One of the interesting aspects of Farley Granger’s career, which began in the early Forties and continued to 2001, is that he was one of the last leading male studio system actors to mask his personal sexual identity onscreen.
Somewhat like Rock Hudson in this regard, he was considered early on a heart throb, not exactly a “hunk” but as a handsome young man who could act. In 1954’s Italian-made Senso, for example, Granger turned up playing a dashing 19th century Austrian lieutenant passionately pursued by an Italian countess (Alida Valli).
Our Monday Quiz this week was inspired by his autobiography, Include Me Out, written with Robert Calhoun, his longtime companion, in 2007 — four years before his death at age 85. Here are an answers to our Quiz; to review questions scroll down to the blog below.
1) Answer: d) Samuel Goldwyn, who signed up Granger when he was still a teenager. It was the producer’s famous malapropism that served as the title of the actor’s book mentioned above.
2) Answer: a) Rope and c) Strangers on a Train. While the former is stagey, far from Alfred Hitchcock‘s best, the latter is a classic and should be seen again and again. The movie also propelled Granger into the ranks of A-list Hollywood actors.
3) Answer: b) Luchino Visconti, probably best known as the director of the elegant 1963 costume epic The Leopard starring Burt Lancaster .
4) Answer: a) Thieves Like Us. RKO’s studio boss at the time, Howard Hughes, changed the original title because he thought audiences would think it meant ‘Thieves Like Us,’ wrote Granger.
5) Answer: b) Doris Day.
6) Answer: Shelley Winters.
7) Answer: d) Granger wrote that Betty Grable may have been (20th Century Fox’s) biggest star, but she came equipped with the soul of a chorus girl who relished a good dirty joke. Thus she demanded that Freddy Ney, an outrageously funny chorus boy from New York, was always directly behind her in big musical numbers. His filthy, stage-whispered running commentary kept a big smile on her face at all times.
8) Answer: In 1977, Granger won an Emmy as outstanding actor in a daytime tv series, One Life To Live.
9) Answer: Actually all four choices are correct. Danny Kay infuriated Granger on all counts, particularly his criticism of costar Zizi Jeanmaire. Let’s put it this way: Kaye was not beloved on a personal level by many of his Hollywood contemporaries.
10) Answer: a) True. The picture was 1970’s They Call Me Trinity, part of the Terence Hill-Bud Spencer ‘Trinity” comedy western series. Granger described it as a comic book of a movie, one of the highest grossing films ever made in Italy. He loved Italy and often found excuses to work there.