cary Grant: From Knockabout to Knockout” about how Cary Grant’s British roots inform his star persona.

We’ve got a pair of tickets to give away – to enter the prize draw, click here.

To book “Cary Grant: From Knockabout to Knockout” on Wed 7 August, 18:20, click here.

The 2-month BFI Cary Grant Season runs throughout Aug – September. For more information about the season, click here.

Gala Best Dressed Prizes Announced

We’re delighted to announce our prizes for the best dressed competition at our gala screening of To Catch A Thief on Sunday 25 November at Trinity Arts Centre Bristol.

One of the aims of the Cary Comes Home Festival is to recreate the golden age of cinema, that era when going to the pictures used to be a proper night out. To that end, we encourage people to dress up to the nines in their best vintage Hollywood style. There is no pressure to dress up, you can just come as you are, but – if you want to really go for it – get your glad rags on for a chance to win one of these fabulous prizes!

Best Dressed Woman

Restyle and Blow-dry with an Oway Luxe Treatment from Clair Swinscoe Studio Couture, 11 Kings Road, BS8 4AB

Best Dressed Man

Either a hot towel shave or a month’s free membership to the VIP scheme at Suave & Co, Barbershop and Lounge, 37a Princess Victoria Street, BS8 4BX.

Best Dressed Couple or Group

A magnum of Fantinel Spumante Prosecco Extra Dry donated by our friends at Renato’s Bar and Pizzeria, 33 King Street, BS1 4DZ.


Check out our Full Programme and book early to avoid disappointment!



Hitchcock and Cary Grant

Check out this amazing video that Col Needham (Founder and CEO of has made for us to promote our screening of North by Northwest!


Col is a great supporter of the festival and one of Cary Grant’s biggest fans. Shot at headquarters in Bristol, the promo was scripted by Level 3 UWE Filmmaking student Mitchell Brown, based on Hitchcock’s original trailer in which he pretends to be a travel agent:

With Dylan Evans on Camera and Grading, Producer Saoirse Mahon, Editor Holly Bond, Marina Aparicio Arribas and music by UWE Centre of Music. The video is playing on The We The Curious Big Screen in Millennium Square.

This not to be missed screening of North by Northwest takes place in The Planetarium on Saturday 24 November and includes a brief video introduction by Col, followed by a introduction to the fabulous Bernard Herrmann score by Matthew Sweet.

This event had sold out but we’ve just released the last remaining tickets so snap them up now!

This is part of our wider Hitchcock and Cary Grant theme this year, showing all 4 of their collaborations, including Suspicion with expert panel discussion at Watershed, Notorious with an intro by the amazing Paul McGann at Everyman and culminating with a glamorous gala screening of To Catch A Thief with prizes for the best dressed vintage / Hollywood style.

Check out our Full Programme and book early to avoid disappointment!





Cary Went to Hannover

Festival director Dr Charlotte Crofts (Associate Professor Filmmaking, UWE Bristol – above right) and Festival co-ordinator Fern Dunn (graduate of the MA Curating, UWE Bristol – above left) took The Cary Grant Festival to Hannover, Germany for the weekend on 25-26 November 2017 as part of the 70th anniversary of Bristol’s twinning, in partnership with Twin Cities Hannover and the Kommunales KOKI cinema.

The opening night of the Cary Grant Weekend kicked off with a warm welcome from the Mayor of Hannover, Thomas Hermann, then Bristol Cllr Kye Dudd (who initiated the visit) spoke about the importance of Bristol’s twinning in terms of cross-cultural exchange and Cllr Estella Tincknell (ex-Deputy Mayor and Associate Professor of Film and Culture, UWE Bristol) celebrated Bristol’s recent designation as a UNESCO Creative Cities Network City of Film, joining Hannover as City of Music. Charlotte then introduced the award-winning documentary, Becoming Cary Grant emphasising how Archie Leach’s early life in Bristol had a profound impact on his incredible journey to becoming Cary Grant. The evening gala was made complete with Hannover Gin cocktails and live music from the Elmar Braß Trio and rounded off with a late night screening of the classic rom-com thriller, Charade.

On Sunday, Charlotte presented an illustrated talk about Cary Grant’s Bristol and the history of the Cary Grant Festival and Estella introduced a screening of To Catch a Thief. The weekend continued with screenings of The Grass is Greener, North by Northwest and Blonde Venus on Sunday afternoon.

