26 December 2011

What you probably didn't know about the Gables...


I've built up this fantasy, this picture perfect of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard and their relationship for so long now - just to have it all shattered during the Christmas holidays (!). I might as well go tell a small child that Santa is a load of c***, pardon my language! 

Maybe it's shouldn't come as such a great shock, though. After all, it's not just the politicians who need spin doctors to 'fix' their precious image. I guess many celebrity couples went through pretty much the same back then as they do today. Perhaps it was all just a PR stunt (Clark wasn't called "The King of Hollywood" for nothing), perhaps it was simply silly gossip, perhaps they genuinely loved each other (which is  rather obvious when you watch their home videos and candid photos of them), but I hardly know what to believe anymore.

Maybe I should just stay in my naïve little fairy-tale fantasy. As Oscar Wilde once so cynically put it:

The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived.

16 December 2011

Latin Lover: Rudolph Valentino

The handsome grin of Rudolph in his last film, "The Son of
the Sheik", before his untimely, tragic death at the age of 31.

Decided to turn on my old interest for the silent era once again. Began with legendary, Italian-born, dead-too-young superstar Rudolph Valentino. First, "The Sheik" (1921) and then "The Son of the Sheik" (1925). The latter better than its prequel. More realistic acting and less dramatic, wide-eyed facial expressions. Also quite humorous with some short, endearing chit-chatter scenes (without intertitles) between the lovers that almost look unscripted. And Rudolph did a good job portraying both father and son, giving both roles character and independence to stand out for themselves. In one scene they're brought together in the same room,  and I'll have to say that it's rather well made and edited. Definitely, more realistic than when the two Lindsay Lohans were brought together in the 'fantastic' "The Parent Trap". That sort of shoots down the arguments that they couldn't make special effects back then, right?

On next was the breakthrough for young Rudolph (though perhaps most famously known for "The Sheik") in "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (1921). It wasn't as memorable as the others, I admit, though the story was fine, a bit dragging at times, but always with a couple of smoldering looks from a thoughtful, lovesick Valentino.

Then I saw "The Eagle" (1925), with a re-appearance of the heroine, Vilma Bánky, from "The Son of the Sheik", once more the beautiful love interest of our handsome hero, Rudolph. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome of this film. Definitely a lot more flow in the storytelling, the 'lines' and the expressions, less stagy and more tender than most silent movies, and added a good deal of humour, which Rudy didn't lose one bit. He was great! I actually found myself laughing at his sweet little gestures among all the dramatic stuff that was going on. Vilma did it rather fine too, despite the usual fainting and hand-wringing, and she looked gorgeous! Saying that, I also feel I need to stress how Rudolph appeared on the screen...! Pardon me - but holy smokes! Seeing all those muscles flexing in "The Son of the Sheik" was far jaw-droppingly enough. Can't really blame the ladies of the 1920s for fainting and going into mass hysteria (or in my case sighing loudly) at the sight of him. I've always found all that 'Latin Lover' stuff a bit tacky and ridiculous but after having seen his movies ... boy, I've been wrong! And now, realizing that Rudolph was already fatally sick during the production of "The Son of the Sheik" and that it was released posthumously, it's still hard to fathom that such a beautiful, virile young man should die so soon and quickly.

Aren't they pretty together?
Vilma Bánky and Rudolph Valentino
in "The Eagle", 1925, his second last film.

Lastly, I finally got to see "Beyond the Rocks" from 1922 (gee, was it hard to find!); Rudy's only pairing with fellow silent screen legend and goddess, Gloria Swanson, a film once thought lost but luckily retrieved in 2003. And what a treat to see those two starlets together! It's a battle of screen presence with these two magnetic creatures! And excuse me, has Rudy looked any better than in this film!? Not so much muscle flexing, more like: 'Damn, did he look nice in 1920s' clothing! In any kind of (or non-existing) clothes, really!' His sophisticated facial expressions are also very sweet and rather understated in this one. Golly, could that man show how to be in love or what with all those smoldering looks going on..! And I guess the whole wide-eyed-wide-grin routine was just a way to appear 'barbaric' in "The Sheik"..? Oh well, I'm just glad to appreciate all of his features at any given chance, 'cause hey, what's there not to like?

