Cary Comes Home 2022 Festival Programme
Friday 18 – Sunday 20 November 2022

The Fifth Cary Comes Home Festival takes its theme as “Class”, with accessible and inclusive film screenings, panel discussions and expanded cinema events that celebrate the working-class heritage of Archibald Leach. Born in Bristol in 1904 as the son of a tailor’s presser, Archie went on to become the epitome of Hollywood elegance and style as Cary Grant.  He returned to the city of his birth regularly and never forgot his roots. This tension between Archie/Cary is something we see Grant battle with throughout his life, in front of and behind the camera.

“Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant” (Cary Grant).

Taking class in its broadest sense, our programming explores social mobility and identity across a range of performances from Cockney Cary in Sylvia Scarlett and None But the Lonely Heart, to Sophisticated Cary in The Bishop’s Wife and Charade.  Our Looking for Archie Walking tour celebrates Grant’s ongoing connections to the city and we’re taking over the Former Bristol IMAX on Sunday for a rare chance to see two lesser-known Pre-Code Cary Grant films (Born to Be Bad and Blonde Venus) on the biggest screen in town and the festival culminates with a screening of classic comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace. For all IMAX screenings we’re piloting a sliding Pay What You Can Afford ticket scale – recognising the cost-of-living crisis, in an effort to practice what we preach and bring Cary Grant to the widest possible audience. 



Opening Night: The Bishop’s Wife (dir. Henry Koster, 1947)
St Mary Redcliffe Church, Redcliffe, Bristol, BS1 6RA
Friday 18 November 2022, 7pmRunning time: 1hr 49mins; Rating: UThe ultimate Christmassy film with the famous ice-skating scene, starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven, screened in the glorious nave of St Mary Redcliffe Church, which Queen Elizabeth I dubbed “The fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in England” during her 1574 visit to Bristol.

Sylvia Scarlett (dir. George Cukor, 1936)
Watershed, 1 Canons Road, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5TX
Saturday 19 November, 10-12pm

Running time: 1hr 35min; Rating U

A rom-com with shades of drama and enough hints of queerness and criminality to upset the Catholic League of Decency on its release. Katharine Hepburn adopts the guise of a boy to help her crooked father (Edward Gwenn) escape embezzlement charges. She keeps the disguise when they team up with a Cockney rogue (Cary Grant) for a series of cons, and when she attracts the attention of a woman. But she is forced to choose which identity to keep when handsome artist (Brian Aherne) confesses to experiencing “queer feelings”. With an introduction by Jade Evans.

Looking For Archie: A Walking Tour of Cary Grant’s Bristol
Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel, College Green, BS1 5TA
Saturday 19 November 2022, meet at 1.45, walk from 2-3.30pmRunning Time: roughly 90minsJoin us on this fascinating tour of Cary Grant’s Bristol led by Pam Beddard. This walking tour retraces Archie’s hometown haunts and uncovers Bristol’s hidden cinema history in the places where it actually happened. Participants will be led on a guided tour of Bristol City Centre featuring the locations that inspired Archie’s journey from Horfield to Hollywood, and the spots where the Bristol Post photographed him on his many visits home, after he’d reinvented himself as Cary Grant.
Charade (dir. Stanley Donen, 1963)
Curzon Cinema, 46 Old Church Road, Clevedon, BS21 6NN
Saturday 19 November, doors 6.30pm; film 8pmRunning Time: 1hr 55min; Rating: PGA gala screening in one of the UK’s oldest cinemas of a film many describe as the best Alfred Hitchcock thriller Hitchcock didn’t make. Come down for a night of early 60s glamour! Featuring glamorous settings in the French Alps and Paris, it stars Audrey Hepburn as a widow thought to know the whereabouts of a fortune stolen by her dead husband. But are any of those on the track of the money – Cary Grant, James Coburn and Walter Matthau among them – really who they claim to be? As a prelude to the 8pm screening, there will be live music, a chance to enter a Best Dressed contest, a photo booth and bar with Cary Grant-themed cocktails.

Vintage Bus to Gala
Behind We The Curious, Explore Lane, BS1 5TY
Saturday 19 November, pick up 6pm; drop off 11pm

Arrive at our Gala screening of Charade at the Curzon in Clevedon in style. We’ll pick you up behind We The Curious on Explore Lane at 6pm so you can arrive in time for 60s inspired live music and cocktails before the screening which starts at 8pm.  You need to book tickets for Charade separately.

