Old movies are romantic and most women like them a lot. Why? They’re subtle, well-made, and are full of adult content, but it’s tastefully presented and requires you pay attention. If you do, you’ll find sexual tension, comedy and double entendres (a double entendre (ˌdəbl änˈtändrə ) is a word or phrase open to two interpretations, one of which is usually sexual), and when served up on a quiet evening with some good ice cream (don’t be a boor– keep politics out of it) is a great way to romance a beautiful woman. Choose one of these recommended movies—my favorites are The Awful Truth and The Philadelphia Story, but they’re all good.
You get the added benefit of studying a master of timing, style, confidence and male-female complementarity—Cary Grant.
Here’s a quick run-down of what you’ll see in the next 12 minutes in these 10 clips of strong men and strong women:
1. Only Angels Have Wings. Embrace the grainy visual quality and vintage audio of this excellent movie about pilots in the 1930s. Cary Grant is a tough guy, described as “…a good guy for gals to stay away from.” Take the time to study what tough used to be when we knew it mattered to women.
2. Holiday. A classic 1930s romantic comedy. Remember, the world was in a global depression. Hollywood was offering an escape to an elegant world of laughter, tuxedos, evening gowns, and beautiful, rich, young women. Katherine Hepburn is at her ruthless comic best—“For the love of Pete, it’s the witch and dopey.” Pay attention, you’ll learn something.
3. The Awful Truth. A philandering husband gets some of his own medicine and becomes suspicious when his beautiful wife spends an innocent night with her European voice instructor (“Your husband is not like the average American man… He has the continental mind.”). It’s impossible to exaggerate the comic genius of this movie, especially when Cary Grant beats up the voice instructor.
4. His Girl Friday. Sexual tension between a scheming, ruthless newspaper editor and his female lead reporter, commented on by a man who also wants the female lead reporter, “He’s (the editor) not the man for you, but I kind of like him… He’s got a lot of charm.” Her reply, “He comes by it naturally, his grandfather was a snake.”
5. Bringing Up Baby. A case-study screwball comedy involving men in nightgowns, stereotypical, pugnacious Irish drunks, a sexy and determined young girl and a leopard. Great dialogue.
6. Charade. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Vintage, must-see under any case. She: “Do we know each other?” He: “Do you think we’re going to?”
7. The Philadelphia Story. This movie has been pivotal in my own life and I have identified with 3 of the male characters over time. From the moment you see Cary Grant push Katherine Hepburn down for breaking his golf club, it has it all: [comic] domestic violence, a recovering alcoholic, a father having an affair with a dancer (I have never had an affair.), and a passionate redhead. Some dialog: “He’s no tower of strength, he’s just a tower.” And, “To hardly know him is to know him well.”
8. Arsenic and Old Lace. Psychotic serial killer old ladies and Cary Grant is their nephew. Great fun.
9. Notorious. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains as three people whose lives become intimately entangled during an espionage operation.
10. North by Northwest. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. This is a movie often parodied or referenced where Cary Grant is a man in a suit and tie being chased by an airplane on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere. Some dialog: “I’m an advertising man, not a red herring. I’ve got a job, a secretary, a mother, two ex-wives and several bartenders dependent upon me and I don’t intend to disappoint them by getting myself slightly killed.”
Be wise. Study Cary Grant’s timing, presence and style and incorporate them into your own life. It can be done. And, I said it before, but it bears repeating: The world needs more gentlemen who are bold, authentic and masculine, like you and Cary Grant.