Several days ago another blogger mentioned one of my favorite films. I must have seen it at least 15 times by now, which got me to thinking about the star. It kind of surprised me when I started counting up, but there is no other actor whose films fall so consistently in my concept of great movies!
He was an actor who had a career covering more than 30 years of film history. He made, roughly, one film a year from 1932 to 1966. He chose to retire from film and acting in 1967. At some point in his career, he was named the second Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute. (I wonder who was first?) The list of his co-stars reads like the Who's Who of the most famous women in Hollywood.
He probably starred in at least one favorite film of everyone born before 1980 or so. Personally, I have ELEVEN of his films on my list of favorite movies of all-time! They are marked in red in the partial list of his films below.
I'll give you a few hints. His most popular classic films include:
Blonde Venus (1932) w/Marlene Dietrich
She Done Him Wrong (1933), w/Mae West
The Awful Truth (1937) w/Irene Dunne
Bringing Up Baby (1938) w/Katherine Hepburn
Holiday w/Katherine Hepburn
Gunga Din (1939)
Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
The Bishop's Wife w/Loretta Young and David Niven
His Girl Friday (1940), w/Rosalind Russell
***The Philadelphia Story (1940), w/K. Hepburn, James Stewart
The Talk of the Town (1942),
****Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) w/Raymond Massey, Peter Lorre
Notorious (1946) w/Ingrid Bergman
Night and Day (1946) (Bio-pic of George Gershwin)
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) w/Myrna Loy
To Catch A Thief (1955) w/Grace Kelly
******An Affair to Remember (1957) w/Deborah Kerr
Houseboat (1958) w/Sophia Loren
Operation Petticoat w/Dina Merrill and Tony Curtis
North by Northwest (1959) w/Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Indiscreet w/Ingrid Bergman
That Touch of Mink (1962) w/Doris Day
**Charade (1963) w/Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau
*Father Goose (1964) w/Leslie Caron, John Mills
Walk, Don't Run (1966) w/Jim Hutton, Samantha Eggar (his last film)
And many others.
Now is there anyone out there that DOESN'T know who this is????
To recap, these are my favorites of his films:
#5. "An Affair to Remember"
#4. "Arsenic and Old Lace"
#3. "The Philadelphia Story"
#1. "Father Goose"
Surely everyone knows who I mean! He has earned the position of my favorite film actor. If you don't know why I would chose him, just pick up copies of a few of those red titled films, find a comfortable place to lie back and enjoy a Master at Work. If you haven't seen most of these films, shame on you! You have missed the creme de la creme from the Golden Days of Hollywood.
There isn't an actor ever born that wouldn't give his eyeteeth to have the career this Hollywood Icon had. "Mr. Lucky"? Ye Gods, they don't come any luckier! Except of course, for us, who are extremely lucky to be able to have watched the consummate Leading Man at work many times over!
We don't have actors like him anymore. Actors who could do it all. Mostly that's okay I guess. Most of the time we don't have films like those anymore either!