Here's some more Rudy eye candy from "Beyond the Rocks" (go see it and you'll agree):

14 December 2011

An Old Flame Revisited: Robin and Marian (1976)

Another film worth defending. "Robin and Marian" from 1976, starring two of my favorite actors, Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn (finally together on-screen) and besides, Robert Shaw and Richard Harris, which are also superb actors, in my opinion. Just this combination alone is enough for me to like this film - in fact, I love it! Oh, well it's been called average, not much of an adventure and rather silly when it comes to the stunts, and to some extent I agree with that; it could have been better technically, yet I find the movie searching for something beyond and deeper than what the typical swashbuckling movies portray (because, honestly; I'm a bit tired of the ecstatic Errol Flynn version and the gagging Kevin Costner-Robin Hood).

"Robin and Marian" doesn't give any glorified picture of the given time period, during and following the infamous Crusades - and much less of oh-so-good King Richard the Lion-Heart (ironically, Sean Connery would later play him in the horrible Kevin Costner version). Actually, it's quite the opposite. And Richard Harris is the only one to portray a disillisioned, half-daft, unscrupulous murderer of a legendary British King. The thought of Robin following his King faithfully through 20 years, crusading foreign, hot countries far from home, doing the King's every bidding and still going strong and maintain his own humanity (which the legend of Robin Hood is all about, really) is for once and for all questioned.

To be frank, I got a shock. Sure, I've paid attention in history class; the Crusades were pure massacre and carnage, nothing to be proud of, but the way it was so explicitly shown on the screen, adding Richard Harris' ingenius performance of, basically, a lunatic king, I was a bit surprised, to say the least. Perhaps, it has been seen many times before. Perhaps, it is history repeated. Yet, it stuck on my mind, and I realized how silly we (mostly the West) have tried to portray ourselves throughout the years, in movies as well as in legends. Some of those legendary kings and knights in shining armour have come out a bit too glorified for their own good over the years. This film certainly shows another side of those legendary stories, and all for the better, I believe! And it's good we can always rely on Monty Python and Mel Brooks to stir things up as well, aye? ;)

Well, back to my focus: Robin and Marian. Sean and Audrey. They take, of course, most of the credit for this film's successful outcome. It's their mutual relationship, interactions, feelings and story we follow, feel and share throughout everything else. Every line they utter has something captivating and touching attached to it; without ever, EVER being too cheesy or soppy or superficial. Their few, but tender scenes together unite the movie and make it a wonderful love story that for once doesn't involve a new budding infatuation between two young, naive people, but tells of an old love set aflame between two experienced, scarred adults who have been apart for two decades and find themselves again. Their humble, yet underneath passionate love is refound, though they're reluctant to admit it at first. They have never stopped loving each other, even though they've matured in other ways; not grown apart, just been faced with reality too many times. But their love is to feel through the screen and makes everything else seem colourless. The tragic ending is all the wait worth, and includes one of the most beautiful lines (and scenes), I think Audrey has ever conveyed. Altogether, it pulls the film above average. To me, it stands out.

"I love you. More than all you know. I love you more than children. More than fields I've planted with my hands. I love you more than morning prayers or peace or food to eat. I love you more than sunlight, more than flesh or joy, or one more day. I love you...more than God."

02 December 2011

Classic Actresses in Stunning Adrian Dresses

Remember the extravagant costumes and gowns in films such as "The Great Ziegfeld" (1936), "Camille" (1936), "Marie Antoinette" (1938) and "The Women" (1939)?

Adrian Adolph Greenberg (1903-1959) (or more known as Adrian) was a famous American costume designer known for his costumes for over 250 films, mostly Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer films during the 1930s and 1940s, and for his  long-time work with some of the greatest leading actresses during this period (many of the ladies pictured below).
Sadly, he was never nominated for an Academy Award.

He was famously quoted:

"It was because of Garbo that I left M-G-M. In her last picture they wanted to make her a sweater girl, a real American type. I said, 'When the glamour ends for Garbo, it also ends for me. She has created a type. If you destroy that illusion, you destroy her.' When Garbo walked out of the studio, glamour went with her, and so did I."

