Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blood Of The Vines: His Girl Friday


Wine Goes To The Movies with 

Cary Grant has tussled with wine on the silver screen in “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “Notorious,” to name a couple.  But whenever I see Cary Grant in a movie, it always seems to me that he should be holding a glass of something elegant.  Even as a fast-talking newspaperman in “His Girl Friday,” he looks incomplete without a drink.

If you’ve ever tried to hire back someone you had already fired, you get an idea of the job Grant has before him.  His ex-wife and former employee at the newspaper doesn’t want a Continuation of Benefits package.  In fact, she’s set to marry another man, a guy who looks like “that guy in the movies, what’s his name, Ralph Bellamy.”

Elegance has a hard time gaining a foothold in a newspaper office.  The newspapermen - and women - I’ve known have been elegant enough to hide a hip flask in their desks.  They also received shipments of their personal pornography at work and bills with nasty notes written on them indicating that payment may have been a tad slow in coming.  Only a newspaperman could devise an elaborate code for phrases spoken in the crudest language imaginable.

Cary Grant is the polar opposite, even while stopping at nothing to get his ex back on the team.  He uses the hallmark phrase, “Anytime, anyplace, anywhere” to describe how he still feels about his ex-wife, Hildy.  That’s a novel approach to divorce, even in 1940.  Isn’t it usually, “never, nowhere, no way?”

At lunch it’s Hildy, her ex-husband and her groom-to-be.  That’s a cozy table.  You’d think there would be some drink orders in that situation, but the waiter just pours three waters.  At least he has the decency to offer to put rum in the coffee, and they have the decency to accept.

Rosalind Russell, as Hildy, has her trademark patter running in high gear.  Her street-smart elegance is a word-for-word match with Grant’s.  She may not be a Pulitzer prize winner, but “she’ll do till one comes along.”

Bedford Winery Cabernet Sauvignon makes a nice match for “His Girl Friday.”  From the winery’s notes: “Rich... impeccably well-mannered, everything in its proper place.”  No wonder they call it the Cary Grant of Cabernets.

Fridays Creek Winery - It’s in Maryland, so good luck getting your hands on that Seyval Blanc if you're not an East Coaster.

How can you go wrong with a Rosalind Russell?  Bartender, it's a tasty little recipe involving Aquavit and sweet vermouth.  Cheers!

The Cary Grant Cocktail Lounge - A webpage that promises much and, unfortunately, delivers little.

Wine and Newspaper Gift Box - One of the more unusual gift ideas.  The wine, I get.  But a newspaper?  It doesn’t add much value to the package.  Hopefully it’s delivered by a wine delivery guy, not the paperboy.  That wine bottle won’t survive the toss from the street.



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