Guilty Pleasures: Top 5 Cinematic Men

It’s Guilty Pleasure Friday and today it’s raining men!  Men in your favorite movies.

It all started with date night.  With my girlfriends.  There was wine involved, tomatoes and mozzarella, and lots of good conversation, and we started talking about our top 5 cinematic men.  Who would you love to date if age, time, and character roles weren’t an issue?  Leave your top 5 list in the comments!

Here’s my list of all-time cinematic hunks:

     Gabriel Byrne – I love his accent.  His voice makes me instantly calm and fluttery all at once.  Ever since I watched Little Women where he plays Dr. Bhaer, I loved him and wanted him to take me to the opera and make me a better writer just like he did for Jo March.  But he is equally as dreamy in roles like Jindabyne, Emotional Arithmetic, and even Stigmata.  I pretty much will listen to his voice no matter what role he’s in.  And, bonus, he studied archaeology and linguistics in college in Dublin.  He was an archaeologist, a cook, a bull-fighter, and a teacher before he became an actor.  Don’t you want to curl up on the couch and have him tell you stories about his adventures with that accent of his?

     Jonathan Crombie – I think I have a year’s worth of diary entries where I pretended Gilbert Blythe (Jonathan Crombie) was my actual boyfriend.  Jonathan’s portrayal of Gilbert in Anne of Green Gables, was just the sort of thing you hoped would happen to you in high school.  He was the smart, but cocky boy, too charming for his own good, and you were the new girl in town, giving him a run for his money in the brain’s department.  He would push and annoy, but despite it all, he’d be there for you when you needed him and he’d make you a better writer.  Hmm, I’m seeing a theme here, but don’t worry, not all my hunky men are characters who’ve played opposite a writer.  But look at that smile of his, wouldn’t he light up your day if you were playing the Lady of Shalott and became stranded in the river as your dory slowly sank?  *sigh*  My hero!

     Harrison FordHello, handsome!  My mother once gave me an article from her Lady’s Home Journal that let you take a quiz to find your ideal cinematic man.  Mine was Harrison Ford, defined as the smart woman’s perfect man.  He’s strong, resourceful, slightly flawed in a charming way, and knows how to use a whip.  (Did I say that out loud?)  His character roles as Indiana Jones and Han Solo embody both my longing for adventure and protection.  And with that damn crooked smile of his, he’ll chide you just enough to make you hate him, and then he’ll go in and kiss you like you haven’t yet lived!  Plus, let’s face it, ladies, he has a theme song.  Dun dun dun duh, dun du duh, dun dun dun duh, dun du du du du…



     Richard Chamberlain – Every lady’s gotta have herself at least one forbidden man, andmine would be Richard Chamberlain.  His role as Father Ralph di Bricassart in The Thorn Birds soared him to the top of the leading man charts.  I watched this TV miniseries every year with my mother and clearly suffered delusional daydreams about a man who battled between his love for God and his love for one woman.  The ladies at my family’s church used to call our local priest “Father What-A-Waste,” so can you really blame me?  I read this book the summer before high school and it’s still the only novel I’ve thrown across the room in anger, but that was at Luke O’Neil, not blessed Father Ralph.  He’s the unattainable man, the man who knows he loves you, and yet won’t stay with you, but will spend the rest of both your lives doubting he made the right choice.

And my ultimate Cinematic Man pick of all time goes to:

    Cary Grant – Every film I’ve ever seen starring Cary Grant has been a favorite.  The first movie I ever cried watching was An Affair to Remember.  My favorite Hitchcock film is North by Northwest.  And of course, my leading man has played a writer who tries to out-story his love-interest/fellow writer in His Girl Friday.  Grant is my ideal man.  He’s captured the hearts of Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Doris Day, Joan Fontaine, Ingrid Bergman, Eva Marie Saint, Rosalind Russell, and even Shirley Temple!  How was I to resist his allure, his quick-witted one-liners, and his inability to tell a woman no?  He has at least 50 different tones of voice using the word “Darling,” and I only hope I fall asleep tonight hearing every single one of them.

The guilty pleasures don’t stop here.  Join the fun over at Mark Petruska’s blog for his Top 5 Cinematic Women.  We love hearing from you; tell us what Hollywood stars and starlets would be on your guilty pleasure list?  

