Here’s the obvious counterpart to the “20 Favorite Actresses” meme Nathaniel started over at The Film Experience
. Listed below are my favorite male stars, and (IMO) their top performances (in order of preference):Marlon Brando (A Streetcar Named Desire, The Last Tango in Paris, On the Waterfront)Paul Newman (The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, Nobody’s Fool)Montgomery Clift (From Here to Eternity, The Heiress, The Search)Joel McCrea (Sullivan’s Travels, The More the Merrier, The Palm Beach Story)Jeff Bridges (Starman, Fearless, The Last Picture Show)Cary Grant (North by Northwest, The Awful Truth, Holiday)Gene Kelly (Singin’ in the Rain, The Pirate, Anchors Aweigh)W.C. Fields (It’s a Gift, The Man on the Flying Trapeze, My Little Chickadee)Fred Astaire (The Bandwagon, Holiday Inn, Top Hat)Jack Lemmon (Some Like it Hot, Days of Wine and Roses, The China Syndrome)Groucho Marx (Duck Soup, Animal Crackers, Horse Feathers)Michael Redgrave (Dead of Night, The Browning Version, The Stars Look Down)Daniel Day Lewis (My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood, Gangs of New York)William Holden (Our Town, Sunset Boulevard, Bridge on the River Kwai)Charles Boyer (Gaslight, Cluny Brown, Fanny)Maurice Chevalier (Love Me Tonight, Gigi, One Hour With You)James Cagney (White Heat, Angels With Dirty Faces, Love Me or Leave Me)Robert Mitchum (The Night of the Hunter, The Sundowners, Home From the Hill)Gene Wilder (Young Frankenstein, The Producers, Bonnie and Clyde)Bob Hope (Son of Paleface, Road to Morocco, Road to Utopia)
I had some trouble narrowing it down to twenty, especially when considering comedy or musical comedy versus drama (for example, I don't see Hope pulling off The Grapes of Wrath
or Anatomy of a Murder
, but how would Fonda or Stewart do opposite Crosby? Down to the wire, I went with the actors I enjoy watching the most, regardless of genre).