Here are just a few examples of some of his riveting collections worn by our stylish icons:

Norma Shearer

Norma Shearer
Katharine Hepburn

Jean Harlow

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford

Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo with the designer himself

And not to forget: Judy Garland's iconic red shoes!

30 November 2011

Ava Lights Up the Screen!

Ava Gardner in "Mogambo" (1953)

Ava Gardner literally lightened up the screen in the movie "Mogambo" back in the 1950s. Not just because of the obvious wonders of Technicolor, but because of her presence. Her spirit. 
She even got nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her role as Eloise Y. "Honey Bear" Kelly
Well deservedly. 

She's so very fresh and sassy in that role - it's wonderfully hilarious! As other bloggers also have remarked, she really saves the movie which - let's face it - isn't much writing home about. It's actually a remake of "Red Dust" (1932) - also starring Clark Gable in lead role. Only at that time replacing the dewey-eyed, uptight wife with Mary Astor and the sassy, shameless ..well, prostitute (this fact was rather understated in the remake given it was the '50s, of course) with marvelous Jean Harlow. Clark's 20 years younger, thus more agile and vigorous - and his chemistry with Jean Harlow is probably one of the best ever seen on screen (in my opinion), and I can fully recommend it. Ava does most of the chemistry alone in this version, I confess, but I forgive Clark. It's hard enough being squeezed between two wenches more than once in your lifetime ... ;)

I feel I must praise Grace Kelly too for her performance as the "happily" married Linda Nordley and a likewise well-deserved nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.  Like her predecessor she plays the part as snivelling, irritating damsel in distress well (although I hate such characters) - luckily making lots of space for her counterpart aka. Ava to interfere with her sharp-witted remarks, great comedic timing and passionate manners.

Because it is hard to take your eyes off Ava's obvious beauty and spark when she steals scene after scene (notice especially her cute interactions with the animals) and definitely makes it worth giving the film a shot.

Furthermore, Ava is quoted to have said of her role as Honey Bear Kelly in "Mogambo":

"As far as my career as an actress went, Mogambo was probably as close to a pinnacle as anything I’ve done. For someone with my naturally irreverent temperament, playing a sassy, tough-talking playgirl who whistles at men, drinks whiskey straight from the bottle, and says about wine, ‘any year, any model, they all bring out my better nature’ was a gift from the gods. I never felt more comfortable in a part before or since, and I was even allowed to improvise some of my dialogue.”

Enjoy ;)


A small gossip PS: It was rumoured that Grace and Clark had an affair off-screen too, which I always thought a bit ironic. I couldn't quite fathom Clark would take her instead of Ava, whom I thought was much more fun, hot-blooded and desirable! Oh, well, maybe he just couldn't tame Ava as well as Grace... Not to mention, the latter notably was said to have a thing for older men in the first place and that they always fell for her... ;P

23 November 2011

A Shame? - The Young Actress Who Became a Nun

She was the talented and beautiful girl to give Elvis Presley his first movie kiss. The future promised her a life bathed in glory, fame and fortune, she made 10 films in 5 years and then it suddenly ended. She chose to become a nun. Well, "ended" is perhaps a bit too strong a word. After all, she didn't die or anything (though certain people might find the change of career utterly idiotic and fatal).
She simply had a change of heart.

I always saw Dolores Hart (1938- ) as one of the most beautiful creatures ever to appear on the screen. With her childlike, pure features, yet mature and intelligent eyes and calm manners - all which indicated a strong spirit in a determined, wholehearted and somewhat enigmatic young girl - she illuminated the otherwise typical, silly American comedies of the '60s. A younger version of me used to watch "Where the Boys Are" (1960), "Come Fly with Me" (1963) and "The Inspector" (1962) with same amount of admiration, awe and curiosity every time she appeared; she mystified me already then with her ambiguous mimic and acting. It was as if she was never quite pleased with her life or what she was doing, yet at other times she acted relaxed - as if she was unaware of or had gone unnoticed by the camera. She could be restless without really being it, at times her big expressive eyes hinted a certain touch of cynicism or bitterness (consciously or not, I don't think it was always the intention regarding her portrayals of her characters), but mostly melancholy. Though her blue, pensive eyes slightly betrayed her, she never really told everything. She always held back a bit; reserved, cautious and almost controlled, sometimes with a knowing look or smile hiding somewhere beneath. Despite of that, or because of that, I liked her. A lot. Perhaps it was because of her fascinating beauty. Perhaps I could see some of myself in her because of her young age and innocence that ironically held a rather precocious, sarcastic, almost self-deprecating mind. Always seeming to know more than everyone else, but never letting it on.