44 responses

  1. […] a themed post about women in film whom I consider guilty pleasures, to coincide with her Friday Top 5 Cinematic Men who are guilty pleasures post. She was looking for a male’s perspective and wanted to […]

  2. Hey, Harrison Ford’s not the only one who knows how to use a whip!

    Oops. Did I say that out loud…?!

    I’ve often wished I had a theme song playing whenever I entered a room, though. How cool would that be? Something like Rocky’s, maybe, only with fewer horns. The 70s are over, man.

    Great list!

    1. Hahaha, if anyone would have a theme song, it’d be you.

  3. Great list! I’m adding Allan Rickman and Omar Sharif and Denzel Washington and and and- there are so many interesting and beautiful men how does one pick! ACK!

    1. I was daydreaming of Alan Rickman this morning, think I’m going to go watch Sense and Sensibility. I need a Colonel Brandon fix.

  4. Wow. You mentioned Gilbert (JC). Swoon. Jonathan captured the essence of everything I thought was Gilbert. (As did Megan Follows, for that matter.) No guilt here – just a love for Jonathan.

    Hand down, though, Cary Grant is the all time – forever – best pleasure.
    “You remind me of a man.”
    “What man?”
    “The man with the power.”
    “What power?”
    “The power of hoo-doo.”
    “You do.”
    “Remind me of a man.”
    “What man?” ….

    1. Taken from The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, love it! And most people think it’s from David Bowie, but Grant made it famous first. *swoon*

  5. This is a fabulous list. I, too, was in love with Gilbert long ago.

    And Harrison Ford.

    And Cary Grant.

    Like I said, fabulous list. 🙂

    1. I approve of your guilty pleasure men, Wosushi.

  6. Colin Firth, in both the P&P and Bridget Jones varieties of “Darcy” roles. Ding, dong, as Bridget would say.

    1. I thought about him, and all the other Austen men, but how was I to pick one? Don’t you think period men could be a whole separate guilty pleasure list?

    2. We need an entire period piece men post. If you don’t write it, I shall. 🙂

      1. I could make this happen. List your favorite period dramas below. There’s the Austen 6, Wives and Daughters, Room With a View, Bright Star…

  7. All time – must add Sean Connery. Current day – Matthew McConnaughey.

    Cary Grant is a great one….

    GREAT post. I’m going to check out the ladies now. 🙂

    1. Adrien Brody was close on the list too for current day.

  8. Oh, I loved reading this one. I just wrote a blog the other day about Russell Crowe. I’d love to meet him and talk with him for just an hour. There is SO much under that subdued veneer of his (oops, you know what I mean, I’m talking personality here, nothing else!). Add to that Denzel Washington and Kevin Spacey and Robert Downey Jr., and Anthony Hopkins. I could go on and on.

    1. Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes to all of the above!

  9. Loving this list! Harrison Ford is a favorite of mine. He’s amazing in everything he does, but his role in ‘Working Girl’ is high on my list. And Jonathan Crombie was definitely my childhood crush — I LOVED Anne of Green Gables as a kid, and I always felt sorry for poor, long-suffering Gilbert.

    My list would include Hugh Jackman (who I dedicated a flailing, fan-girly post to today), as well as Michael Fassbender, Richard Armitage, and maybe Matthew MacFayden. Colin Firth still makes me swoon (especially in ‘A Single Man’)… and when it comes to classic films, it’s Gregory Peck who tops the list. Such a powerful, charismatic, and sexy man.

    1. I like Hugh Jackman too! I used to come home from elementary school and watch X-Men on TV religiously, when they cast him as Wolverine, I fell in love in a whole new way.

  10. I started drooling big time over Harrison Ford when he was in Witness.

    But Mr. Firth, oh dear Mr. Firth.

    Chris Hemsworth is a current favourite of mine.

    And there’s Jimmy Stewart for a classic.


    1. I SO almost wrote about Witness. My mom and I watched that movie a ton too. John Book is a strong, powerful man, but with a light side to him. If you’ll excuse me, I have to go pretend Harrison/John Book and I are dancing in the barn together to oldies tunes…

  11. What a great post! So many men, so little time… haha! I don’t know if I could pick a movie hunk, but television? Philip Glenister or David Tennant, hands down!!

