There are many anecdotes in Evenings With Cary Grant that cover the most famous films of Grant career, including Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1940), His Girl Friday (1940), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), and his four films with Alfred Hitchcock--Suspicion (1941), Notorious (1946), To Catch A Thief (1955), and North by Northwest (1959). Always the gentleman, Grant steadfastly refused to pick favorites, in any of his films or leading ladies.
Alfred Hitchcock: "Cary's the only actor I ever loved in my whole life."
From the many stories told in the book it seems that at least in his youth, Grant would fall deeply in love very quickly with a woman and want to make things permanent. If there was any hesitation or obstacle to marriage on the woman's part they would find that he would move on just as quickly. He became seriously involved with actress Mary Brian in 1935 and they talked about marriage.
Mary Brian: "But he was torn between devoting all his time to his career and committing to marriage. I thought he should make up his mind. I felt the time was not right for him to marry. So I went to New York, where I did a couple of Shubert shows and stayed eight or nine months. We had been seeing one another for about a year and a half, and I wanted a full commitment. When I came home, he was going with Phyllis Brooks."
Nelson has pieced together quotes from Grant and many, many of his colleagues to tell the (mostly) chronological story of how he rose from his humble beginnings in England to becoming the number one box office male star in Hollywood. So many people who knew him well, and who are well-known to the public offer Nelson and the reader their impressions of Grant: Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Louis Jourdan, Billy Wilder, Loretta Young, Burt Reynolds, Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren, and Quincy Jones, just to name a few. Also included is a foreword (and ostensibly a blessing on the project) from Grant's fifth wife, Barbara, and his only child, his daughter Jennifer Grant.