Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Movie Screen Leading Men

Thank you to the folks at The Broke and the Bookish for hosting this fun Top Ten Tuesday meme each week! Many other bloggers’ picks on today’s theme can be seen here.

This week’s theme is a Valentine-related freebie, so instead of drawing from books, I’m going to share some of my favorite romantic leads from movies. This was such a fun project because I guess I’m a romantic at heart, and these guys (and their gals) have given me much enjoyment as I watched their stories over and over again.

Many of these are from the 60s, and I don’t know why. Maybe they just don’t make them like this anymore. You’ll also notice that some are Rogers & Hammerstein musicals. It may not be realistic to burst into song at the drop of a hat, but the musician in me loves that part. Also, all have happy endings – with the exception of two, that is.

So, in no particular order, here are some leading men who have captured my heart over the years. Have you seen any of these movies? And who are some of your personal favorite leading guys from the big screen?

Christopher Plummer / Captain Von Trapp
The Sound of Music, 1965
I’d hate to pick a favorite from this list, but if I had to, it would probably be Captain Von Trapp. Just a beautiful story in every way.

Jonathan Crombie (1966-2015) / Gilbert Blythe
Anne of Green Gables, 1985
“The first time we met was in the Anne of Green Gables production office for a preliminary read-through of the script. I was 17. I think Johnny was 18. I remember thinking he was so sweet and non-threatening in the best way. Because we were all nervous, and he put you at ease. He had a wonderful sense of humor, so we laughed a lot.” – Megan Follows

Yves Montand (1921-1991) / Paul Robaix
My Geisha, 1962
My Geisha is a movie that most of you have probably never even heard of. But it is a fantastic romance built around the filming of a movie adaptation of Madame Butterfly – and Shirley MacLaine costars. Did I mention that it’s a wonderful romance?!

Harve Presnell (1933-2009) / “Leadville” Johnny Brown
The Unsinkable Molly Brown, 1964
Love this musical adaptation of the real-life Molly Brown (played by Debbie Reynolds), a Titanic survivor, and Johnny who awaited her back in Denver, Colorado.

Andrew McCarthy
Come Dance with Me, 2012
Straight from the Heart, 2003
I just can’t get enough of Andrew McCarthy in these two Hallmark movies. Those blue eyes! He’s the type of leading man that gets to me.

William Holden (1918-1981) / Hal Carter
Picnic, 1955
Picnic is considered pretty racy for its time. I love the way it looks back on an era (the 1950s) when drifters hopped boxcars, marriage was the most important goal for a girl, and people wore ties, sports coats, and full-skirted dresses to picnics.

Patrick Swayze (1952-2009) / Johnny Castle
Dirty Dancing, 1987
Simply timeless.

Michael Douglas / Ed Leland
Shining Through, 1992
Suspense and World War II stories aren’t high on my list, so I don’t know why I ever watched Shining Through. So glad I did, though! When he rescues Melanie Griffeth from the Nazis at the end . . .

Robert Preston (1918-1997) / Harold Hill
The Music Man, 1962
76 Trombones…Lida Rose…Goodnight My Someone…Till There Was YouWhat could be more delightful?!

Gary Sinese / Terry McQuinn
Fallen Angel, 2003
Can’t help but be drawn to Gary’s character is this outstanding Hallmark movie.

Richard Chamberlain / Ralph de Bricassart
The Thorn Birds, 1983
Franco Nero / Lancelot
Camelot, 1967
These two leading men did not get their happily-ever-after endings, but I was drawn to their stories in spite of that. Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave from Camelot actually married in 2006. And as good as The Thorn Birds was, the book by Colleen McCullough was even better.

Pat Boone / David Wilkerson
The Cross and the Switchblade, 1970
This movie isn’t a romance, so why on earth have I included it? Well, Pat Boone was a very popular singer and teen heartthrob in his day, and this is a powerful movie. It’s the real-life story of David Wilkerson, who founded a ministry to New York’s street gangs called the Teen Challenge Center. Nicky Cruz, a tough Puerto Rican gang leader (played by Eric Estrada), was converted and went on to serve with Wilkerson and later started his own outreach ministry in California.


  1. I like your list, it is creative and a couple of these movies are new to me.

    1. Thank you, Terra. I had a ball putting this together. The only down side is that I want to stop what I'm doing and watch all of them now!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Dawn! Putting it together was so much fun.

  3. Love this list! Cary Grant is one of my fave leading men from the past. One of my favorite leading men characters (not played by Cary Grant lol) is Mr. Knightley from Emma. My TTT

    1. Excellent choices, Carrie! I haven't seen many Cary Grant movies, something I really need to correct.

  4. Oh Carole, I love your top 10 list. I agree with Carrie, Cary Grant is my favorite leading man. I love all of his movies and can watch them over and over. Let's see if I can list you 10.
    Cary Grant (Arsenic and Old Lace, Father Goose)
    Jimmy Stewart (Harvey, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation)
    Dean Martin (Rio Bravo, 4 For Texas)
    Mark Harmon (Worth Winning, Summer School,The Presidio)
    Henry Fonda (On Golden's Pond, Cheyenne Social Club)
    Robert Duvall (The Judge, Secondhand Lions, Lonesome Dove)
    Tommy Lee Jones (Lonesome Dove, Space Cowboys, Double Jeopardy)
    Colin Firth (Love Actually, Pride and Prejudice)
    Alan Rickman (Sense & Sensibility)
    I think that's a good start.


    1. Love your list, Katrina!! I haven't seen many of the movies you listed and am adding them to my list. Like I told Carrie above, I need to watch some of the classic Cary Grant movies. Loved Jimmy Stewart in Shenandoah, but haven't seen much else. Also really liked Secondhand Lions and Lonesome Dove. Thanks so much for posting this, Katrina!

  5. I also Love the list you have made. I have always loved the old movies best, and was raised by a Mama who loved musicals, so am very fond of them myself. My favorite leading man will always be Sean Connery. I also like Liam Neeson, and Kurt Russell.

    1. Excellent choices, Miss Brenda! I think that with my list, I was going more for the sometimes larger-than-life characters they played - like Captain Von Trapp, Lancelot, etc.

      Your mom and I certainly share a love for musicals...wonder why?!

  6. Enjoyed reading this post, Carole - thanks!! I loved Fallen Angel, Picnic, Dirty Dancing, The Sound of Music, and The Thorn Birds. I've always enjoyed Michael Douglas' acting - some others I've enjoyed (in various movies) over the years are Mel Gibson and Ben Affleck.

    Shared post!!

  7. Cary Grant is a favorite...love him in Roman Holiday. Gary Cooper in Fountainhead. Jimmy Stewart in Shop Around the Corner. I love the oldies! Enjoyed the post! Gil is probably at the very top of mine! :)

  8. Great picks! I've seen some of them but now I have more movies to add to my list :)

    My faves are Johhny Depp in Chocolat, Gerard Butler in Dear Frankie, Tom Burlinson in The Man From Snowy River, Rupert Penry Jones in Persuasion, Richard Armitage in North and South, Christian Bale in Little Women, Joseph Gordon Levitt in Inception, Jonathon Crombie in Anne of Green Gables. Sigh :)

  9. Thanks for sharing the fun movie star leading men list. What about Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle? I'm visiting from Friendship Friday and Social Media boost. I am now your Google+ friend connect buddy and put you in my blogger circle. Hope you'll do the same for me. If you're interested in health and wellness tips like the blog post, Use Red to Improve Well-being join me. Warm regards, Nancy Andres. https://plus.google.com/u/0/103331929700077376902/

  10. This is a really fun list, and I enjoyed remembering some of these great movies. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week!