Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum & Jean Simmons in The Grass is Greener (1960)

Yesterday's film (Dream Wife, 1953) paired Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr and reminded me of this one, which also featured the pair. The Earl of Rhyall (Grant) and his wife the Countess (Kerr) are having trouble keeping up the family estate, so they begin offering tours of it for a fee. Charles Delacro (Mitchum) an American millionaire is one who takes the tour and finds more than just history in the house when he becomes smitten with the Countess. The Earl, in danger of losing his wife, invites Delacro down to the estate to stay with them, and also invites Hattie Durant (Simmons), a quirky American heiress of their acquaintance to join them in hopes of making his wife jealous. It's all very civilized, even when it comes to pistols at dawn.
This film was based on a successful play by Hugo Williams and Margaret Vyner and fared well in England but bombed in the US. It's got a certain sophisticated charm to it and farcical elements that are fun to watch.

It's available on DVD and can be occasionally seen on TV. It's also available to watch in full on YouTube. The scene above, uploaded by oakjackson is a brilliant piece of choreography and kind of sums up the circumstance.

Obscurity factor: 4 (available on DVD, in the public consciousness because of occasional TV screenings)


  1. I saw this film a long long time ago when I was very young and thought it was sophisticated and clever. But then about 5 years ago it was on TCM and I settled in to watch it and thought: ooops , no it isn't. it's TRYING to be sophisticated and clever. Oh well. It's not a waste of time by any means but it's semi-obscurity it seems might be deserved....

  2. Yes, it's a bit self conscious, but there's some glamor to be had.

  3. I liked it. I didn't think it was trying to be clever, it was just a different era, in 1960. It is cozy and fun and lovely and I plan to watch it again before sending it back to netflix. watching the love triangle is entertaining and the butler steals many scenes.

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed it! It is delightfully blithe in places.