More photos here.

Après Archie

We are delighted to announce that we are partnering with The Après Bar in Millennium Square at The Christmas Fair for events in November. This year we’re really excited that their snug will be incorporating the Cary Grant statue! The Looking For Archie walking tour on 18 & 19 November will culminate with us raising a glass of Prosecco to Archie in the snug and 20% off drinks. Not only that, but ticket holders for our festive screening of The Bishop’s Wife on 23 November will also get a 10% discount in the bar.

20161105 – Apre Ski Bar PURE CREDIT: Jon Craig Photography. TWITTER: @JonCraig_Photos

Get Christmassy with’s Col Needham

We are delighted to announce that Col Needham, founder and CEO of – and one of Cary Grant’s biggest fans, with two Cary Grant movies in his top 10 movies of all time – has joined our Advisory Board. Col will also be introducing our Christmas screening of The Bishop’s Wife on 23 November 2017 at Bristol Cathedral. are also supporting the event. A huge thanks to Col and all at

Becoming Cary Grant English Premiere

We are excited to announce that Becoming Cary Grant, a new documentary, directed by local Bristol-based director Mark Kidel, which has just premiered at Cannes International Film Festival is coming to Bristol. Watershed are now screening the English Premiere as part of their Cinema Rediscovered season, in partership with the Cary Grant Festival on Sunday 30 July at 17.50, with an introduction and Q&A with director Mark Kidel. We were lucky enough to welcome Mark to the 2016 Cary Grant Festival where we were given a sneak peak of work in progress and an exclusive Q&A with the director. READ MORE>>>>

The “Archie” collection

We’re loving our new “Archie” collection of bone chinaware hand decorated by our friends at Stokes Croft China using salvaged rose prints and featuring the famous quote:

“I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until finally I became that person. Or he became me” (Cary Grant).


We’ve got mugs, teapots and platters in three colourways – red, blue and pink rose of Tralee. The red items are slightly more expensive as it’s a rarer print. Cake stands are coming soon.


At the moment we’ve only got one each of the teapots and platters, available exclusively online. The mugs are also available at the Tourist Information Centre beneath Watershed on the Harbourside.

Last Christmas delivery 20 December – we cannot guarantee you will receive it in time for Christmas. If you live in central Bristol (BS1-8) then we might be able to hand deliver – email us.

30 Years Ago Today…

Cary Grant Festival director Charlotte Crofts and co-ordinator Fern Dun pay tribute to Cary Grant on the 30th Anniversary of his death on 29 November 1986.   They were interviewed by James Hanson from BBC Radio Bristol for the Emma Britton show, right next to the Cary Grant statue in Millennium Square, Bristol. Cary was looking as suave as ever in the crisp winter morning light:

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Charlotte Crofts said:

“Cary Grant began life in Bristol in 1904 as Archibald Leach, but ended up – partly through self-invention, partly through the Hollywood studio system –  as the internationally renowned film icon we know and love from films like Bringing Up Baby, An Affair to Remember and North by Northwest. But he never forgot his Bristol roots and the fact that he returned to Bristol regularly demonstrates his loyalty to his home town. He is still sorely missed.”

Listen again on BBC Radio Bristol (at about 02:24:16).

Bristol-born actor Cary Grant - real name Archie Leach. (Died 30/11/1986, aged 82).
Bristol-born actor Cary Grant – real name Archie Leach. (Died 29/11/1986, aged 82).

caryobit death01_nydailynews

Get your glad rags on!

The festival kicks off today with events at Watershed and Everyman and culminates in our gala screening of Bringing Up Baby at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery on Sunday. We’ve got some fantastic prizes for the best dressed man, woman and couple (of any description) at the gala – no rules, no set era, just don your best Hollywood vintage outfit and look fabulous!

Golf Bringing Up Baby
Best dressed man – one hour simulation session for up to 4 players

Best dressed woman – photoshoot at Shutter and Flash

gold dress
Best dressed couple – pair of Watershed cinema tickets




A huge thank you to all of our supporters for their generous donations:

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If you haven’t got a stitch to wear – don’t worry, come as you are. Red carpet attire encouraged, but not essential!

Win Slaters Menswear in our Raffle!

