Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Male on Monday...More Males!

I thought I might take this chance to talk about some hero inspiration material that might get overlooked. Three of my favourite fabulous men of the past...

Cary Grant

Suave, sophisticated, with a voice like smooth dark chocolate. Cary Grant filled out a suit like they were put on this planet to clothe just him. In fact his suit from North By Northwest was recently voted the best men’s suit ever to appear on film. If we’d seen that suit on Hitchcock himself do you think it would have won? Na-ah.

He was the epitome of tall dark and handsome. Of smart, sharp, and determined. Those long lanky legs, broad shoulders, the flat stare. The sensuous mouth. Especially pitted against a cool ice blonde the likes of Grace Kelly or Eva Marie Saint.

But he could do funny just as well – Arsenic and Old Lace, Bringing Up Baby, and then there was An Affair To Remember. Aaah, Niki Farranti. The most perfectly gorgeous hero ever created. A handsome, alpha, world renowned playboy who turns the head of every woman he meets. And funny! The guy could do dry humour better than anybody. But beneath the showy exterior, he loves his grandmother, has an artistic soul. And when he meets the woman of his dreams he gives away all his riches and fame in order to make himself a better man in order to deserve her. Sigh...

Other fave Cary Grant moments: To Catch and Thief, The Philadelphia Story

Paul Newman

When I was a kid, my mother was in love with Paul Newman. She introduced me to the likes of The Sting and Bush Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and I just didn’t get it. I loooved Robert Redford. Loved his cheeky smile and floppy blonde hair. I mean the guy was Hubble for goodness sake! Paul Newman just didn’t flip my switches.

Years later, I stumbled upon a little movie called Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and suddenly everything came clear. The Paul Newman mum had grown up with, the young handsome stud was revealed in all his splendour. Humona humona. Truly. The guy was exquisitely beautiful. Chiselled nose, short ashen hair, gooorgeous blue eyes, and that mouth – carved by the gods. Oh boy!

Now Mr Newman in his twenties is so ready to be an Ally Blake hero one day. Maybe even a salt and pepper hero. I have a bit of a thing for a handsome guy with greying hair. And I’m not the only one. Natasha...

The fact that the guy is still madly in love with his wife of almost fifty years doesn’t hurt. Neither does the fact that he owns The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, a summer camp for children with cancer and other blood-related diesases (and their siblings) in Ashford, Connecticut.

Other fave Paul Newman moments: The Hudsucker Proxy, The Color of Money

Peter O’Toole

It’s the Irish blue eyes, pale skin, and self-deprecating humour that grab me where it matters. The fact that he’s 6’3”, once walked with more fluid grace than any man on the planet, and managed to out gorgeous Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia also helps.

This was an actor whose name I had heard many times over, but I kind of always thought of him as an overweight English thespian type with a beard. I imagined him playing Polonius in Hamlet. Until I went through an Audrey Hepburn kick and discovered a film called How To Steal A Million.

In this Audrey Hepburn is the daughter of a rich art forger and she catches Peter O’Toole attempting to ‘steal’ one of her father’s forged Van Gogh’s. Little does she realise he is in fact an art forger catcher by trade! The fact that he is burgling her house in a tuxedo, is more enamoured than afraid when he is caught, then asks her to drive him back to the Ritz in his posh car after she shoots him in the arm doesn’t seem to enter her subconscious.

Audrey: "I can't drive a stolen car!"
Peter: "Same principle, four gears forward, one reverse."

Most famous of Lawrence of Arabia, Peter did maniacal egoists with god-complexes better than anybody, but my favourite moments are those when is he found looking at a heroine with such blatant humour, and adoration, like has truly never met anyone of her ilk before. Glorious!

Other fave Peter O’Toole moments: The Lion in Winter, The Stunt Man

Do you think they make them like they used to?

In Ally's latest novel, Silhouette Romance HOW TO MARRY A BILLIONAIRE her hero and heroine have a running gag involving Cary Grant.

You'll have to read it to find out what it is!

Check out her website for more about the book!


  1. Oh, lord, yes, Ally. They're amazing, all three of them. I've got my own Cary Grant story I'll have to post on my blog tomorrow (as it's too late tonight where I live to even think, let alone write about Mr Grant).

