BUTTERFLY MCQUEEN
Her roles were largely stereotypical, yet her charm and goofiness made her memorable. Here’s a look at her work beyond Gone With the Wind.

DESIGN IN FILM: THE MODERN HOUSEAn eight-minute video montage of modern homes—real and fake—as seen on the silver screen.

KEYE LUKE
An examination of the lengthy career of the Chinese-American character actor, from Charlie Chan to Woody Allen.

70MMThirty visually stunning films that illustrate the grandeur of large-format filmmaking.

CHILL WILLS
Our look at the Texas actor’s 43-year film career, including an ill-advised Oscar campaign. 

MARGARET HAMILTON
A look at the professional life of an actress who proved to be much more than just the Wicked Witch of the West.

NEBRASKANSA look at some of the memorable talentsfrom Astaire to Zanuck—to come from the Cornhusker State.

BEHIND THE SCENES
Twenty-five cool photos reveal what goes on outside of movie camera range.

SILENT SURVIVORS
Our list of at least a dozen silent film performers that are happily still with us.

12 GREAT MOVIE SONGSElvis, The Beatles and The Supremes join our list of favorite movie themes of the 1960s.

WILHELM SCREAMWe trace the history of one of the most famous and beloved sound effects in movies.

LOST HORIZONA dud receives its due as we explore the elements that made this 1973 musical so preposterously memorable.

GREAT CLOSING LINES
One hundred films whose final words of dialogue make indelible lasting impressions.

25 GREAT SILENT MOVIE POSTERSOur selection of artwork from the early days of motion pictures that expertly illustrate the tone and tale of the films they represent.

RAVES AND RASPBERRIES We select some choice bits from reviews by the late Roger Ebert.

ERROL FLYNN GETS WHACKEDThe actor recalls an unforgettable moment with Bette Davis on the set of The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex.

CINEMATIC RIDESTen films where carnival attractions add to the plot and give their protagonists a cheap thrill.

REEFER TRILOGY
Three overwrought cautionary tales from the 1930s examine the perils of smoking marijuana in polite society.

20 DIRECTORS / 20 FILMSSome of the world’s best moviemakers from Hollywood’s Golden Era provide a behind-the-scenes look at their creations.

LOS ANGELES IN THE 1920SVintage clips offer a look at famous boulevards, studios, theaters, eateries and more.

BILLY WILDEROur favorite lines of dialogue from the Oscar-winning writer/director.

WOODY ALLENChoice lines of dialogue, from Take the Money and Run to Midnight in Paris.

KATHARINE HEPBURNTen authoritative moments when Kate's movie character speaks her mind.

UFA MOVIE POSTERSA look at the early one sheets from the longest standing film studio in Germany.

THE LANGUAGE OF NOIRWe celebrate tough talk from the best of Hollywood’s gritty crime dramas.

HELICOPTER OVER HOLLYWOOD

Aerial shots of Hollywood in 1958 includes Griffith Observatory, Grauman’s Chinese Theater and major studios.

AMERICAWe celebrate one of the most exuberant dance numbers committed to film, a thrilling showcase for freakishly talented folks with music in their bones.

HOLLYWOOD POSTCARDSTen vintage postcards revealing the glories of Southern California's movie mecca.

MAJOR FILMS, MINOR GAFFESTwenty-five mistakes in some of the greatest movies ever made.

GEORGE GERSHWINTen classic songs as seen on the silver screen.

GREAT ENDINGSA memorable tussle in Death Valley caps Erich von Stroheim’s broken classic.

10 GREAT POSTERSOur look at striking works of art that just happen to sell movie tickets.

MUST READMGM: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot provides a fascinating look at a lost treasure.

IN THE COOL, COOL, COOL OF THE EVENINGJane Wyman and Bing Crosby charm with the Oscar-winning song from Here Comes the Groom (1951).

PLUNDER ROADFilm noir at its best—and most economical. No backstory, a lean look and just 72 minutes long.

W.C. FIELDSTen of his most memorable character names.

OUTER SPACE HORROR
Aliens and mutants take center stage in twenty-five spectacular movie posters from the 1950s.

INGMAR BERGMAN
Our list of ten must-see films—ten artful depictions of the human condition—by one of the world’s most influential directors.

10 DIRECTORS / 10 FILMS 
Accomplished directors from the past 50 years talk about their triumphs and challenges in bringing a story to the big screen.

JACK CARSON
We single out five films that display the talent and range of the Warner Bros. character actor.

AL HIRSCHFELDWe select our ten favorite movie posters by the famed caricaturist.

BILLIE BURKE
Five films that best represent the fluttery voiced character actress’s charms.