Hooray – the newly opened Slaters Menswear and Formal Hire shop in the Galleries, Broadmead, has donated £200 worth of gift vouchers to our raffle. Look out for raffle tickets at all our events and at our marquee next to the Cary Grant statue in Millennium Square throughout Bristol Harbour Festival! A huge thank you to all at Slaters for this generous donation.

Men – if you haven’t got a stitch to wear for our gala – then why not try Slaters formal hire? Just be sure not to do this!:

bringing up baby ripped coat Buy tickets for Gala Screening: Bringing Up Baby

Festival Goodie Bag

Readers of the Bishopston Voice will receive a goodie bag of our official festival merchandise if you can answer this question:

Who was the Hollywood star who gave Cary Grant a career-changing role in which she invited his character: “Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?”

Email your entries to or post to Bishopston Voice, Cary Grant Competition, 16 Chandag Rd, Keynsham, BS31 1NR by 11 July.

Screen shot 2016-07-10 at 14.05.08

Notorious Wine Offer

Averys are doing a special offer if you attend our Notorious screening tomorrow (Fri 8 July). The offer is for a mixed case of the wines inspired by the film that we’ll be tasting at this special “drink-along” screening in partnership with Bristol Film Festival’s Vintage Screenings series.


The offer is for a case or wine, including 3 bottles of each of the following:

image002Arauco Vineyard Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Chile x 3
Wonderfully aromatic with a medley of orange blossom and tropical fruit on the nose. Round and fleshy Sauvignon with a structured, fresh palate and a streak of mineral acidity

image003Reichsrat Von Buhl Riesling Trocken Pfalz 2013, Germany x 3
This is a really bright and refreshing dry Riesling with lively, fresh aromas of blossom, lime, white stone fruits and grapefruit. More bright fruits on the palate with a lingering minerality

image004Weinreich Spätburgunder 2013, Germany x 3
This delicious Spätburgunder (same grape as Pinot Noir) has an enchanting bouquet of red berries with delicate oak from barrel maturation.

image005Santa Julia Malbec Mendoza 2015, Argentina x 3
A dark, rich colour hints at what’s to come and the nose offers plums, blackberries and black cherries in abundance. Big but beautifully balanced, with hints of chocolate and spice on the palate.

Usually retails at £134.88 – Special discounted price of £105.99 (saving £28.89) plus free delivery (usually £7.99) giving you a total saving of £36.88. Special price only available until 29th July 2016

Find out how to take advantage of this offer at the screening tomorrow!
Fri 8 July, doors 19:00.
Averys Wine Cellars

Tickets £25, including bubbly on arrival, bread and cheese and 4 wines. Over 18s only!


From Bristol Boy to the Man From Dream City

We’ve got two events at the Watershed highlighting how Bristol-born Archie Leach changed his name and his fortunes to become the internationally famous film star known as Cary Grant:

Sat 16 Jul 12:00 The Man From Dream City features a double bill of illustrated talks. Kathrina Glitre on Cary Grant’s kiss and his onscreen chemistry with his leading ladies and Mark Glancy on the remarkable RKO production history of our gala film Bringing Up Baby. Hosted by the wonderful Laura Rawlings (BBC Bristol).

Grant & Hepburn and Nissa on set

Sat 16 Jul 14:00 The Making of Becoming Cary Grant a Q&A with director Mark Kidel on his current documentary on Cary Grant, including exclusive clips from his work in progress featuring unseen home movie footage of Cary Grant, which demonstrates he had a keen eye for the camera.

Becoming Cary Grant 750

Don’t miss this opportunity to find out more about one of Bristol’s most internationally recognised cultural icons – sorry Banksy! – and be inspired by his incredible journey from Bristol boy to The Man From Dream City.

Everyone wants to be Cary Grant

… and everyone wants an excuse to try the brand new Everyman Cinema: the recently renovated Whiteladies Picture House and Bristol’s oldest surviving cinema. We’ve got two screenings for you to choose from:

Sat 16 July 16:00, Matinee: Only Angels Have Wings (1939), Howard Hawks’ action-packed adventure romance, with aerial stunts read more..