Anyway, imagine my disappointment when I found out she'd hardly made any films besides those I'd seen; that she had joined the convent already at an early age and - I slowly realized - would never come back to the screen. In the beginning I blamed her the same way I blamed another talented, beauty who left the motion picture industry for another, "greater" purpose - much too soon, in my opinion: Grace Kelly. Well, in Grace's case, she did it out of love for a man - and that's perhaps not so different from what Dolores did, after all. She loved God more. I guess it's possible for some people to love God more than movies (being a nutty film nerd I can tell you it's a tough realization), so much that they'll devote their entire lives in His service, but what makes all this even harder is perhaps the biggest (and most selfish) cliché of them all - and this will sound banal: that she was such an incredibly beautiful and talented young woman who disappeared from the screen, only to cover herself up and devote herself to something entirely different and rather impalpable than us - the audience! Why?, we ask. Her own answer is this:

"It was not a lifelong dream," she said. "I did not grow up wanting to be a nun. I wanted to be an actress. If it had ever been suggested I would one day be a nun, it would have been the last thing on my mind. It was a million to one shot I would ever be a nun."

Though I'm not Catholic or hardly religious, I think I understand her. It was basically the same I experienced when I chose my academic study not so long ago. It was a rather sudden decision - though it had been in the back of my head for many years. But until then I'd always thought I should do film studies in the capital - and now I'm here learning stuff that includes everything I'm passionate about and not just films. In that sense, Dolores Hart is a role model that never fades (though she's far too underrated an actress which is indeed a shame).

By the way, I found this great article including an interview with her (also where I got the quote from) that explains her passions and choices in life, and it has this wonderful ending:

Friends send movies to the abbey and she watches more than many of the other nuns because of her background, but there usually isn't time to see many. She watched "Titanic" and she had hoped Dame Judi Dench would win the Oscar for "Mrs. Brown."
Would Hollywood ever see her return?
The odds, she says, are a million to one.
But those were the same odds she would ever become a nun.

16 November 2011

Get yourself drunk!

I've never been in favor of excessive drinking, but this poem touched me on a different level, making me realise that it involved more than just plain drunkenness. There is a certain melancholy about it, something inevitable and self-absorbing that clings to it and doesn't leave you again. I find it beautiful somehow. In relation to being drunk with movies; talking about them, "living" in them, I understand its meaning. It portays a crushing, timeless truth about life, time and human nature in their essence; a truth about our weaknesses, our hunger for stimulants, intoxication and moments of oblivion whether it comes from the media, food, materials, power and certain strong feelings like love and hate etc. - to name a few.


by Charles Baudelaire

"Be always drunken.
Nothing else matters:
that is the only question.
If you would not feel
the horrible burden of Time
weighing on your shoulders
and crushing you to the earth,
be drunken continually.

Drunken with what?
With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you wish.
But be drunken.
And if sometimes,
on the stairs of a palace,
or on the green side of a ditch,
or in the dreary solitude of your own room,
you should awaken
and the drunkenness be half or wholly slipped away from you,
ask of the wind,
or of the wave,
or of the star,
or of the bird,
or of the clock,
of whatever flies,
or sighs,
or rocks,
or sings,
or speaks,
ask what hour it is;
and the wind,
clock will answer you:
"It is the hour to be drunken!
To escape being the martyred slaves of time, be ceaselessly drunk.
On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish."


