This article re-examines Cary Grant’s star persona arguing that the importance of his Bristolian identity has been under-appreciated. Through a detailed discussion of attempts to promote his Bristolian roots including the biennial Cary Comes Home Festival (established 2014), the article argues that these activities have encouraged a re-evaluation of Cary Grant’s star identity, increased understanding of his importance to Bristol’s screen heritage, and helped promote film tourism to the city. The article outlines the history and development of the festival, critically reflecting on the curatorial practices that underpinned them. It is informed by three main interlinked theoretical areas: star studies; the literature on fan practices of cinematic tourism and pilgrimage, and festival studies. It analyses the ways in which expanded cinema programming provides opportunities for decentering the understanding of Grant’s persona as a Hollywood star, by exploring the festival’s programming of immersive cinematic experiences in locations that were significant to his Bristolian identity. The article also examines the impact of the festival’s role in relocating Grant within Bristol, the ways in which it has enhanced the city’s sense of its cinematic heritage – including achieving UNESCO City of Film status in October 2017 – and the ways in which Bristol has become a living archive through which and in which Cary Grant’s star persona is constructed and circulates, which has helped promote film tourism to the city today.
Crofts, C. (2021). Bristol fashion: Reclaiming Cary Grant for Bristol – Film heritage, screen tourism and curating the Cary Comes Home Festival. Open Screens, 4(2), Article 17. https://doi.org/10.16995/OS.8018