    1. See, I had to limit myself somehow. I could do a whole nother post on TV men. Ian Somerhaulder, Joe Lando, Jeremy Sisto…like you said, so many men, so little time.

  12. I love Richard Chamberlain, too. Did you see him in an ancient version of The Man in the Iron Mask? What about an ancient TV version of The Bourne Identity. I know, hard to believe.

    Yes, Cary Grant is a favorite, too. So classy.

    And here’s one out of left field…I’d listen to Jack Black if he wanted to sing Let’s Get it On in my presence. ROFL.

    1. You just made me smile really big, Margaret. I’m so happy I know you.

  13. OMG! I LOVE YOU FOR PUTTING GABRIEL BYRNE AND CARY GRANT ON THIS LIST!!!! They are seriously two of my all-time favorite actors EVER. Plenty of people, of course, understand why Cary Grant is on the list, but so many people tell me I’m weird for thinking Gabriel Byrne is sexy as all hell. The movie Little Women gave me two of my favorite actors, actually, Christian Bale (who I’d already fallen in love with because of The Newsies), and Gabriel Byrne. And of course, I’ve always loved Harrison Ford too — seriously, who DOESN’T? — but he’s a fairly standard part of these kinds of lists. Gabriel Byrne (and even Cary Grant, nowadays) are much more rare, which is why it’s their inclusion specifically that makes me so damn happy. *^_____^*

    1. We’re not alone, Amanda! Two girls I work with also agree Gabriel Byrne is sexy. I love his voice. I always wished he was in more of the film Little Women.

  14. Love, love love this! Don’t think I can keep it to five, but here goes, Gregory Peck, Clark Gable, Harrison Ford, delicious Matthew McConnaughey, George Clooney, Gabriel Byrne, Sean Connery, Antonio Banderas…ooh, did you say 5? Darn! I could go on and on.

    1. I told you you’d like this post, Marcia. *giggles* It’s a like a girl’s sleepover in blog form. LOL

  15. I also have a thing for Harrison Ford…and Johnny Depp (in Benny and Joon)!

    I could listen to Irishman Chris O’Dowd talk all night long, and he has an amazing smile too…


    1. I LOVE Benny and Joon! Let’s get together and grill cheese sandwiches with an iron soon!

      “Having a Boo Radley moment, are we?”

  16. Agreed with Cary Grant! There’s something alluring about him. If I could go back in time… 😉

    1. Hands off, I called Dibs! 😛 LOL

  17. This was difficult to choose five, but I actually narrowed it down: Jason Isaacs,Viggo Mortensen, James McAvoy, Jim Sturgess and Michael Fassbender. Phew! That was hard to do.

    1. Oooh nice list. Some newcomers, different ages, different character roles. I like it!

  18. I vote for Gabriel Byrne. Have you seen In Treatment on HBO? It’s worth looking into.

    1. You know, I’ve picked this up a couple times, and haven’t yet watched it. I may need to keep that on my list for when winter hits, cause I’ll be forced to more indoor activities. Just got True Blood from the library, so I’ll be “sinking my teeth into” that. Sorry, punny joke, couldn’t resist!

  19. I’m rather in love with Cary Grant but James stewart takes my heart away every time.

    1. That’s why I love Philadelphia Story, best of both worlds!

  20. I love Anne of Green Gables and agree with your comments about Gilbert. I also like Hugh Jackman in Kate and Leopold! The uniform I think. Colin in Firth in most things he does (except Mama Mia). George Clooney of course. I think I like chick flicks where the guys can show some vulnerability. Like Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle.

    1. Not gonna lie, I enjoy Mamma Mia too! LOL. And your top 5 are awesome choices!

  21. […] I had no idea that Hollywood refused to back Hitchcock on the release of Psycho. They wouldn’t even finance it. Hitch and his wife put their own house on the line to produce the funds needed to make Psycho. The producers wanted another North by Northwest, and who could blame them? It’s my favorite Hitchcock movie too. Or didn’t you know I’m obsessed with Cary Grant? […]

  22. i recently google imaged doctor kildare, and found early 60s shirtless richard chamberlain. perhaps the handsomest man in the handsome man pantheon.

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