Sun 17 July 11:00, Brunch: An Affair to Remember (1957), Leo McCarey’s tear-jerker set on a Transatlantic cruise ship read more…

Affair to Remember_Empire State

News from the 2014 Festival


Screen shot 2015-11-08 at 16.14.06This video, shot by UWE Filmmaking volunteers last year, gives you a flavour of the 2014 festival.


P1120981_smallA short film documenting the Cary Grant Comes Home For The Weekend festival gala screenings at the Bristol Hippodrome, which included a song raid by the Bristol Hippodrome Choir as part of the Bristol Festival of Song and a performance reenacting the life of Archie Leach by The Big Act, plus red carpet entrance and prizes for the best dressed.

This video was made by UWE Level 3 BA (Hons) Media and Journalism students from Taylor’s University, Malaysia participating in work experience at the Cary Grant Comes Home For The Weekend Festival.

We want to extend a huge thank you to all the UWE student volunteers who helped document the festival, Martin Williams and all at The Big Act and Victoria Bourne and all at the Bristol Hippodrome choir for helping us showcase Bristol talent.


17_ushers_group_croppedThe Cary Grant Comes Home For The Weekend Festival culminated in a red carpet double bill of Arsenic and Old Lace and North by Northwest at the Bristol Hippodrome – marking nearly 80 years since Cary Grant’s face last shone down from the silver screen when six of his films where screened there between 1932-38 when the theatre briefly operated as a cinema. Front of house staff at the Bristol Hippodrome got into the spirit of the occasion and dressed as vintage ushers and usherettes to welcome people on the red carpet entrance.  Prizes for the best dressedwill be announced shortly. In the meantime, view a selection of images of the red carpet taken by our wonderful UWE student volunteers, Ellisha Von Grunewald (UWE Film), Bethany Fitter(Filmmaking and Creative Media) and Jen Stuart (UWE Fashion). Professional photographer Jon Craig coached them on how to pap, as well as taking his own wonderful set of photos, which you can view here.


Film Challenge prize croppedThe winners of the Cary Grant Film Challenge 2014 were announced at the glamorous festival gala screening of North by Northwest at the Bristol Hippodrome, and showcased before the film. The shortlisted films were shown on the Big Screen in At-Bristol’s Millennium Square – right opposite the Cary Grant statue – throughout the week before the festival. Festival co-producer Charlotte Crofts (UWE Filmmaking) says “it was important to us to bring Cary Grant’s films to a new audience and the Film Challenge was part of that work. We also wanted to inspire young people with Cary Grant’s incredible life-story of struggle through adversity and self-creation”.  The wining film, The Girl With the Compass Tattoo, by Rob Ayling (pictured holding his Morph by Morphwest prize donated by Aardman), was commended by the Jury for squeezing in so much double-crossing into such a short film. You can watch the full shortlist here.



A short interview with festival co-producer Dr Charlotte Crofts (UWE), by UWE Press Office. “This is Event Cinema – we wanted to recreate the golden age of cinema-going. At the height of cinema-going in bristol, before World War Two, there were 40 cinemas operating at the same time in Bristol, with cinemas such as The Regent in Castle Park seating 2015 people and the Whiteladies Picture House seating around 1298 people – this was mass entertainment – we wanted to recreate that communal experience at the Hippodrome – the theatre where young Archie started out and where six of his films were screened during its short stint as a cinema between 1932-1938.”



Eugene Byrne2In his fabulous Bristol Times pull-out, double-page spread, in yesterday’s Bristol Post, Eugene Byrne asks whether Cary Grant could have been the first James Bond? The feature includes an interview with Professor Andrew Spicer (UWE) who is speaking at our From Horfield to Hollywood event at the Watershed on Saturday, on precisely that topic, along side Kathrina Glitre (also from UWE), on Cary Grant’s sex appeal and leading ladies. We love his final anecdote: “if you want one last surprising image of Cary Grant, think of him as this screen idol, a man who usually played wealthy and sophisticated bachelors … always taking his visiting Hollywood friends and wives to the chippie at the bottom of Christmas Steps.” Read more…


matthew-sweetThe Cary Comes Home For The Weekend Festival was mentioned on BBC Radio 3′s The Sound of Cinema, on Saturday 4 October, presented by Dr Matthew Sweet – who is joining us next weekend to talk Cary Grant with Mark Glancy at the Educating Archie event at The Watershed on Saturday 11th October, 1pm.

