29 November 2012

15 Types of Leading Classic Actors - Which one is your favorite?

As stereotypical and superficial as it can be, I couldn't help but wondering if it was possible to somehow categorize the leading men of the Golden Era of Hollywood into types... After all, it's been done for years (rather overworked) with the actresses such as Audrey Hepburn being the pixie, gamine waif-like beauty and Marilyn Monroe the voluptous, blond sex symbol. 

However, not surprisingly, I came to the conclusion that it's bloody hard to draw lines between appearence and personality qualities when they do go so incredibly well together - and even the fact to try to fit these guys into boxes in the first place is a quest in itself(!)
Bear in mind that not every single classic male actor is mentioned nor categorized here, and those who are share many of the listed 'categories' below and were extremely hard to place in just a single one. The result is dangerously subjective and I won't blame any of you if you protest or cringe inwardly when you see my attempt to try and fit those guys into some sleezy, modern view of male beauty and pass it on to you guys like some silly test in a women's magazine... (if you do, please leave a comment telling me what you think). Oh, and if I've been so absent-minded and forgotten some obvious suggestions, please kill tell me.
Well, now I've apologized beforehand (what a way to get the readers introduced..huh) and I've done the silly job and pressed 'Publish'. There's no return now.

The Greek-profiled, chiselled, criminally photogenic kind of actor: Paul Newman, Gary Cooper, Lawrence Olivier

The athletic/to-the-point-of-buff kind of actor: Gene Kelly, Burt Lancaster, Marlon Brando, Kirk Douglas

The tall-dark-and-handsome kind of actor: Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, Gregory Peck

The goofy-yet-also-serious-and-lovable kind of actor: James Stewart, Jack Lemmon, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd

The often-romantically-neglected-though-far-from-being-a-wallflower kind of actor: John Garfield, Humphey Bogart, James Cagney, Spencer Tracy

The young, sensitive and introvert kind of actor: James Dean, Alain Delon, Montgomery Clift, Dirk Bogarde

The type-casted or all-around, stern-faced kind of actor: Alan Ladd, Dana Andrews, Richard Widmark, Fred MacMurray, Joseph Cotton, Robert Walker

The boyish, blond I-can-be-the-boy-next-door-but-also-a-bit-of-a-cad kind of actor: Mickey Rooney, George Peppard, Albert Finney, Robert Redford

The swashbuckling, cocky kind of actor: Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Tyrone Power

The overlooked-for-actually-being-comic kind of actor (perhaps just too pretty for the purpose of goofballs? Why, it's the perfect combination!): Robert Taylor, Joel McCrea

The dark and (dangerously) intriguing kind of actor: Anthony Perkins, Orson Welles, Vincent Price

The exotic, hot-blooded Latin Lover kind of actor: Rudolph Valentino, Ramón Novarro, Gilbert Roland, Antonio Moreno

The laconic, anti-heroic, not-afraid-of-getting-dirty, yet here-to-save-the-day kind of actor: Sean Connery, Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, William Holden

The deep-voiced singing or hip-swinging kind of actor: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley

The brooding, dramatic, often troubled/pensive kind of actor: Peter Finch, Yul Brynner, Fredric March, Richard Burton

17 November 2012

The Fashion of Marlene Dietrich

Like Katharine Hepburn, German born Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) was one of the most prominent actresses and fashion icons in the '30s and '40s. With her mystical allure, a mix of masculine and feminine elegance and independence - and an almost transsexual style of clothing and controversial attitude (just look up the famous scene in "Morrocco" (1930) on YouTube) - she inspired generations up to this very day. Considering her native land, she did a great job refusing any attempt of the Nazis to get her to join them during WWII; instead she actively supported and entertained the American army and soldiers. Even then, she was always dressed to perfection, simply and elegant, at any occasion, and it was said that she never left her trailer without a perfect layer of make-up and a perfectly done hairstyle - no matter how long it took. No wonder, as her vanity case and suitcases were gigantic (I saw them myself in an exhibition in Filmmuseum Berlin). Quite a literal vanity! Nevertheless, her compelling acting, independent attitude and confident style are without a doubt worth admiring through her bending of conventional gender roles and flirt with the vamp and the inscrutable. She  sure wasn't afraid of doing it differently.

Such a cool lady!