15 November 2011

The Face of Garbo by Roland Barthes

Garbo still belongs to that moment in cinema when capturing the human face still plunged audiences into the deepest ecstasy, when one literally lost oneself in a human image as one would in a philtre, when the face represented a kind of absolute state of the flesh, which could be neither reached nor renounced. A few years earlier the face of Valentino was causing suicides; that of Garbo still partakes of the same rule of Courtly Love, where the flesh gives rise to mystical feelings of perdition. 
It is indeed an admirable face-object. In Queen Christina, a film which has again been shown in Paris in the last few years, the make-up has the snowy thickness of a mask: it is not a painted face, but one set in plaster, protected by the surface of the colour, not by its lineaments. Amid all this snow at once fragile and compact, the eyes alone, black like strange soft flesh, but not in the least expressive, are two faintly tremulous wounds. In spite of its extreme beauty, this face, not drawn but sculpted in something smooth and fragile, that is, at once perfect and ephemeral, comes to resemble the flour-white complexion of Charlie Chaplin, the dark vegetation of his eyes, his totem-like countenance.
Now the temptation of the absolute mask (the mask of antiquity, for instance) perhaps implies less the theme of the secret (as is the case with Italian half mask) than that of an archtype of the human face. Garbo offered to one's gaze a sort of Platonic Idea of the human creature, which explains why her face is almost sexually undefined, without however leaving one in doubt. It is true that this film (in which Queen Christina is by turns a woman and a young cavalier) lends itself to this lack of differentiation; but Garbo does not perform in it any feat of transvestism; she is always herself, and carries without pretence, under her crown or her wide-brimmed hats the same snowy solitary face. The name given to her, the Divine, probably aimed to convey less a superlative state of beauty than the essence of her corporeal person, descended form a heaven where all things are formed and perfected in the clearest light. She herself knew this: how many actresses have consented to let the crowd see the ominous maturing of their beauty. Not she, however; the essence was not to be degraded, her face was not to have any reality except that of its perfection, which was intellectual even more that formal. The Essence became gradually obscured, progressively veiled with dark glasses, broad hats and exiles: but it never deteriorated.
And yet, in this deified face, something sharper than a mask is looming: a kind of voluntary and therefore human relation between the curve of the nostrils and the arch of the eyebrows; a rare, individual function relating two regions of the face. A mask is but a sum of lines; a face, on the contrary, is above all their thematic harmony. Garbo's face represents this fragile moment when the cinema is about to draw an existential from an essential beauty, when the archtype leans towards the fascination of mortal faces, when clarity of the flesh as essence yields its place to a lyricism of Woman.
Viewed as a transition the face of Garbo reconciles two iconographic ages, it assures the passage from awe to charm. As is well known, we are today at the other pole of this evolution: the face of Audrey Hepburn, for instance, is individualized, not only because of its peculiar thematics (woman as child, woman as kitten) but also because of her person, of an almost unique specification of the face, which has nothing of the essence left in it, but is constiuted by an infinite complexity of morphological functions. As a language, Garbo's singularity was of the order of the concept, that of Audrey Hepburn is of the order of the substance. The face of Garbo is an Idea, that of Hepburn an Event.

13 October 2011

My Top 15 Favorite Adventure Films

By now, I've gotten a bit tired of the superhero genre trumping through the cinemas at the moment, and I genuinely miss the good, old Indiana Jones days where characters didn't exactly need magic or fantastic powers to deal with tough situations and where 'the bad guys' could be anyone or anything lurking in the depth of the jungle, in dark corners of a smoky saloon or simply could be the harsh elements of mother nature. That's why I call for a comeback for adventure films..! Well, not exactly adventure films as in the specific action packed film genre, but what I would call exotic adventure films often taking place in the jungle, deserts or lonely islands and undiscovered, uncivilized places, and with people travelling towards a specific destination/goal or simply letting fate decide the course. "Tarzan the Ape Man" and "The Jungle Book" are the classic examples of the original genre - and of course they're terrific stories, yet the films I've chosen are often structered after the typical fairytale model: the 'home-out-home' journey, including nearly all the elements from fairytales with a certain morale/change in our characters by the end when they come home again - or have 'completed' the adventure, so to speak. Actually, most Hollywood films are structured after that model if you think about it. "The Wizard of Oz" is likely the most literal adaptation of this structure.

That's why I've listed below some of the most adventurous, comic and/or subtle adventures ..in my opinion, as always. You may disagree with the order - I myself may even as well - and I'm sure I've left some obvious movies out, but bear with me.

