12 April 2018

Dear Number One

Here is a very cryptic letter from Cary Grant to Tony Curtis, written on 25 October 1963. I have no idea what the letter is about, but I found it funny and intriguing so I thought I'd share it with you. Grant wrote the letter four years after he made his only film with Tony Curtis, Operation Petticoat (1959), apparently as a reply to something Curtis had written to him earlier. Browsing the web for information on what Grant could have possibly meant with his cryptic "Number One" and "Number Two", I found that the submarine in Operation Petticoat had problems with engines "number one" and "number two" (in particular with engine number one). So perhaps Grant and Curtis shared an inside joke or a secret code dating back to their Operation Petticoat days? Well, I have no idea, but you can check out Grant's mysterious note yourself below.

Incidentally, Tony Curtis' real name was Bernard Schwartz, hence Grant calling him Bernard Curtis. And Grant signs the letter with Archie Grant, Archibald Leach being Grant's real name.

Source: Julien's Live


October 25, 1963

Dear Mr. Bernard Curtis:

Wel yes yes. Thank you.

I loved LOVED Number Two: but I haven't seen Number One yet!

Please. I want to see Number One, dear Number One.
Because that's such a fine Number Two.

signed 'Archie Grant'
(Number Two)

Tony Curtis always idolised Cary Grant and once did a funny Grant impersonation on screen (in Billy Wilder's Some Like it Hot (1959)). About his big idol Curtis once said: "Cary Grant, the most gracious man, extremely intelligent, very perceptive about life. I admired him a lot and I emulated a lot of him. Not in my behaviour so much but so much rubbed off on me. I’m a gentleman now. I’m very appreciative of people’s friendship. I like to be gallant. I like to kiss ladies’ hands. All these little things that I felt Cary Grant did automatically, I decided I would do." Picture below: Grant and Curtis are having a laugh with Janet Leigh, to whom Curtis was married from 1951 till 1962.

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