Okay, us gals have done our swooning and debating over Edward versus Jacob. What about the guys?
Google “Best Guy Movies,” and you’ll get various lists. One implication of these lists is that to be a 21st century man of sophistication, you should at least be familiar with some of these films—even if you don’t necessarily like them.
For better and for worse, these films are part of our collective history and culture. (And, my womyn friends? Feminist film theory and concerns about the patriarchy aside, that includes us.)
My list is in no way complete. I’m sure some have slipped my mind, and I don’t list certain obvious ones—notably the James Bond, Star Wars, Spiderman, Batman, and X-Men franchises. Or any of the John Apatow ouvre. Also, you won’t see many Westerns, notably those of–genuflect–John Ford. Sorry, I just never got into Westerns… And, my list probably skews more towards classics, so I’d love to get some more current flicks.
Anyway, here we go, and feel free to chime in with picks of your own:
Rage Against the Machine
Spartacus (1960): Kirk Douglas takes on the corrupt Roman Empire in this Stanley Kubrick epic, which also features a homoerotic bath scene with Tony Curtis and Laurence Olivier.
From Here to Eternity (1953): Burt Lancaster rolling in the Oahu waves with Deborah Kerr; Montgomery Cliff, jittery and sensitive; Frank Sinatra in the role that inspired the character of Johnny Fontane in The Godfather!
Men on the Verge
James Stewart in Vertigo (1958)
Clint Eastwood (jazz radio host facing a stalking fan) in Play Misty for Me (1971).
Cops and Robbers
Last Man Standing
12 thoughts on “Best guy movies? I’m not one but I’m the mom of one and I want to give him a proper education”
Wow…I'm scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling. You've compiled an awesome list.
My husband is introducing our almost 3-year old to all the Disney DVDs. At first I was skeptical of television habits, but she should know who Snow White and Cinderella are before we head down to Disneyland. 🙂
It only took about 6 months to fully educate her about Lady and The Tramp, Little Mermaid, 101 Dalmations…oh…I'm going to get it on this one. Beverly Hills Chihauhau. Yes, my 3-year old can name her choice in DVDs.
Its a love/hate with television in our house. All in all, I'm happy she delights in these movies.
My husband will enjoy your post today. Speaking of movies, we're out the door to Chabot Space and Science Theatre to watch Dinosaurs.
What a great list! I'll have to look at it in more length later.
A couple remarks in the meantime: I LOVE “The Big Lebowski” and its droll humor and excellent casting. I can't tell you how many times I've watched it — and I'm a woman. (Like many movies, it's best seen on cable or as a rental so that you don't have to suffer through the networks' blipping out of common expletives. Did I say “rental”? Actually, I finally broke down and bought the darn thing!)
As for Woody Allen: his portrayal of women is so godawful, I cringe at the thought of young men being brought up on his films. Allen portrays them as either empty-headed bimbos or cold, emasculating braniacs. (I suppose one could argue that his portrayals of men aren't much better — as being insecure or vain. But the men tend to get the best lines and last word in his films, possibly because they're his alter egos and most of them even use the same word choices and deliveries as Allen's comic persona. Oh, don't get me started.)
One last thought for now: that Charlton Heston photo from way back when. Yowza, he looked pretty damn good back in the Apes days. Kind of a disturing realization. I must now go find a good-looking image of a non-NRA Republican male to look at and restore my sanity.
Thanks for the cool list! Must've taken quite a while to compile.
p.s. Another really interesting movie, for its casting and plot quirkiness, is an early Stephen Frears movie, “The Hit.” Again, an excellent small cast, mainly Terrance Stamp, John Hurt and — in what may have been his film debut – Tim Roth. (Also a great supporting role by Laura del Sol, known for her roles in Carlos Saura's flamenco films.) This film never seems to show up on cable, so I finally bought that one, as well.
Bring you the butter? What, pray tell, are you suggesting, SC?
(And does your son read your blog?)
Dear 7:41 a.m.
You'll have to see Last Tango…
And, then you'll get the butter reference. I'm sure you can imagine. I think, around the time the movie came out, the butter reference was something of a pop culture joke. Hey, I was pretty young when it came out, and I vaguely remember something about it. I also remember how terribly shocking and brutally “naked” in more ways than one this film was.
That was back when really cool, adult movies were getting X-ratings. Like Midnight Cowboy.
I saw Last Tango as a young adult and thought it was terribly, tragically romantic. Then I saw it more recently, and found the side story of the filmmaker (played by that guy, I think, who was in all the Truffaut films, to be rather annoying).
(No, my son doesn't read my blog. It's not terribly interesting to him.
As for Charlton Heston, yes, he was kind of beautiful, especially in his Ben Hur days.
Woody Allen and women: I do know what you mean. But what might be a little scary, for me, and for other women, is that some of his female characters, to me, are very recognizable. I'm talking of more of his films in in the 70s, 80s, and early 90s.
I recognize parts of myself in them. Or, of women I know. He was heavily criticized for his portrayal of Mia Farrow in Husbands and Wifes, as a dowdy, whiny, passive-aggressive bitch. It was made when his relationship with her was falling apart, and so the film was seen through that context. I LOVED that film. And I thought there was something true about the Mia character. And I liked how Judy Davis, a cold, controlling, neurotic housewife, is letting her mind wander when hunky Liam Neeson is performing certain delights on her while in an intimate moment. Let's just say, I've been there. And maybe some other women have, too? Sorry, boys.
(Again, my son doesn't have much interest in reading this blog.)
I well know the butter reference in Last Tango SM; I just wondered about your, “And bring me the butter!”
Some others that once as a young man made an impression on me, Patton, Dr. Zhivago, the Dino de Laurentis version of Romeo and Juliet.
9:34 a.m. Sorry, it was just a throw-away line, a reference to a famous moment in the movie.
LeftCoast: I have never seen Patton, but know it's supposed to be great. And the Dino de Laurentis version of Romeo and Juliet: my sister, a high school teacher in San Ramon, showed it to her students, and they really liked it. Much more than the newer, rock n roll version with Leonardo di Caprio and Clare Danes.
No need to apologize SC. I was teasing your almost cute suggestive blurt.
10:33 a.m. Thanks.
And what are your guy movies?
Animal House and A Clockwork Orange. I also have friends that swear by Caddyshack.
This won't succeed in reality, that is exactly what I think.