By the way, don't blame me for not putting up "The Blue Lagoon" on the list. It's just not worth it.

  1. The Indiana Jones film series (1981, 1984, 1989, 2008 can be discussed)
  2. Out of Africa (1985)
  3. The Mummy (1999) and the sequel The Mummy Returns (2001) (don't even mentioned the third installment)
  4. The Black Stallion (1979)
  5. Romancing the Stone (1984) and the sequel The Jewel of the Nile (1985)
  6. Six Days Seven Nights (1998)
  7. Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book (1994)
  8. Hodja from Pjort (screen version from 1984 of a children's book by the Danish and beloved author Ole Lund Kirkegaard)
  9. The Dollars Trilogy (1964, 1965, 1966)
  10. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  11. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003)
  12. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
  13. Gorillas in The Mist (1988)
  14. Medicine Man (1992)
  15. The Sheltering Sky (1990)

11 September 2011

"Umm... brandy!? HAHAH! Throw more brandy!"

You've gotta love Jack Lemmon in this hilarious scene - and Blake Edwards for coming up with the idea!

A clip from a rather underrated film, "The Great Race" (1965) starring Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Jack Lemmon, Peter Falk, Keenan Wynn and a memorable appearance of Dorothy Provine. Music composed by the great Henry Mancini.  Highly recommended!

04 September 2011

Please, give the man a beard! *UPDATED*

I know some of you readers out there might not appreciate facial hair on the male sex, but as usual I can't help shoot down that argument. On the right man, it can be incredibly appealing! Maybe it's genetic? That the simple, sort of rural caveman look talks to the female mind, because it's a part of the evolutionary psychology?

Well, here's just a few examples of my point of view. Enjoy ;)

Rock Hudson faking hot chemist opposite sweet Doris in
Lover Come Back (1961)
Aww, just look at him! Already feeling bad for Doris ;)

Paul Newman in What A Way To Go (with Shirley MacLaine)
as a sexy, bearded, eccentric, French-speaking artist..!
Enough reason to go and watch it!

Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont in the TV series
Game of Thrones. Playing a exiled, loyal knight who protects
(and secretly falls in love with) a young girl,
Daenerys Targaryen, is so very sweet and fascinating.

Richard Madden as Robb Stark in Game of Thrones;
 a young, brooding, but majestic and mature man beyond his age.

Once again, from GoT ('cause it's just such a terrific show!),
is the half-brother of the Stark children, the unbelievably ´
innocent Jon Snow, played by cute Kit Harington.

Whereas I absolutely hated the looks of the old Daario Naharis, I
absolutely love the new Daario! Dutch actor, Michiel Huisman, has
replaced Ed Skrein in season 4 of GoT, much to my satisfaction, taking a
bold change appearance-wise for the character, making him more similar
to Jaime Lannister (though sadly, the latter seems to shed his long hair and
beard for this new season).

Santiago Cabrera is just one piece of handsome actor material(!),
but I only first realized it when I watched the BBC series,
The Musketeers, where he stars as the swashbuckling libertine,
Aramis, from Alexandre Dumas's famous novels. I don't know
 if it has something to do with the beard, his brown doe-eyes
 or his disarming sense of humour, but boy, is he a looker and 
a hell of a charmer, though with enough depth and integrity
 to make him more than just the typical ladies' man.
He is, by far, one of my favorite TV characters at the moment!

Corey Stoll as a young Ernest Hemingway in one of my
new favorites, Midnight in Paris (directed by Woody Allen).
No wonder all the girls fell for his good looks,
deep voice and brooding persona (though he was a bit of
a shit to everyone)...

Paul McGann as Eugene Wrayburn in the 1998 TV
adaptation of Charles Dickens's Our Mutual Friend.
First of all, Paul's voice is just to die for! Adding
anti-heroic traits, good looks, 19th century clothes
 and a terrific piece of beard he's as good as he gets!

Thomas Kretschmann as Captain Englehorn in King Kong.
God, what a first-hand impression!

