This week's question is a stumper.
My imagination is pretty good, but I can't conceive of wanting to spend time with anyone other than the person I've spent (gasp) over half my life with. So ... I thought it might be handy to instead turn to the subject of (what else?) film noir.
Inspired by Hilary's post earlier in the week, I figured I'd run down a list of the top five sexiest male and female "fatales" in classic noir. They inspired lust--crime--murder--obsession. Some killed without compunction, and without remorse ... but one and all, they were probably worth killing for. ;)
So here's a look behind the steamy car windows while the rain splatters on neon-soaked streets ... the femme and homme fatales in noir.
2. Robert Mitchum. He of the gravelly voice, sad sack eyes, wide shoulders and laconic stare. Mitchum was an irresistible hunk, and (to me, at any rate), the perfect actor to play a shamus, which he did in many a role (even essaying Marlowe when he was too old--but he was still terrific). In noir, though, he can be a real patsy. Look for him in Out of the Past (with Jane Greer) and the slightly comedic His Kind of Woman (with Jane Russell) ... the latter has a great fight scene with plenty of hot and sweaty Mitchum.
3. William Holden. William Holden is considered a huge hottie in my household ... something about the boyish charm, the chiseled features, and the wavy hair. You can see why Gloria Swanson fell for him in Sunset Boulevard, and he should have filmed more noirs ... though my favorite Holden performance is his underrated comedic turn in Born Yesterday, with Judy Holliday.
4. Glenn Ford. Another boyish looker who could turn a raffish grin with the best of them, the young Glenn exuded intensity and passion. In his team-ups with the screen goddess to end all screen goddesses, Rita Hayworth, he holds his own as an object of lust, frustration, and desire. Don't miss him in Gilda, The Big Heat or Human Desire (the latter two with Gloria Grahame).
5. Robert Ryan. One of the most underappreciated actors of the golden age, Ryan steamed up the screen with the best of them. Ruggedly handsome, his craggy features could twist themselves up villainously (Crisscross; Beware, My Lovely), but I prefer his sympathetic boxer in The Set-Up, and his witty writer in Born to be Bad.
2. Gloria Grahame. Gloria may not have been as beautiful as some of her colleagues, but the way she walked ... the way she talked ... and the way she stuck out those inimitable lips in a seductive pout made her the queen of noir. See her in anything (even It's a Wonderful Life), but most particularly in In a Lonely Place with Humphrey Bogart. Also Sudden Fear (with Jack Palance) and The Big Heat (with Glenn Ford and an unforgettable scene with Lee Marvin).
3. Jane Greer. Watch the way Jane moves in Out of the Past (with Robert Mitchum) ... watch the way she sits on the beach and breathes in his ear. And watch the way she watches him ... then you'll understand why he utters those immortal, fatal words "Baby, I don't care" when asked about the consequences ...
4. Ava Gardner. The Killers made Ava a star ... and it's easy to see why. She excelled at playing wild girls, untamed, feckless, passionate, half force of nature, half woman. Her personal life seemed to mimic her onscreen persona, and she was a natural to play the goddess of love in One Touch of Venus. We could only mourn the fact she didn't make more noirs. Don't miss her in The Barefoot Contessa or as the perfect Brett Ashley in The Sun Also Rises.
5. Barbara Stanwyck. Barbara was in her 40s when she made Double Idemnity, long after her nubile pre-code heyday in Baby Face. Her allure (and the infamous anklet) could make you forget that she wasn't conventionally beautiful ... and made you understand why Fred MacMurray was so anxious to sell her insurance.
There you have it, folks ... share your favorite hotties from the golden days of the black and white crime drama! From Dana Andrews and Tyrone Power and Humphrey Bogart to Linda Darnell, Joan Bennett and Lauren Bacall, I've omitted quite a few ... and the wonderful thing is they're only a Netflix away. :)
So who would you walk the dark side for? ;)