Bernard Herrmann’s incredible score to North by Northwest was featured as “classic score of the week” (about 39.5mins in) and the Cary Grant Festival is mentioned at about 49mins in.  There’s also a link to the festival from the BBC iPlayer website. You can listen again here.

Hear Herrmann’s unforgettable score on the big screen at The Bristol Hippodrome (the very theatre where they young Cary Grant started out as schoolboy Archie Leach) at our festival gala screening of North by Northwest on Sunday 12th October at 6.30pm.


BxacZk7CUAA07Nc.jpg_largeGreat piece from UWE Bristol Press Office on University of the West of England’s sponsorship of the Cary Grant Festival.

Festival co-producer, Anna Farthing says “it has been crucial to have both the support of UWE and the input of the UWE student volunteers who will be out in force stewarding and documenting the festival next weekend”.

UWE students from MA Curating, MA Filmmaking and Creative Media, MA Media and Journalism have already been involved in marketing the event and you can see them in action in this lovely photo gallery:

Read more here:


Cary-Grant-and-Betsy-Drake-on-the-beachIt’s no secret that Cary Grant was fit – he trained as an acrobat and kept his figure well into his later years – so what better prize for the best-dressed than a flabbergasting 3 months free gym membership at Nuffield Health, Bristol Fitness and Wellbeing Centre worth £82 a month??

Dress in your finest Hollywood attire at the red carpet gala screening of North by Northwest for your chance to win. Using this fantastic gym membership will have you feeling good from top to bottom (outrunning a crop-duster and joining an acrobatic troupe optional!).

And, there is a Cary Grant connection – did you know that Cary Grant’s mother, Elsie Leach, spent her last days in a Clifton nursing home called, The Chesterfield, now a private hospital managed by Nuffield Health?

Not bought your tickets for the gala screenings yet? Don’t forget our fantastic double bill offer – only available from the box office in person or call 0844 871 3012 for details (offer not available online)



Frilly Chantilly1Cary Grant epitomises Hollywood style, but he also worked with some of the best-dressed leading ladies, sizzling on the silver screen next to style icons Grace Kelly, Marylin Monroe, Audry Hepburn and of course, ice-cold Hitchcock blonde, Eva Marie Saint. Kathrina Glitre will be talking about Grant’s sex appeal and leading ladies in “Every Girl Should Be Married… To Cary Grant” in our From Horfield to Hollywood panel on Saturday 11 October at Watershed.

But it’s not just about what the stars wore on-screen, it’s as much about the excitement of getting dolled up to the nines for a night out at the pictures. Festival co-producer Charlotte Crofts says “We want to recreate the glamour of the golden age of cinema-going, when cinema was an event and people flocked to the movie theatres in their thousands. Before WW2 there were 40 cinemas operating in Bristol, with super-cinemas such as The Regent in Castle Park which had 2,014 seats and the Whiteladies Picture House with 1,298 seats – this was mass entertainment – we want to recreate that communal experience at the Hippodrome.”

Pop up parlour1If you are looking for inspiration for what to wear to our red carpet gala screenings then come and find us at Lou Lou’s Bristol Vintage Fair on Saturday 4 October, Passenger Shed near Temple Meads.  For example, the vintage-style red flock dress (above) from Frilly Chantilly references Eva Marie Saint’s classic cocktail dress in the iconic North by Northwest.

We’ve got some fabulous prizes for the best-dressed, donated by stall-holders at last month’s Bristol Vintage Fair:

Pop up Parlour Hollywood makeover with vintage hair, make up and fake eyelashes from any era the winner chooses.

Frilly Chantilly vintage-style dress, underskirt and gloves, worth £100.

English Rose Cosmetics, Bright Eyed and Bushy-Tailed Eyecream.

For a chance of winning the best-dressed prizes come down early to make your red carpet entrance, with exclusive access to the Bristol Hippodrome’s Piano Bar before each screening.  But, don’t worry if you don’t fancy dressing up – just come as you are.

Haven’t booked your gala tickets yet? – don’t miss out on the double bill offer on our website, which includes a backstage tour of the Bristol Hippodrome – first come first served.


