Time (2011) - Hitchcock's Dark Dreamboat: Farley Granger (1925-2011)
- magazine article: Hitchcock's Dark Dreamboat: Farley Granger (1925-2011)
- author(s): Richard Corliss
- journal: Time (11/Apr/2011)
- issue: volume 177, issue 14, page 1
- journal ISSN: 0040-781X
- publisher: Time Incorporated
- keywords: Actors, Alfred Hitchcock, Alida Valli, Arthur Laurents, Bisexuality, Cary Grant, Farley Granger, Ingrid Bergman, James Stewart, John Dall, Montgomery Clift, Motion pictures, Notorious (1946), Robert Walker, Rope (1948), Sidney Bernstein, Strangers on a Train (1951), Suspicion (1941), The Paradine Case (1947), Vertigo (1958)
His good looks—sensuous face, doe eyes, full lips, jet-black hair—could have come from a casting director's composite sketch of the Hollywood romantic lead. His bearing was straight, his lean body subtly muscled; here was a generic handsomeness suitable for an audience's worship. Even the stately name, which matched his patrician profile, sounded fake, as if the front office had confected it for their latest pretty-boy star. But he really was born Farley Granger. He actually was a fine actor. And for directors who knew how to expose the emotional instability behind that gorgeous facade, he was the troubled soul of postwar America's moral turmoil—softer than Brando, darker than Dean.
Granger, who died Sunday at 85 in Manhattan, spent more than a half-century in American and Italian movies, in TV dramas and on and off-Broadway. In later days he became something of a gay icon for the bisexuality he may have suggested in his film roles — and, he later acknowledged, in his personal life. But Granger is best remembered, or ought to be, for four pictures he made in his early prime: Nicholas Ray's They Live by Night (made in 1947, released in 1949), Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948) and Strangers on a Train (1951) and Luchino Visconti's Senso (1954). That's a quartet of films and performances any actor could be proud of.
Farley Earle Granger, Jr., was the son of a San Jose car dealer who, after his business failed in the first years of the Great Depression, moved the family to...