Though the movie (Leap Year) isn't one of the best, I've always
liked the lead actors in it, Amy Adams and Matthew Goode.
Matthew plays a bit of a pessimistic, rural Irishman
who comes to Amy's rescue. And the rest - as they say - is history.

Michael Fassbender as the seductive, demonic
Fallen Angel, Azazeal, in the British TV series Hex.
On the whole, Fassy is an actor worth watching! ;)

Again Michael Fassbender, here in the newest edition
of Jane Eyre. He's simply a perfect Mr. Rochester!

Being cute and boyish and all, the beard adds
something new to Ewan's beautiful face.
I guess I don't have to mention what film series this picture is from.

If one is able to look past the controversial fact that Ken Duken plays
 a real-life German Nazi captain in The Sinking of the Laconia (BBC),
who albeit saved the passengers of the ship he had torpedoed,
Duken himself (who's often sporting a beard, btw) is not at all bad looking!
All authority lies within that beard!

I've always loved Thomas Hardy's earnest character
Gabriel Oak (from Far from the Madding Crowd).
Here is Alan Bates's lovable version from 1967.

Another Gabriel Oak, played by Nathaniel Parker in the
1998 version of Thomas Hardy's novel.
This picture is from a very touching scene where Gabriel
once more proves his loyalty and utter devotion for Bathsheba,
only, the gal in question is pretty thick-headed when it comes
to realizing just how much. Foolish girl!

As a reader was so friendly to point out, I totally forgot to add
fantastic Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn in the Lord of the
Rings trilogy.
What a righteous, terrific, kingly, bearded guy to forget..!

Kevin Kline (often sporting a moustache) in French Kiss
as Luc Teyssier; a charming, untidy, French small-time criminal.

Once again Kevin Kline, this time in A Fish Called Wanda as the - to put
 it mildly - half-witted, American, full-time criminal, Otto. A total laugh!

Okay, I think this may have something to do with my adolescent crush on him,
but Kevin is just always a treat to watch! Here he is in Silverado.

Aidan Turner is certainly easy on the eyes and watching him starring as 
centuries-old, scruffy-looking vampire struggling to atone his sins in the UK series
 Being Human is the whole ride worthwhile! I'm also loving him as Kíli in
The Hobbit film series and as Ross Poldark in the new Poldark-series.

James McAvoy as Frederick Aiken in The Conspirator.
Even without the beard he's brilliant! ;)

It's no secret that I've always had a thing for aviators from bygone times,
and Orlando Seale's appearance in the series, Mr Selfridge, as famous
aviator, Louis Blériot, was certainly welcomed.

Irish newcomer Colin O'Donoghue as the mysterious
(and besides younger, more dashing version of) Captain Hook
in the fantasy TV hit series Once Upon A Time.
(I must admit I'm only watching the show because of him)

Eoin Macken's Sir Gwaine in the Merlin TV series
has everything a cheeky and gallant ladykiller/knight of
the early 6th century should have. Including the beard
(and lots of wavy hair) to die for!

Ichabod Crane never looked this handsome! In Sleepy Hollow,
the new televised retelling of the myth of the headless rider,
 actor Tom Mison certainly takes the cake for his dashing
bearded 1700s-looks.

Charlie (Christopher Abbott) was a bit of a (but cute)
wallflower during the first season of Girls but
suddenly began to blossom (no pun intended) in the
 second season. Okay, 'blossom' is a bit weak; my jaw
 literally dropped to the keyboard when he appeared
 again. I mean, my god! Could anyone get any more
 hotter with that beard (and everything else)?!? And
funnily enough, he has kinda the same sweet,
hesitant disposition as Kit Harington in GoT, hasn't he?

With or without a beard French actor, Grégory Fitoussi,
certainly is one good-looking gentleman in the second
series of the lavish period drama series, Mr Selfridge.

Now, who doesn't love a bit of sassy 'Scruffington' (aka James
 Norrington aka Jack Davenport) as seen in the second installment
of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series!?

Toby Stephens' auburn red beard in the new pirate series Black Sails
literally took my breath away when I viewed the first episode! I mean, he is
handsome enough as it is, but this did me in!

Beard is a really fascinating case. Please suggest more 'cases'. Hope that you're now somehow reformed (if you needed any reformation in the first place) ;)