Clifton photographic newClifton Photographic Company have donated two fab prizes for the best dressed at the Cary Grant Comes Home For the Weekend gala screenings:

Family Portrait Session (worth £145) for the best-dressed family at the Arsenic and Old Lacescreening, on Sunday 12 October, 3pm – come down early for exclusive access to the Bristol Hippodrome piano bar to be papped on the red carpet in your vintage / Hollywood / Halloween costume. Are you and your family dressed to kill? This is your chance to win a fun filled family portrait session, plus a free photograph to take home afterwards (and more if you can’t resist how damn good looking you all are!). This is going to be a family affair to remember, just remember not to wear anything you wouldn’t be seen dead in!

Weekday Luxury VIP Photoshoot and Makeover (worth £89) for the best-dressed couple at the North by Northwest screening, on Sunday 12 October, 6.30pm – again arrive early to make your red carpet entrance in vintage Hollywood style and a chance to win. So come and show us what glamourous co-stars you make on the red carpet, smile for the camera in the Piano Bar photo booth and remember a picture can tell a thousand words… You and your loved one, friend or family member could win the opportunity to be pampered like the leads in a Hollywood movie with an hour in hair and MAC make-up followed by a photo shoot, with your choice of one free image to remember your glamorous look by.

Festival Co-producer Charlotte Crofts says “We want to recreate the height of cinema-going in Bristol when going to the pictures was an occasion that people dressed up to the nines for. As well as going to see the films, movie theatres were the place to be seen so we’re looking for 1940s and ’50s Hollywood red carpet glamour. Arsenic and Old Lace is also a classic Halloween caper, so vintage ghouls and ghosts are also welcome.”

Both screenings feature extra treats, including live music, and entertainment from Swing Dance BristolThe Big Act and Bristol Festival of Song. Book your tickets for the gala screenings now! Don’t forget the double bill offer includes free backstage tour of the Bristol Hippodrome before the show – ring or visit the Box Office in person for details: 0844 871 3012 (offer not available online).


Byc_QBTCMAENjiu.png_largeThe Cary Grant Comes Home For The Weekend Festival is featured in Issue 183 of Clifton Life Magazine with a four page spread, focusing on his enduring international appeal, what Bristol meant to him and what he  means to Bristolians.


Merlin-and-MorphMerlin Crossingham, director of Aardman’s new Morph series, has been getting busy on the rooftop of Aardman HQ creating a special image for the Cary Grant Comes Home For The Weekend Festival. Morph by Morphwest is a cheeky homage to the original poster of the Cary Grant / Alfred Hitchcock classic, North by Northwest – one of the most celebrated and successful creative collaborations of any actor/director pair in history – in which Morph is pictured fleeing the iconic crop duster.  A framed print of the image will be one of the prizes at our gala screenings.

If you are feeling inspired, then why not enter our Cary Grant Film Challenge to make a micro-movie inspired by North by Northwest – but hurry the deadline is 3rd October – any length up to 90-seconds is welcome, including Vine and Instagram videos – the shortlisted films will be screened on the Big Screen in At-Bristol’s Millennium Square (rigMorph-by-morpheset-and-oright opposite the Cary Grant statue) and the winner will be shown before our gala screening of North by Northwest at the Hippodrome on Sunday 12 October, 6.30pm. Book now!


North by Northwest cinema marqueeEvent Cinema: A once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate Cary Grant’s Bristol roots in the very theatre where he worked back stage as schoolboy Archibald Leach, and to which he returned again and again with his mother in later life.

Extra Treats: Both screenings come with extra treats, including a red carpet entrance, paparazzi, live entertainment and vintage music, fashions and dancing. Red carpet attire is welcomed, with prizes for the best dressed (to be announced shortly). Gala ticket holders will have exclusive access to the glamorous Bristol Hippodrome Piano Bar where you can enjoy themed entertainment before the show:


The Big ActTheatreThe Big Act, the cream of Bristol’s young talent will be performing a live pre-screening performance inspired by the early life of Archie Leach.



Gathering-Voices-logoMusic: The Bristol Hippodrome Choir will be visiting us on a ’song raid’, performing songs from the shows as part of the Gathering Voices Festival of Song.



