The other day I was hanging out with my mother and we were listening to some old songs. Somewhere between the witty Cole Porter hits and the jazzy Gershwin numbers, I realised that although we still produce good and insightful music, most modern songs are not as beautifully worded as songs of the past. I mentioned this to my mother who said “What about the men? Men today are not as good looking!”
At first I laughed, but as I began to think about all the old Hollywood movies I love to watch, my mother’s reply started to make sense. Many of today’s Hollywood actors no longer have those classic good looks that make words like debonair, dashing, and rakish come to mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that today’s Hollywood actors aren’t good looking, and I’m not saying that all of the old-Hollywood stars were lookers. Let’s face it Bogey isn’t much to look at, and Laurence Olivier was too much of a pretty boy. What I am saying is that today’s actors aren’t what I would categorise as handsome the way I would say Clarke Gable or Errol Flynn were handsome. (My mother’s choices were Rock Hudson and James Dean, which is why their photos are up there too.)
Today’s actors can be described as “cute” like Andrew Garfield, Orlando Bloom, and Bradley Cooper or “HOT” like Chris Hemsworth, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt. While they certainly are still physically attractive, there is something that the older actors had that they don’t.
The same can be said for the women! Which of today’s actresses can rival Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh, Audrey Hepburn, and Ingrid Bergman? Which of today’s actresses don’t look up to these Hollywood legends?
It can’t be the black and white film because many films have been remastered. Could it be the roles today’s actors are asked to play? Could it be that the world’s idea of beauty has changed? Perhaps a little of both?
I don’t know. I guess there really is such a thing as “old-Hollywood charm.”