Yesterday, Google celebrated the birth of legendary graphic designer Saul Bass with an awesome little animation on its main page. Bass was most known for his movie title sequences, which included three of Alfred Hitchcock’s staples: Vertigo, North By Northwest, and Psycho. Just as Google intended, this got me thinking about how hot the male stars of Hitchcock movies are — specifically the 10 hottest dudes in the Hitchcock oeuvre. The results of my heavy contemplation are in.
Call “Mother!” because these 10 gents are psychotically hot.
10. Laurence Olivier, Rebecca
What could be hotter than a debonair man with mood swings? In Rebecca, Laurence Olivier (or as I prefer to call him, Mr. Vivien Leigh) basically traumatizes his new wife (Joan Fontaine) by bringing her into his ghostly old estate and subjecting her to an evil housekeeper (Judith Anderson) who assures her she’ll never live up to the memory of Olivier’s deceased first wife Rebecca. Naturally, Olivier has some secrets to hide, and that’s what makes him hot: the sinister awareness hiding behind that legendary face.
9. Robert Donat, The 39 Steps
The 39 Steps is probably the oldest Hitchcock movie with great replay value, and not just because star Robert Donat is a comely mustachioed sex machine. It’s an actual thriller, and the chemistry between Donat and old-school Hitch muse Madeleine Carroll is excellent. He’s framed for murder and on the run, and that’s a Hitchcock tradition which has given us many a sexy gent. Ow, ow, you cover her mouth, Bobby D.!
8. Gregory Peck, Spellbound
Yikes, he’s hot — even in the most unintentionally hilarious Hitchcock movie ever. Gregory Peck plays Ingrid Bergman’s super-stern psychologist in this old gem, and he remains pretty studly even while (ahem) maintaining a conversation with Ingrid Bergman as they ski down a mountain together. The phony backdrops of old movies! True classics!
7. Sean Connery, Marnie
Speaking of unintentionally hilarious: Marnie is about a peculiar young lawbreaker (Tippi Hedren) who has a huge phobia of the color red. Haha, teehee. Except WHAT: Sean Connery plays a man who (stay with me on this one) blackmails her into marrying him, then rapes her upon discovering she is frigid. That is horrifying and deeply shocking. Tippi is pretty endearing as the titular subject, and Connery is shirtless and has that face. That’s the only reason he makes this list — not because of his odious character.
6. Paul Newman, Torn Curtain
This? This is a movie I never need to see again. But Paul Newman’s incandescent sexiness transcends this film, and we’re treated to a couple shirtless shots of him amidst all the uninteresting plotting. Phew.
5. Louis Jourdan, The Paradine Case
Monsieur Louis Jourdan costars in this forgettable flick from ’48 with fellow Top 10 hunk Gregory Peck, but here’s what you need to know: This Frenchman has potentially the sexiest eyes, bone structure, and jaw of any man ever. That’s all. He delighted you in Gigi and probably thrilled you as the nefarious Kamal Khan in Octopussy. But here he was maaaad hot.
4. Farley Granger, Rope
Give it up for the homosexuals! Rope is a movie where Hitchcock explored his love of homoerotic intrigue, and he allegedly cast costars John Dall and Farley Granger because he knew they were gay. As Leopold-and-Loeb-type type intellects who murder a colleague for sport, the duo has a distinctly heated, sexy chemistry. Granger is the most nervous member of the team, and in his haunted, hot glance, we see libidinous naughtiness. Granger would go on to play a hot tennis pro in Strangers on a Train, too.
3. Anthony Perkins, Psycho
Y’all know me. Y’all know Tony Perky is my man. He’s so gorgeous and charismatic, but agonizingly distant. I’d normally throw him at the top of this list and make you all shut up about it, but I’ll grant you this: Norman Bates’ trembling mannerisms and heterosexual perversions can only woo me so much. It’s a great performance (and the biggest snub in Oscar history, no?), but I just want to stick Norman Bates in a hug machine and let him sort out his problems. But the Tony Perkins of Friendly Persuasion? Allow me to arrange a shower scene with that gent. (Sidenote: I know y’all wanted John Gavin on this list. Sorry. Not significant enough a part of the movie!)
2. Montgomery Clift, I Confess
There’s been a recent wave declaring I Confess the underrated masterpiece in Hitchcock’s oeuvre, and I don’t know that I agree (because I still don’t think Frenzy has been given its proper due, either), but we can all agree on this: MONTGOMERY CLIFT IN A PRIEST OUTFIT. Monty’s stony visage and repression are perfect fits for these vestments, and he simply has one of the most unforgettable, wildly hot faces and bodies ever. Also, he’s a great actor. Fine.
1. Cary Grant, Notorious
He’s a sex symbol and basically a dandy. We don’t have many of those, and it’s kind of amazing that Cary Grant — in all his obvious charms and comic genius — embraced the broadness of his characters and made them all sexy. Perhaps it was his deadpan delivery that balanced out his acrobatic instincts, but the deal is: He is a legendary hottie, and we will never see the likes of his talent and charisma again. Also: His performance in Notorious is the definitive political thriller performance everrrr. He wins.
Honorable mentions: Rod Taylor in The Birds, Ray Milland in Dial M For Murder, Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo, Michael Redgrave in The Lady Vanishes, Michael Wilding in Stage Fright, John Dall in Rope
Your turn. Who’s in your top 10?