Festival Co-ProducerFestival Co-Producer Anna Farthing says

“Cary Grant was renowned for his dance moves as well as his musical abilities and he never forgot his Bristolian roots. Therefore, we are delighted to be working with Bristol’s top talent to support the gala screenings with live events. Young Bristolians with ambitions to follow in Archie’s footsteps, as well as grown up Bristolians who love to sing and dance, will be popping up to entertain the filmgoing audience with an outdoor song raid and swing dancing and a short performance on the very stage where he got the acting bug. Our partners Bristol Festival of Song and The Big Act amply demonstrate that Bristol still has bags of talent and ambition.”




ShipshapeFantastic article by Eugene Byrne in ShipShape Magazine‘s

autumn issue ‘Gary Grant: 10 Things Every Bristolian needs to know about The Hollywood Legend’:



Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 October 2014

A city-wide celebration of the life, career and international appeal of the Hollywood film star and style icon Cary Grant is to take place this October in Bristol – the UK city where he was born, grew up, heard the lie that his mother was dead and first discovered acting.

CARY GRANT COMES HOME FOR THE WEEKEND is a two-day festival happening during the weekend of October 11 and 12 at venues which include a double bill film gala at the theatre where Cary Grant – then, still known by his birth-name of Archie Leach – got his first job.

The programme for Saturday 11 October includes:
• talks exploring the actor’s journey from the Bristol suburb of Horfield to Hollywood, his sex appeal and how he inspired the character of James Bond;
• internationally acclaimed US-based film critic David Thomson in conversation with film writer and broadcaster Matthew Sweet on why he ranks Grant as “the best and most important actor in the history of cinema”;
• Cary Grant themed open-topped guided bus tours and sneak peaks back stage at the Bristol Hippodrome theatre;
• a debonair afternoon tea at the Clifton hotel where he stayed and a cocktail party featuring vintage music and drinks from Grant’s films.

The climax of the festival on Sunday 12 October, will be gala screenings at the Bristol Hippodrome of two of Cary Grant’s most acclaimed films – the family-friendly screwball comedy ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (directed by Frank Capra, 1944) and Alfred Hitchcock’s thrilling NORTH BY NORTH WEST (1959) – with many added extras, including a Paparazzi red carpet entrance, live entertainment, vintage music, fashion and dancing.

Tickets for the full programme for the weekend will be released soon. Co-producer Anna Farthing says: “This long awaited celebration of Cary Grant’s Bristol connections will appeal to both Bristolians and visitors to the city. Fans will have the opportunity to share their enthusiasm for one of the city’s most famous sons, and a whole new generation will be introduced to his extraordinary life story as well has his iconic on-screen persona. The rich programme offers lots of ways to get involved with fun Cary Grant-inspired events that provide a taste of vintage Hollywood glamour, and some truly great films.”

As part of the run-up to the festival, a film challenge will be launched in early September for micro-movies inspired by an aspect of NORTH BY NORTHWEST – one of the most iconic Hitchcock / Grant collaborations. The competition launches on 1st Sept, with a deadline of 3 October.

Co-producer Charlotte Crofts says: “Bristol has a rich film heritage that continues to this day, and we want to inspire people to make films as well as watch them. Micromovies will be submitted online, the shortlisted films will be screened on the Big Screen At-Bristol Millennium Square next to the Cary Grant statue, and the winners announced before the gala screening of North by Northwest at the Bristol Hippodrome on 12 October. Anyone who can make a film of up to 90-seconds is welcome to enter”.

To register an interest in the film contest or for updates on how the rest of the programme is taking shape, follow CaryComesHome on Facebook or Twitter; email: or see

Tickets for the red carpet gala film screenings at Bristol Hippodrome are on sale now. £16 per screening (including £1 theatre restoration fund), if you buy in person from the Hippodrome Box Office; additional £2.90 booking fee for telephone bookings (0844 871 3012); additional £4 credit card fee for online booking. Special discounted price for double bill: £26, only available in person from the box office, or via telephone (plus booking fee) – N.B. not available online.

CARY GRANT COMES HOME FOR THE WEEKEND is a Good Stuff (Bristol) Ltd production, produced by Charlotte Crofts and Anna Farthing. Major sponsors are UWE the University of the West of England and Harvest Films Ltd. Festival Partners are Bristol Hippodrome, Watershed, Bristol Festival of Ideas. Supporters include BFI, BFI Film Hub South West and West Midlands, 123 Media, The Suit that Fits, Big Screen At-Bristol Millennium Square, The Big Act.