None But The Lonely Heart (dir. Clifford Odets, 1944)
Watershed, 1 Canons Road, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5TX
Sunday 20 November, 10-12.30pm

Running time: 1hr 35min; Rating U

Cary Grant plays Ernie Mott, the feckless Cockney son of an ailing woman shopkeeper Ma (Ethel Barrymore in an Oscar-winning role), straying into crime and falling in love with the wife of a gangster. Grant was so keen to play the lead in this film he bought the film rights to the best-selling novel by Richard Llewellyn on which it was based, even though the original story was about a very much younger man. Cast against type, Grant too was nominated for Best Actor, but the Academy Award went to Bing Crosby for Going My Way. With an introduction by Ehsan Khoshbakht, exploring Grant’s popularity in Iran (where he’s dubbed into Persian) and why Clifford Odets’ first foray into directing is so important in terms of Hollywood cinema, followed by a panel discussion.

Born to Be Bad (dir. Lowell Sherman, 1934)
Former Bristol IMAX, Bristol Aquarium, Anchor Rd, Bristol BS1 5TT
Sunday 20 November 2022, 2pm

Running time: 1hr 2min; Rating: U

Born to Be Bad centres around the story of industrious Letty (Loretta Young), an unmarried mother who sets out to blackmail rich businessman Mal (Cary Grant), president of Amalgamated Dairies, after he accidentally hits her truant son Mickey with one of his milk trucks. In a stark contrast to her later appearance with Cary Grant as the well-behaved wife of a bishop, Loretta Young is such a bad ‘un here, original versions of this film ran into all manner of trouble with the censors even before the Hays morality code came into full effect due to her scanty clothing, her status as an unmarried mother, seducer of Grant and blackmailer.  With an introduction by Lies Lanckman.

Blonde Venus (dir. Josef von Sternberg, 1932)
Former Bristol IMAX, Bristol Aquarium, Anchor Rd, Bristol BS1 5TT
Sunday 20 November 2022, 4pm

Running Time: 1hr 33min; Rating: PG

Ex-nightclub singer Helen Faraday (Marlene Dietrich) returns to performing as the popular “Blonde Venus” to support her son and husband Ned (Herbert Marshall) who has become sick with radium poisoning. Whilst Ned seeks an expensive cure in Germany, Helen sells herself to millionaire playboy Nick Townsend (Cary Grant) to make ends meet. When he returns from Europe cured, Ned finds out about her affair with Townsend and disowns her. The film came under scrutiny from the Hays Office and von Sternberg was forced to accommodate changes demanded from the Production Code. With an introduction by Pamela Hutchinson.

Arsenic and Old Lace (dir. Frank Capra, 1944)
Former Bristol IMAX, Bristol Aquarium, Anchor Rd, Bristol BS1 5TT
Sunday 20 November 2022, 7pm

Running Time: 1hr 58min; Rating: PG

Our festival finale features this breathless comedy classic which will blow away the November cobwebs. Newly-wed drama critic Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) frantically tries to embark on his honeymoon with impatient new bride (Priscilla Lane), but has to contend with his well-meaning but ditzy old aunts (Josephine Hull and Jean Adair), who have been bumping off lonely elderly gentlemen with their lethal elderberry wine (spiked with arsenic, strychnine and “just a pinch of cyanide”). If that isn’t enough, he also has to juggle his sociopathic brother (Raymond Massey) – a dead-ringer for Boris Karloff, who played the lead in the original 1941 Broadway play – and his sidekick Dr Einstein (Peter Lorre), as well as his other unhinged brother who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt (John Alexander). With an introduction by Festival Director Charlotte Crofts.

Special Ticket Offer
Former Bristol IMAX, Bristol Aquarium, Anchor Rd, Bristol BS1 5TT
Sunday 20 November 2022, from 2-9.30pm

Special Ticket Offer: 3 films at the Former Bristol IMAX including two rarely screened pre code films, Born to Be Bad and Blonde Venus and comedy classic Arsenic and Old Lace – not to be missed on the largest screen in Bristol!

Download the Full Programme Schedule of What’s On Day-by-Day.

From the archive….




The Cary Comes Home Festival aims to celebrate Cary Grant’s Bristol roots, develop new audiences for his work and recreate the golden age of cinema-going.





With support of the BFI Film Audience Network, awarding funds from the National Lottery in order to bring this project to more audiences across the UK




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With the support of Col and Karen Needham and IMDb


In Association with UWE Bristol Moving Image Research Group


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

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