Honest Review – ‘Archie’ The Man Who Became Cary Grant on Britbox. I took a brief pause from my consumption of all things Christmas to watch the new Miniseries ‘Archie’ that just came out on BritBox. I will preface this review by saying that I am a huge fan of British television programs and often watch BritBox and old movies from the golden age of Hollywood.
BAFTA® Award-winning and Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter and executive producer Jeff Pope brings the remarkable, little-known story of the formative years of Hollywood superstar, Cary Grant to screens in this much-anticipated drama on BritBox.
One of the twentieth century’s most iconic figures, Cary Grant touched the world with his charm, wit, and grace. But few knew Archie Leach, the man behind the name, and the enormous challenges he overcame on his path to stardom. From his troubled childhood to the one overpowering lie that shaped his life, this surprising and emotional drama captures Archie Leach’s struggles, fears, loves, and losses – a man who couldn’t be further from the character he invented to save himself.
I went into this knowing little about Cary Grant other than I have seen and adored some of his films. I knew that his daughter, Jennifer, has spoken publicly about her relationship with her father. Other than that, I didn’t know much. This was illuminating. He was a brilliant actor but a tortured soul.
You see how little Archie Leach grew up against all odds to become Cary Grant. Archie had a sad childhood. He was told that his mother had passed away and did not find out until he was 31 years old that she was in fact alive but living in an asylum.
Cary had many marriages but this miniseries is focused on his relationship with Dyan Cannon and then briefly his last marriage to Barbara Harris.
Jason Isaacs stars as Cary and is absolutely incredible in this performance. I found myself having to remind myself that it was not actually Cary Grant on the screen. He transformed himself. Laura Aikman was breathtaking as Dyan Cannon. Harriet Walter played Archie’s mother Elsie. I am betting that come award seasons, this will be the recipient of many nominations.
There is nothing negative to say about this production. If you are a fan of Cary Grant, this is a must-see. Furthermore, this shows that he was a flawed man who fought demons his whole life. I will say that this is based on Dyan Cannon’s memoir, she does serve as Producer along with their daughter Jennifer. It may seem skewed based on this. But do not fret, this is not a hit piece.
Of note, there are fantastic appearances of other celebrities throughout his life, such as George Burns, Alfred Hitchcock, Mae West, Audrey Hepburn, and Fay Wray. As an old movie buff, this made me thrilled!
‘Archie’ The Man Who Became Cary Grant is absolutely worth the time investment, with stunning performances by the whole cast. With special recognition to Jason Isaacs (Lucious Malfoy in the Harry Potter Films), who we think should be a leading candidate for this year’s Award Season. Archie is a must-see, especially if you enjoy the Golden Age of Hollywood.