Best Cary Grant Movies

Cary Grant is one of Hollywood’s most iconic actors, with a career spanning five decades and over 70 feature films, highlighting his undeniable talent. With so many remarkable movies to his name, it can be a daunting task to narrow down the absolute best of his cinematic works. There’s never been any argument that Grant had the ability to bring each character he embodied to life with grace, charm, and effortless charisma.

Thus, to aid audiences in choosing which of Grant’s masterpieces are essential viewing, I have compiled a list of his ten finest films, featuring some honorable mentions for further exploration. Each movie on this list is undoubtedly an incredible piece of art and is sure to offer viewers a memorable viewing experience, filled with laughter, tears, and timeless moments of classic Hollywood cinema. So if you’re looking to dive deeper into the storied career of Cary Grant, look no further than our selection of the actor’s ten best films.

The Top 10 Best Cary Grant Movies, Ranked

Honorable Mention: None But the Lonely Heart (1944)

  • Genre: Drama / Romance
  • Starring: Cary Grant, Ethel Barrymore
  • Directed by: Clifford Odets

A list of the best Cary Grant movies would not be complete without at least mentioning None But the Lonely Heart. While not the absolute best movie ever made, this film did give Grant his second and final Academy Award nomination. If you’re a fan of Grant, his work here is a must-watch.

None But the Lonely Heart follows a ne’er-do-well (Grant) who attempts to help his mother (Barrymore) with her shop when he learns that she is dying of cancer. A riveting drama where both Grant and Barrymore are absolutely amazing.

Honorable Mention: Penny Serenade (1941)

  • Genre: Romance / Drama
  • Starring: Cary Grant, Irene Dunne
  • Directed by: George Stevens

Penny Serenade is actually a wonderful movie. Cary Grant and Irene Dunne films tend to be. However, as we had to narrow this list down to 10 films, this movie had to be left out — but we had to give it an honorable mention, especially as this film gave Grant his first Academy Award nomination!

Penny Serenade is a heartbreaking film, really. The movie follows a couple as they struggle to stay together, as well as attempt to adopt a child and start a family. A great 1940s drama.

Related — The Most Popular Irene Dunne Movies

Honorable Mention: To Catch a Thief (1955)

  • Genre: Mystery / Thriller / Romance
  • Starring: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

To Catch a Thief is another wonderful film — truly fantastic — that had to be left off of this list. However, we couldn’t go without giving it an honorable mention shoutout! To Catch a Thief follows a retired cat burglar (Grant) who must try to find a jewel thief when someone starts mimicking him, potentially ruining his new romance with Kelly’s character.

Related —The Most Popular Grace Kelly Movies

10. An Affair to Remember (1957)

  • Genre: Romance / Drama
  • Starring: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr
  • Directed by: Leo McCarey

An Affair to Remember is perhaps one of the most romantic movies ever made. It’s a classic for a reason! The film follows two people (Grant and Kerr) who meet on a ship from England to New York and subsequently fall in love with each other, even though they both are engaged to others. They agree to meet up again in six months at the top of the Empire State Building… but, of course, some drama gets in the way.

Related —Cary Grant: 10 Essential 1950s Movies

9. Holiday (1938)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant
  • Directed by: George Cukor

Holiday is definitely one of the best Cary Grant movies ever made. What’s not to love about it?! This film follows a free-thinking man (Grant) who worked his way up to the top. He ends up falling in love with a wealthy woman… though probably has more in common with her fun sister (Hepburn). Holiday is a part of the Criterion Collection (spine #1009)!

8. The Awful Truth (1937)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy
  • Directed by: Leo McCarey

The Awful Truth may be one of the best screwball comedies ever made. Grant and Dunne together are magic, and this movie never gets old — no matter how many times you view it. The Awful Truth follows a divorced couple who continuously end up involved in each other’s affairs… and their new romances. It’s so much fun! The Awful Truth is also a part of the Criterion Collection (spine #917)!