DIAMOND SETTINGSWe take a look at five of our favorite baseball movies of the ‘40s and ‘50s.

BESTSELLERS

A dozen books that became publishing phenomena and, at times, well-made and popular films.


SCREEN TESTSAudition footage from Monroe, Dean, Brando and others.

MOVIE MOMENTS THAT MAKE LIFE WORTH LIVINGOur collection of ten little moments of breathtaking beauty, expert craftsmanship and happy accidents that rank as our favorites.

EDNA MAY OLIVER
A tribute to a character actress who’s made aunts and spinsters her specialty.

STARS ON STARS: 30 CANDID OPINIONSA collection of favorite quotes from movie folk discussing their peers.

CEDRIC GIBBONS
We take a good look at the work of MGM’s legendary art director.

JOHN QUALENFive of our favorite performances from the character actor’s lengthy career.

NOT STARRING DORIS DAY
We select three movie musicals we deeply wish the sunny singer/actress would have made.

MICKEY ROONEY’S BEST
Twelve examples of what made the late actor such an enduring movie star.

PUBLICITY PHOTOS
Ten artful, playful and downright silly shots from some of the most famous movies in existence.

JEFFREY HUNTERWe tip our hat to the underrated (and very pretty) actor best known for going toe-to-toe with John Wayne in The Searchers and hanging on the cross in Nicholas Ray’s King of Kings.

ELVIS PRESLEYFive essential films for the Elvis movie fan.

SPRING SPRING SPRING”
We take a closer look and listen at Johnny Mercer’s witty ditty about the coming of the season.

BILL GOLD’S MOVIE POSTERSOur salute to the legendary graphic artist, including 25 of his posters for some of the most famous movies ever made.

BEAUTIFUL MENFilm giants Cary Grant and his ilk will have to wait. Here we look at ten not-so-obvious choices—actors blessed with incredible good looks, if not legendary status.

BEAUTIFUL WOMENTen of the most physically stunning females to grace the silver screen.

FOOTBALLFive classic films where gridiron shenanigans drive the plot. 

THE 43 FACES OF JOHNNY DEPPWe review the wide variety of characters the actor has played, from early teenager roles to larger-than-life eccentrics.

FRED ASTAIREFive lively numbers from the peerless hoofer.

THE ROAD TO HELEN LAWSONJudy Garland, Susan Hayward and the bumpy road Valley of the Dolls producers experienced in casting an important role in a truly lousy film.

 AMERICAN LANDMARKS ON FILM From the Empire State Building to the Golden Gate Bridge, we take a look at ten famous sights that added drama to the movies.

THE GIRL HUNT BALLETWe revisit the stylish Fred Astaire dream ballet from The Band Wagon (1953).

IOWA FILMS & STARSTen contributions the Hawkeye State has made to motion picture history.

FOX THEATEROur fond look back at one of San Francisco’s grandest movie palaces.

AUTOBIOGRAPHIESTen great titles penned by industry legends.

THE BAND WAGONNanette Fabray recalls a glaring mistake in the 1953 classic musical.

TRIGGERWe celebrate the life and somewhat creepy afterlife of Roy Rogers's favorite mount.

CHARACTERS: AGNES GOOCHPeggy Cass's memorable turn as a plain Jane coaxed into living a little in Auntie Mame (1958).

DESIGNS ON FILMA handsome volume by author and designer Cathy Whitlock chronicles the history of Hollywood set design.

REBECCAFive screen tests for Hitchock’s 1940 classic, with comments by David O. Selznick.

CHARACTERS: BABY ROSALIEIn a daffy send-up of Shirley Temple, June Preisser plays an aging child star in MGM's let's-put-on-a-show musical, Babes in Arms (1939).

PRESTON STURGESSnippets of dialogue from six of the writer/director’s best films.

ANSELMO BALLESTEROur gallery of ten striking one sheets from the Italian poster artist.

GREAT MOVIESCelebrating the cool jazz short, Jammin’ the Blues (1944).

BETTY HUTTONTwelve films that exemplify the charms of this freakishly energetic performer.

JOSEPH L. MANKIEWICZSmart dialogue from the Oscar-winning screenwriter.

DESERT NOIROur report from this year’s Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs.

RED DREAM FACTORYWe profile eight films from a unique Russian-German film studio of the twenties and thirties.

« September 30 | Main | September 29 »
Friday
Sep302011

Ten Beautiful Men

For this list, we're avoiding the obvious—the handsome gents who are household names, like Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn and William Holden. Here, we take a look at a group of actors who are somewhat lesser known but blessed with stunning good looks and sometimes lengthy, popular and acclaimed careers in their own right.

