Throwback Thursday: Hollywood’s Leading Men

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Before the days of sparkly vampires, Magic Mike dancers, and blonde Bonds; Hollywood’s leading men were no nonsense, fully clothed, alpha males who drank whiskey straight and the only thing that sparkled were their eyes. In the age of black and white film they appeared all the more dashing, mysterious and manly as they said things like “Here’s looking at you kid” and “Steeeeeeellaaaaaaaa”. This Throwback Thursday we celebrate the old school “It’ men that solved the crime, talked the talk, and won the broad (or dame depending on the film).

1. Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando is The Godfather. There is no possible way to be more bad ass than Don Corleone which is why he tops this list. Considered to be the greatest movie actor of all time, Brando has starred in some of the most memorable films ever made including Apocalypse Now, Guys and Dolls, Julius Ceaser and of course A Streetcar Named Desire. He rocked the boat, refused to learn scripts and sometimes made the process of filming a complete nightmare…but in the end, he was always worth it.

2. Cary Grant

Cary Grant was effervescently charming; with his good looks, quick wit and glowing (if slightly orange) tan, he was the leading man that every “Girl Friday” dreamed of. He was tall, dark, and handsome enough for any romantic lead, his expressive features landed him any comedic role and his air of drama worked splendidly in many a Hitchcock thriller. North by Northwest, Monkey Business, I was a Male War Bride – Cary Grant could do it all and with such a charming accent.

3. Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart was not classically handsome; he never possessed a boyish smile, a playful wink or a charming laugh. Instead, he was drop dead serious, he didn’t give a damn, or at least thats how he liked to play it. He drowned his sorrows in whiskey, played to practicality, and had no time for the frivolities of women. And oh how the women loved it. Somehow, no matter how beautiful the actress, it made perfect sense for her to be crazy for Bogart. Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep, and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca? Why not. Bogart was the ultimate film noir detective: he always got his man.

4. Jimmy Stewart

Jimmy Stewart was the ultimate Everyman. He was charmingly clumsy, innocently funny, and just down right likable. In 1964, his role as George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life made him a family favorite and that fandom shows no signs of stopping. His impressive acting capabilities were eventually rewarded by the Academy with an Honorary Award for his “fifty years of memorable performances”. These performances include his role as Elwood in the whimsical comedy Harvey, his romantic part as Macaulay Connor in The Philadelphia Story and his formidable presence as Rupert Cadell in Hitchcock’s Rope. On presenting him with the award, Cary Grant praised Stewart’s acting, stating that he had a special reason for admiring him because he once had the pleasure of “making a scene with him”. 

5. Gregory Peck

Roman Holiday, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Yearling and Twelve O’Clock High; Gregory Peck has undoubtedly starred in some fabulous movies. He has been nominated four times for “Best Actor in a Leading Role,” he won the award for his passionate portrayal of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, and he won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award as well as the US Presidential Medal of Freedom. Peck was an activist who took part in anti-war protests and supported both worker’s right and civil rights. He was also a dreamboat. 
– Sinann Fetherston

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