Related —Cary Grant: Top 10 Movies From the 1930s

7. His Girl Friday (1940)

  • Genre: Comedy / Romance / Drama
  • Starring: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy
  • Directed by: Howard Hawks

For many, His Girl Friday is the best comedy ever made. It’s a delightful movie that is as quick as ever, even decades after it was first made. The film follows a newspaper editor (Grant) who, upon learning that his star reporter and former wife (Russell) is about to remarry a rather boring man and become a housewife, tries to lure his ex back to the business with a scandalous story. His Girl Friday is also a part of the Criterion Collection (spine #849)!

Related —Cary Grant: Top 10 Best 1940s Movies

6. Bringing Up Baby (1939)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn
  • Directed by: Howard Hawks

Ah, Bringing Up Baby. Possibly one of the most delightful screwball comedies ever made — and that’s all because of Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn’s chemistry and talent! A lot happens in this movie, but basically, it follows an insane (in the best way possible) heiress (Hepburn) who falls in love with a straitlaced paleontologist (Grant) and subsequently upends his life… and then, there’s a leopard named Baby that gets loose! Bringing Up Baby is also a part of the Criterion Collection (spine #1085)!

Related —Best Films From the 1930s: ‘Bringing Up Baby’

5. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy
  • Starring: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey
  • Directed by: George Cukor

The Philadelphia Story is hands down, one of the best Cary Grant movies ever. It also happens to be one of the best movies ever made. This hysterical romantic comedy focuses on a society girl’s (Hepburn) wedding, which is crashed by her ex-husband (Grant) and reporters (Stewart and Hussey). The Philadelphia Story is also a part of the Criterion Collection (spine #901)!

Related —The Best Movies From the 1940s: ‘The Philadelphia Story’ (1940)

4. Charade (1963)

  • Genre: Mystery / Comedy / Romance
  • Starring: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau
  • Directed by: Stanley Donen

Much like many other movies on this list, Charade is one of the best Cary Grant movies ever made and is also a part of the Criterion Collection (spine #57)! This movie teams up two icons, Grant and Audrey Hepburn, which is such a delight. The mystery follows a widow (Hepburn) who goes on a journey to try to find her late husband’s fortune before her husband’s killers can — and the only person she can seemingly trust is Grant’s character. It’s a great movie, very fun, and with lots of twists!

Related —The Top 10 Best Audrey Hepburn Movies

3. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

  • Genre: Comedy / Thriller / Crime
  • Starring: Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Jack Carson
  • Directed by: Frank Capra

While there are so many fun movies on this list, I’d say that Arsenic and Old Lace is probably the most fun Cary Grant movie here. It’s just delightful.

Arsenic and Old Lace follows an anti-marriage writer (Grant) who, upon falling for the girl next door (Lane) and deciding to finally get married, returns home to tell the aunts who raised him his wonderful news. However, things very quickly become chaotic when he learns that his two dear old aunts have been killing lonely old men with poison. It’s a great film!

2. Notorious (1946)

  • Genre: Film Noir / Romance / Drama
  • Starring: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Notorious is absolutely one of the best Cary Grant movies ever made. It is phenomenal! This dark love story follows a U.S. government agent (Grant) who recruits the American daughter (
Bergman) of a convicted German war criminal to help him take down a ring of Nazis in Brazil. The two fall in love… and it’s so dramatic. Notorious is also a part of the Criterion Collection (spine #137)!

Related — The Most Popular Ingrid Bergman Movies Today

1. North by Northwest (1959)

  • Genre: Adventure / Mystery / Thriller
  • Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

And now, we’re to the very best Cary Grant movie ever made. You might not be surprised by this — it’s North by Northwest. This movie is thrilling and everything you want in a Hitchcock movie!

North by Northwest follows an advertising man (Grant) who is mistaken for a spy and then chased around the country by a ruthless spy (Mason). A mysterious, beautiful woman (Eva Marie Saint) is thrown into the mix, but can she be trusted? This film is wonderful — and a must-watch for everyone, especially those who are looking to watch the very best Cary Grant movies ever made!

Related —11 Popular James Mason Movies Today

What’s Your Favorite Cary Grant Movie?

Alright, we’re done talking about the best Cary Grant movies — but now, we want to hear from you! What are your favorite Grant movies of all time? Are there movies you feel should be on this list? Hit the comments below with your thoughts and opinions — we’d love to hear them!

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