Guy Madison—real name Robert Moseley—was discovered by an assistant to Henry Willson, in charge of talent for David O. Selznick's Vanguard Pictures. A small part in Since You Went Away (1944) got him noticed by the population at large, allowing him the opportunity for a long career in movies and television, mostly in westerns.

Actor, singer and civil rights leader Harry Belafonte—the subject of an outstanding new documentary, Sing Your Song (2011), by director Susanne Rostock—got his start on Broadway and moved on to recording, television and movies. Throughout, he remained a steadfast crusader for equality around the world. His civil rights work continues to this day.

Frank McCown was a man with a checkered past, having stolen a gun, jewelry and a car at various points in his youth. Paroled from San Quentin just before he turned 21, McCown worked at a handful of odd jobs until he was spotted horseback riding in the Hollywood HIlls by Alan Ladd and his wife Sue Carol. A screen test was arranged, his name was changed to Rory Calhoun and his long movie career was born.

“As far as I'm concerned, it's time the button-down collar, white shirt and tie became the uniform of Hollywood's male dramatic personnel,” actor John Gavin said in 1959. “There are no bare-chested, pectoral-showing parts on my film calendar.” Best known to movie audiences as Steve Archer in Imitation of Life (1959), Sam Loomis in Psycho (1960) and Julius Caesar in Spartacus (1960), John Gavin was close to becoming a household name with the role of James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Then the producers dangled $1 million in front of a certain previous Bond, and Sean Connery decided to reprise his role. Nevertheless, Gavin was paid the full Diamonds Are Forever salary for which he signed. Retired from acting in 1980, Gavin would go on to serve as Ambassador to Mexico during President Reagan’s time in office.

Jacques Bergerac is perhaps best know for two MGM musicals: Les Girls (1957) and Gigi (1958). For the latter film, he was a last-minute replacement—and Eva Gabor's personal choice—for a role Richard Winckler was already slated to play. Gabor convinced producer Arthur Freed to make the switch. Bergerac married and divorced Ginger Rogers, then Dorothy Malone, and eventually left movies to head Revlon's operations in Paris.

“Janet Gaynor and I were always receiving wedding-anniversary presents in the mail, care of the studio,” Charles Farrell once remarked. “The fans didn't even know what date our anniversary fell on, which is logical, since we were never married.” The actor made a dozen movies with Gaynor, from silent classics like 7th Heaven (1927) and Street Angel (1928) to talkies like the Gershwin musical Delicious (1931). After retiring from films in the early forties, Farrell became a fixture in Palm Springs, serving as mayor from 1947 to 1955.

Orison Whipple Hungerford Jr., nicknamed Typhoon, became Ty Hardin when he hit the silver screen, first in The Space Children (1958). He then went on to slightly greater things with The Chapman Report (1962), PT 109 (1963), The Battle of the Bulge (1965) and a campy 1967 circus drama starring Joan Crawford called Berserk. After he left motion pictures, Hardin became an evangelical Christian preacher involved in right-wing politics and formed a group called the Arizona Patriots, who stockpiled weapons in anticipation of a war with the US government. The FBI and ATF eventually raided their headquarters and confiscated a large amount of illegal guns and ammo.

Tab Hunter is what resulted when legendary Hollywood agent Henry Willson—who named Rock Hudson, Chad Everett, Troy Donahue and others—got ahold of one Arthur Kelm from New York City. Kelm, now Hunter, made his screen debut in The Lawless (1950) and played his most famous character, Joe Hardy, in the musical Damn Yankees! (1958). In 1957, Hunter recorded a song called “Young Love,” which hit number one on the Billboard charts. In 1971, the actor reflected upon his career: “"The star thing is over. I've knocked around quite a bit in the past few years and now I'm just another actor looking for work. Acting is what I know and what I do best...I'm trying to find a new niche...something to help erase that bland image the studios gave me in the fifties. I'm looking for roles that will establish me as a more mature actor."

David Manners is probably most famous for the horror films Dracula (1931), The Mummy (1932) and The Black Cat (1934), though he had big roles opposite some of the most prominent actresses of the day: Barbara Stanwyck in The Miracle Woman (1931), Katharine Hepburn in A Bill of Divorcement (1932) and Claudette Colbert in Torch Singer (1933).

In his first film, Robert Forster played a small but memorable part in Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967), which led to his breakout role as a TV cameraman in Medium Cool (1969). "I'm not sure how a guy wins or loses in this business, but somebody's got to come along and make you lucky,”  the actor once said. “You can't do it yourself." One of those guys was Quentin Tarantino, who revived Forster’s career in 1997 when the director cast the actor in Jackie Brown. Forster’s subtle work as a bail bondsman earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. "When he gave me the script he knew I hadn't had a big part like this in twenty-five years,” said Forster.

References (11)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>