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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

female gazing at: Gary Cooper


Because guys are hot in black-and-white, too. And if this is all fantasy, what difference does it make if they’ve long since departed this plane of existence?

In uniform!

I love how modern this image is. It looks like it could have been grabbed from last month’s GQ:

I’m posting pictures like these every weekday, of a man who is attractive and desirable, because I like to look, dammit — and because the female gaze doesn’t have to be such serious business.

(If you have a suggestion for someone we should female-gaze at, feel free to email me with a name or a link to a particular photo.)



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  • Kathy A

    Ooh, that third one is sexyhawt!

    If you’re going to start doing Classic Hollywood men, can I put in a request for Crimson Pirate-era Burt Lancaster? That film, and that man in those skintight leggings and bare chest, did wonders for my teenage hormones when I saw it on Family Classics on WGN back in the late ’70s.

  • Kathy A
  • Vanessa

    I’m glad you are including classic stars. I had no idea Cooper was so sexy. Somewhere recently they had an article about teenage crushes, and asked a number of women from different walks of life about their crushes, and *two* out of 8 or 10 of them mentioned James Mason. Can we have him up?

  • Angel932

    Cary Cooper was my first crush! Of course he was already dead at the time, so I quickly moved on to George Harrison.

    However, if you are going old Hollywood, don’t neglect Gegory Peck. Lordy, what a beautiful man. The first time I saw him in Spellbound, I swooned.

    I absolutely LOVE all your picks so far. Keep it up!

  • Okay I can understand Gary Cooper (kinda the Brad Pitt of his era, only a better actor), but James Mason was a sex god?! When?!

  • Kat

    Whilst I’m pretty neutral on Gary Cooper I can’t stop staring at those pictures for their sheer beauty, they’re stunning. It’s not just that they are b/w, lighting and composition are just fabulous. More vintage gazing please (don’t forget Cary Grant – as if!).

  • Dokeo

    Super-duper!

    And I second the motion for Gregory Peck.

  • Karen_P

    How about showcasing the lovely Tim DeKay? There’s something about him that reminds me a lot of Gary Cooper – especially in his work on Carnivale.

  • zazu

    @Paul – Mason was a BIG sex god back in the 40’s in England and the States. He had that Byronic Heathcliff S/M thing going back then. I suggest you check out some of his earlier movies. He made a pretty hot Captain Nemo later.

  • Lisa

    Female Gaze – classic style!

    I second Cary Grant

    also James Mason has a very sexy voice.

  • bronxbee

    *sigh* i’ve always had a mad crush on Gary Cooper… his performance in A Farewell to Arms has to be one of the most masculine yet beautiful and sensitive men ever. then there’s The Fountainhead. yum. i’ve never seen him in a film where i didn’t like him.

    and yes, please, some Cary Grant (another one of my passions… he had such a great sense of grace, style, charm and yet humor even about himself).

  • kathleen

    OH no you didn’t! You gone and went old school!

    MaryAnn you have such good taste.

  • Nina

    Mmmmm, Gary Cooper in Morocco with Marlene Dietrich; Gaah he was stunningly beautiful in that.

  • I_Sell_Books

    Yum.

  • I’m on board with Cary Grant for black & white gazing. In fact, I had a very memorable dream about him after reading his biography. No, not THAT kind of dream. I just dreamed that I met him. I felt that I understood him after reading about him, and he appreciated that.

    May I also suggest Efrem Zimbalist Jr.? Stu Bailey (in 77 Sunset Strip, for the youngsters) was one of my first crushes! And James Garner in his Bret Maverick days–oooh!

  • Lost in a supermarket

    I’d give Gary a light any day.

    Totally on board with James Mason! These are all great suggestions

  • Kathy A

    James Garner in his Bret Maverick days–oooh!

    Oh, my, yes!

    Another request for B&W/Classic female gazing: if you decide to go with James Dean, please include a picture of him in his glasses, and not sunglasses, but big thick glasses-glasses! Like this. I love his dorky pictures and think they make him look more vulnerable.

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