Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Surprise! Another gratuitous pic spam!

Kate Gabriel at Silents and Talkies came up with this meme. Who are your most swoon worthy actors? Who will you watch in anything, just to see them? Though I've probably pummeled you with this information subliminally for the last 18 months, I thought I'd spell it out, just in case someone wasn't paying attention. But really this is just a great excuse for me to spend hours trolling through my hard drive to find favorite pictures that I haven't posted yet.

Cary Grant: Duh, my obsession with him is so long standing I've been known at work as the Cary Grant Girl for years. Favorite Film: Bringing Up Baby. Movie that made me an obsessed fanatic, versus a casual admirer: weirdly, it was Monkey Business, which was the only Cary video tape I owned in college. It was a desert island thing. You had to be there.

Gary Cooper: At first I kept my Cooper obsession to myself. Would my Cary Grant fandom friends understand that there was room in my heart for "GC" as well as "CG?" Turns out there were a whole bunch of us crowded into that particular closet. Favorite film: Ball of Fire, also the movie that made me lurve him. I must have watched half a dozen Cooper films before this movie changed my mind forever.

Laurence Olivier: Only classic actor obsession that predates Cary Grant. I taped speeches from Wuthering Heights when I was 15 and played them on my walkman. I love Olivier's Matinee idol period, and mostly avoid movies from the 60s and 70s were he tended to work for anyone with the greenback dollars. Still I've watched enough of those. Favorite Film: Wuthering Heights, and That Hamilton Woman. Honarable mention: Divorce of Lady X.

Michael Redgrave: If I had an Essentials list, I'd have to include The Lady Vanishes and The Importance of Being Earnest. I probably said all I had to say about how swoony he is in my Thunder Rock post.

Gregory Peck: First actor obsession to come out of this blog. The movie was Spellbound. I'd probably seen it more than ten times before I got all goopy about Greg. Weird, huh? Favorite Film: Roman Holiday

Herbert Marshall: so there I was watching Riptide and I just couldn't believe that anyone even cared anything about Norma Shearer when she was playing opposite this totally awesome Brit who was understated and had such a dry, detached delivery made every line seem as if it were a gem descended from the gods or at least Noel Coward. He was elevating the shit out of his material, yo. Favorite film: The Good Fairy.

Robert Donat: Goodbye Mr. Chips? Goodbye my heart, more like. This guy is so awesome and he only made 20 movies. So why, why can't I see all of them right now. Favorite film: The Thirty Nine Steps. After that, I honestly can't decide: it's a five way tie between Mr. Chips, The Ghost Goes West, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Winslow Boy, and Knight without Armor.

Jeremy Northam: See the best actor you've never heard of. Swoon. Favorite Film: Emma.

Brian Aherne: The first time I saw him in a film, Sylvia Scarlett, I made a note to myself to watch more of his movies. And then it occurred to me while putting together youtube playlists for myself, that years had gone by and the opportunity to see more Brian Aherne movies just never came up. What the? So I went on a mission. I scanned my sources carefully, and managed to collect a tiny handful of his films. I bought his autobiography and read it. I've been collecting photos and putting together an online gallery. Favorite Film: Merrily we Live.

David Manners: David Manners got me to watch horror movies in earnest for the first time in my life. He helped get me over a life-long fear of ventriloquist dummies with his character in The Miracle Woman. And in the above picture he proves that one can wear jodhpurs and not look like a silent film director. He really is quite an actor. Favorite Film: Man Wanted.

Colin Firth: I've been holding forth on Firth a lot lately. It's my campaign to bring him Oscar buzz. Oh yeah, he's a cinch now. Favorite Film: Pride and Prejudice.

Warren William: The funny thing about Warren William is that I don't usually like cads or men with mustaches and William has both cadishness and mustaches in spades in most of his screen roles. (Above pic is from one of his rare clean shaven roles, Cleopatra (1934). Favorite film: The Dark Horse and Golddiggers of 1933.

Liam Neeson: I may have been the only person ever to sit through a preview of Schindler's List and say aloud in the theater, "hey, it's the guy from Satisfaction!" I look for this actor so frequently in programming searches on my Tivo, that the machine knows what I'm looking for after typing the letters, "L" and "I". As proof that I'll watch any thing with him in it, here's a sampling from Tivo in the last year: Suspect (Neeson has 5 minutes as a homeless murder suspect in this Cher, Dennis Quaid drama), Next of Kin (Neeson has 10 minutes as a hillbilly murder suspect in this awful Patrick Swayze movie), Gangs of New York (Neeson wanders through this violent mess of a movie for about 10 minutes). The above still is from one of my favorite Tivo finds of the last few years, Seraphim Falls which not only features Liam Neeson in a fur coat, it co-stars Pierce Brosnan, another of my 1980s obsessions. Favorite film: Michael Collins.

Some who didn't quite make the cut: George Sanders, Joel McCrea, Ronald Colman, Ricardo Cortez, Paul Henreid and Rossano Brazzi. All these actors I either haven't seen enough of their films to quite qualify them or I'm mainly interested in certain periods of their work, such as Pre-Code Joel McCrea for example.


SteveQ said...

Best actor you've never heard of (1960's version): Jack MacGowran. In everything from Cul-de-Sac to The Quiet Man and great in all.

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Kate Gabrielle said...

I'm so happy you did this list! I completely forgot to include Herbert Marshall in mine (I'm so ashamed!)

Strangely the Gary Cooper movie that did it for me was The Wedding Night, which wasn't actually all that good or his best role but... wow! :)

Jennythenipper said...

Steve: Jack MacGowran, well you're right I had to look him up, but I knew who he was, once I did. I kept this list to leading men, but I should put together a supporting actor list soon...

Kate: I can totally see Wedding Night being the Cooper movie that does the trick. He and Anna Sten have such a lovely chemistry in that movie. It just makes you wish you were snow bound in a house with Gary Cooper. Yeah, it's not a great film but it definitely has it's good points.