It actually started in the forties.
Well, actually, it POSSIBLY started back in silent film, but since I can count all the silent films I've seen...with my hands (don't hunt me down and torture me) and since I'm going to be talking about cool actors of the forties right now, we're just going to accept that as fact (until another post where I talk about cool actors of the thirties).
I finally decided upon the five single coolest actors of the forties; but since I didn't give this much thought, you probably shouldn't accept this as a definitive list! ;-D
Cary Grant and coolness are kinda synonymous. They go together like soy sauce and tofu. THEY JUST FIT. Cary Grant is cool really just because he's Cary Grant. Of course he was cool in every decade, but the forties obviously have the coolest Cary. I was going to mention the fact that he wore polka dots and stripes at the same time, but that of course is why Cary was cool in the fifties.
Coolest Moment: His Girl Friday. He plays the most selfish, arrogant jerk. If anyone else played Walter Burns...he would seem like a selfish, arrogant jerk. When Cary played him, he seemed like the most charming guy ever. That's a talent for coolness!
I'm almost certain Charles Boyer invented accented coolness. Because he was cool...and he had an accent. He was effortlessly cool, and really he was someone who technically shouldn't have been cool at all. (Okay, this is making no sense.)
My choice for Coolest Moment is Together Again. Which, I suppose is a rather odd choice. But, he seems even cooler in comedy. Really, I'm gonna move on, because I simply CANNOT EXPLAIN BOYER'S COOLNESS. He just was.
Dana AndrewsDana was cool in a very understated way. One doesn't even realize how much his coolness is making the film cooler. BUT, try imagining ANY Dana movie...without him. It would change everything.
Coolest Moment: Laura. Dana + the little toy + "A doll in Washington Heights once got a fox fur out of me" = Serious coolness.
Bob HopeBob Hope is so stinkin' cool. He could do/say the most ridiculous things and make it not only seem not abnormal, but actually awesome; like, someone you want to be. Every time he ad-libbed his way out of trouble (and usually into bigger trouble) it's impossible to look away. And DON'T EVEN THINK about putting him with another actor (besides Bing), he'll steal the whole thing.
Coolest Moment: The Ghost Breakers. No one takes down zombies as cool as Bob does. I'm not even going to debate on the subject.
Tyrone PowerThere are two reasons Ty is on this list. One: To make Kate extremely angry. And Two: Because he stupendously amazingly cool. HE'S STINKIN' ZORRO. I mean, REALLY.
Coolest Moment: A Yank In the RAF. This isn't my most favorite Ty film, but I do think it's probably his coolest. It's at his most charming, swaggering, and pre-fighting in WWII best. The fact that he spends most of the movie being a cowardly jerk doesn't really matter THAT much. The coolicity (I'm running out of ways to describe "cool") he gives his character is what makes him a sympathetic character (also his extreme gorgeousness! ;-D).
Well, here they are: The five coolest actors of the forties. I started this post, with brilliance in mind, but soon I drifted away and started taunting Kate with Ty photos on Tumblr and labeling the links with Oskar Werner...so she kept clicking on them (MWAAHAHAHAHA!). This is the reason why the post is sadly lacking in brilliance and rather disjointed. Please excuse this, it was for a good cause! ;-D
These are my choices for the five coolest actors of the forties! Who's on your list?