Cary and Randy (1933) 🇺🇸
by Esther Meade
Not even a wife could separate Randy and Cary – but then, Virginia wouldn’t want to.
What happens to friendship when one of two men who have been pals marries? Does the man who has been left in lonely bachelorhood resent his friend’s new bride? Is he jealous of the girl who now comes first in his pal’s affections? And how does the girl herself feel? Is she willing to share her husband’s time with his old friend? What about the husband? Is he lonely for the companion of his bachelor days? Does he miss him? Randy Scott, who is now a part of this sort of a triangle frankly answers these questions.
“Cary Grant has been, and still is, the best friend I have ever had in my life”, declared Randy, as he stretched in his armchair and flung his hat on a nearby table. It was, in fact, to Cary’s dressing-room at Paramount Studio that he had brought me for our talk. Randy seemed to be quite as much at home there as if they had been his own quarters.
“I know that I could count on him for anything, now, as in the old days before his marriage. And I am sure that Cary knows that that goes for me, too, where he is concerned”, continued Randy.
They had warned me that Randy Scott might be reserved and quiet, that very likely he would not care to discuss the present status of his friendship with the man with whom he had “paled” so intimately before marriage had ended Cary’s carefree bachelor days.
Now every writer knows that while silent he-men may be all very well out in the great open spaces, they are very difficult to interview. Squeezing water out of a stone is child’s play in comparison to getting information from this type of actor. But Randy Scott proved to be a happy exception to the rule. He seemed almost eager to explain this situation in which he now finds himself.
“The reason why Cary’s marriage has not affected our friendship,” said Randy, “is because we have always been independent of each other. We have been the closest of friends for years, but we never butted into each other’s business. We never interfered with each other. We never tried to decide each other’s problems. We never even had friendly quarrels. It has been a perfect friendship.
“Naturally, now that he is married I see less. of him. But our fundamental friendship is as firm as ever. I think that Virginia is a marvellous wife for Cary and the three of us go about together a good deal. I miss his constant companionship, of course.”
In spite of his bravado and sensible acceptance of this new state of affairs, a wistfulness lay behind Randy’s words. One instinctively feels the sense of loss and emptiness that has come into Randy’s life since Cary married Virginia Cherrill.
They had lived together, these friends, for two years before Cary met Virginia. They originally met on the studio lot, and from the first, were drawn to each other by that intangible something by which one instantly recognizes a kindred spirit.
“I introduced him to Virginia,” said Randy with a rueful, little smile. “I knew Virginia only casually, and the three of us met one lunch time. I could see that something happened between them right from the start. But the engagement wasn’t announced for a long time.
“Last November Cary and I went to Europe together. Virginia was waiting in England, and I knew that they would be married there. Cary always said he wanted to be married in England. He was born there, you know. Going over on the boat Cary was nervous, moody and over-anxious to get to Virginia. He was all strung up. One day something happened that might have had disastrous results if it hadn’t finally been explained after we landed.
“It seems that Virginia and Cary had an understanding between them, that if either one became interested in anyone else, they would at once tell the other about it. All during the trip they used to send daily radiograms to each other. One day Cary came rushing up to me with a radio message in his hand.
“‘What the devil do you suppose this means,’ he demanded. I read it. The first part of the message was normal enough, but at the end was a startling statement. It said, ‘Accepting Morris’ and was signed ‘Virginia.’
“Cary was wild. I had a terrible time calming him. And almost at the same time, Virginia had received a radiogram that Cary had sent her, which drove her nearly frantic. The message Cary had actually sent was ‘Distracted and bored,’ but when it was delivered to her it read, ‘Attraction on board.’ Both of them went about acting like a couple of Bengal tigers in a cage.
WHEN we finally landed and they thrashed the matter out, it turned out that all radiograms sent from and to London, first had to be relayed on through a French port, and that in doing so, both messages had become distorted, which explained the mix-up. Someone else’s message concerning their acceptance of the mysterious ‘Morris’ had been tacked on to Virginia’s radio to Cary, and his to her had been likewise badly bungled. It took them two days, however, to disentangle the mess and make their peace with each other after we landed.”
“Did you stay in England for their wedding?” I asked.
Randy stared moodily down at his hands for a long moment before he replied.
“No,” he finally answered. “I had to return home — alone. When I next saw Cary he was a married man.”
‘’But you say that you feel that marriage hasn’t changed him, at least, so far as you are concerned?”
“I see an admirable change in Cary Grant, the man,” said Randy Scott loyally. “He was always gay and full of spontaneity. He went into everything he did, heart and soul. When he played, he played 100 per cent. Now he is looking to the future. He is more balanced. I have never seen him so happy. They are both terribly in love. I think that they are the happiest couple I have ever seen.
“As I have said, we are just as good pals as ever. But I am watching. I am on guard. I don’t ever want to contribute in any way to his unhappiness. I don’t ever want to be blamed for any trouble. Sometime, quite naturally, there might be a petty quarrel between Virginia and Cary. Perhaps his eggs might not be cooked to suit him in the morning, or something equally unimportant. And if I were around too much, people might lay the blame at my door.
“I never interfere with Virginia in any way. We are good friends. I give her full credit for the agreeable changes I now see in Cary. Their happiness makes me think more about marriage. It makes me feel that it must be a pretty good state of existence. We three often go places together. Sometimes we make it a four- some, and I bring a girl along. But our dates are spontaneous now, and usually cooked up on the spur of the moment. They are not planned ahead as Cary’s and mine used to be. In the old days, for instance, he and I almost always were invited out together on Thursday nights. That was the servants’ night out, and people took pity on us, knowing that we were open for dinner engagements at that particular time. Incidentally, I still am.”
Source: Modern Screen, 1933
(Above, left) The Cary Grants spend a quiet evening in their honeymoon cottage beating each other — at backgammon. (Right) The bachelor boys, Randy Scott and Cary, during the not-so-long-ago, when they lived together, did their own shopping and hoped for an invitation on the cook’s night out.
Source: Modern Screen Magazine, September 1937