    So, drop by tomrrow and I promise Cary will be there. But I got it about Paul Newman early on -- and you should watch Harper if you get a chance.

    And How to Steal a Million is a film I keep buying in every format just so I have a copy to watch whenever I want. It was Peter O'Toole at his best. Thanks for reminding me!

    And a favor, please, there is a 'mystery guy' on my blog today. I need him identified. He's not Damian Lewis at the top, but the guy in the little pic down below. I ran across him while I was wandering around (explained on the blog). Who is he? Someone here must know this. You guys all NOT know, just because I don't. Or maybe I do and I don't recognize him. You can get to my blog by clicking on my name, I think. Otherwise go to the sidebar. Thanks!


  2. Oh! Now this I likee. But WHERE is Elvis? Hmmm?

  3. Oh, yes! The old faves. Cary Grant was true hero material, wasn't he? Though I also think Clint Eastwood was kinda suave in his younger days.

  4. Cary Grant is one of my all time favourites, consummate actor, super talent, great choice.

    And Paul Newman, yum. Makes a mean balsamic vinegar salad dressing too:-))

    Will have to check out more of Mr O'Toole moments, I can see. My education there is sadly lacking...

    Nothing like research:-)

  5. You thought Peter O'Toole was an overweight English thespian type??? (Pause for a splutter!)

    I think he may have been a kindred spirit.

    'The only excercise I take is walking behind the coffins of friends who took excercise.'

    Excellent!!! :)

  6. Ooohhhh! Cary Grant! Sigh! One of my mega all-time favourites. Thanks so much for that. I know the truth of the story is sometimes questioned, but one of my favourite reported quotes from Cary was when a reported supposedly wired his agent to ask "How old Cary Grant?" and Cary wired back "Old Cary Grant fine, how you?"!!!!!!!!!!!

    How To Steal A Million is also one of my favourite films. I'm a major Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn fan.

    Another favourite film is Roman Holiday - we cannot leave the delicious Gregory Peck off the Male on Monday list of scrumptious heroes, can we? Like Cary Grant and Sean Connery, he was someone who improved with age!

    Can't wait for your blog tomorrow, Anne!

    Best wishes,

  7. PS - Sorry that was meant to say "when a reporter wired his agent"! Remaining brain cell on go-slow this morning.


  8. Oh Cary Grant, he's so suave, North By Northwest!! Paul Newman?? To die for and he was the best thing in Message in a Bottle. Those blue eyes!! I have a vote for Gregory Peck too!! Robert Redford in The Way We Were too. Oldies but goodies and I don't think we have many men of today who will still have their cachet and drawing power in a few decades!!!

  9. Aren't they gorgeous??? It took for me to age a bit myself to appreciate both Cary Grant and Paul Newman. I was introduced to films of their era far too young and my chops weren't finely enough honed to "get" such gorgeous men. It was about the time I wanted to be a fairy/ballerina/fashion designer when I grew up;).

    But Natasha, I adored Mr O'Toole from the moment I lay eyes on him. Deeeeelightful.

    Anne Mc, as to your mystery man, is it this guy? Eoin Bailey? Check out Trish Wylie's hero database - second row:



  10. Fell in love with romantic comedy watching Cary Grant...
    Paul Newman I like...but not on the same level.
    Gregory Peck is another favorite...love the voice.
    Great choices.


  11. Carol, LOL I was coming on to comment on Peck. I love him. And I love Carey Grant. I've almost worn out my video copy of An Affair to Remember.

    BTW Ally et al, the page is loading much better now. :-)

  12. Ally,

    TERRIFIC post. You've reminded me of so many movies I want to see yet again. I grew up with a severe crush on Cary Grant and never bothered to try growing out of it.

    Paul Newman has been brilliant in everything I've seen him in and Peter O'Toole ... well, let me just say that I've taken on the job of expanding the film education of my children. Over the last couple of months that's inluded 'How to Steal a Million,' 'Lawrence of Arabia', and 'The Lion in Winter'. They've grown up with 'Brining up Baby' and 'The Philadlephia Story'.

    Oh, heck, I'm late for work - I've been drooling here too long.