Ok, our Vintage Valentine’s Date vote is a gratuitous excuse to enjoy pictures of handsome chaps from decades gone by, like swoonsome Cary Grant here and gorgeous Steve McQueen. From a Thirties funnyman to a vintage-styled present day pin-up, see how your fantasy vintage Valentine’s date fares in our poll. And as an extra treat, read Simon’s Hickson’s entirely serious commentary on the highs and lows of our fab five.

Cary Grant
Fancy a date with Archibald Leach from Bristol? Thought not. No wonder Archie changed his name to Cary Grant and moved to Hollywood. He lost the Bristol accent, favouring a clipped mid-Atlantic tone famously mocked by Tony Curtis in Some Like it Hot. Dapper, suave, witty, laconic… go to Millenium Square in Bristol and see just how cool the statue is of him there- why not date the statue? It’ll never let you down.

Cary had affairs all over the place, even a rumoured one with Marlon Brando, but then, who wouldn’t? He was married five times, so, if he were still with us today, you’d be in with a swingin’ chance. PS: Don’t be put off by the fact that he looks a bit like Bob Monkhouse.

Charlie Chaplin
Do you go for little men with sticky-out feet and Hitler moustaches? No? How about if they make you laugh? No? Oh, come on now! Laughing’s fun. You can’t get over the Hitler moustache? What if I told you this little funny walking Hitler man was Charlie Chaplin? Still not convinced? Well, plenty were.

Charlie married many times. When he was 29, he married a 16-year-old. When he was 35, he married a 16-year-old. When he was 54, he married an 18-year-old. Get the picture? Aged 19 and over need not apply. And before you get too snooty over the tramp look; it was good enough for Diane keaton in “Annie Hall”.

Steve McQueen
He’s the King of Cool; official. In the Sixties and the Seventies there was Robert, Paul and Steve (Redford, Newman and McQueen). That’s Mr. Sundance, Mr. Salad Dressing and Mr. I did all my own stunts in Bullitt. Sure, McQueen could dress up as well as all of those slickers, just look at him in The Thomas Crown Affair. But his natural look was dusty old cowboy clothes, a sun-beaten frown, a ciggie and oily hands, as he messes about with a bike, or a car, or an oily cow.

He was the David Cassidy to Newman’s Osmond; the Liam Gallagher to Redford’s Albarn. When Newman and and McQueen teamed up to battle the Towering Inferno guess who played the architect and guess who played the fireman. Yes, this dream vintage movie star date may not have a Batsuit but he dresses up as a fireman! He died just after his third marriage, in 1980 at the age of 50. But this didn’t stop him from being inducted into the Motorcycle hall of Fame in 1999. If he can do that, why not date his ghost?

Patrick Swayze
Ok, in the 21st Century John Sergeant may have the edge, but in 1987 no one danced dirtier than the Swayze as dancing instructor Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing. His dancing was so damned dirty Baby was prepared to overlook the Mullet and have the time of her life. Heck, the Swayze was so infallible he even manages to play the romantic lead in Ghost, where he goes by the improbable and slightly unsettling name of Sam Wheat.

In Ghost, get this, he plays a ghost! Yes, you heard me right. That’s why they called the film Ghost. He’s not just your everyday Casper-kind of ghost who goes “Whoooo!” No, this Swayze ghost does pottery…The film’s iconic love scene has the Swayze canoodling with Demi Moore whilst they make a squishy pot. Read that again! It’s a ghost/pottery love scene. Come on now girls, that’s just silly. Yet you continue to love him. He is the Swayze-master!

George Clooney
How about Cloon the Loon? The man who made the worst Batman film ever and survived to tell the tale. He’s funny and he’s smooth; he’s Charlie and Cary rolled into one. And, if you ask him nicely, he might put the Batsuit on.

Don’t expect too much beyond laughs, fun and oodles and noodles of charm. Gorgeous George has notoriously claimed that he will never marry and never have kids. He’s had an on/off/on/off/on/off/on/off (you get the idea) relationship with a string of cocktail waitresses/actresses/wrestlers but for 18 years he was completely faithful to his closest companion yet; Max the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig.

So who will be your dream vintage Valentine’s date?

21 Responses

  1. Kevie

    None of the above: I loves me some Gene Kelly. There was a man who was comfortable in his own skin. Watching him dance is like good sex.

  2. Mima

    I agree with Kevie, Gene Kelly is my vintage crush – tied with (early, 1950s) Frank Sinatra, (also early, 1950s) Elvis Presley, and Paul Newman. Lovely stuff.

  3. Louise

    Though I love Cary Grant, I think the vintage crushes I’d most like to go on a date with are Paul Newman and Monty Clift circa A Place in the Sun. In my fantasy he’d also be straight and totally into me.
    I wouldn’t kick “young” Elvis out of bed either. Nor Robert Redford circa The Way We Were.

  4. Justine

    I’d have to say George Clooney, because the others are all dead! I’ve had some bad dates in my time, but at least they’ve all been breathing…… I think so, anyway.

  5. Rocketblast

    Montgomery Clift, Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, young Elvis, Gene Kelly and might I add young Clint Eastwood to the mix – phew!

  6. YesterdayGirl

    I’m with you Carmen. Jimmy Stewart had it all: tall, dark and dashingly handsome. But Mr Presley has got to be up there too; hair, hips…lips: perfection!

  7. Jen

    I’d have to go with Paul Newman or Gary Cooper…or both!!! 🙂 I know they aren’t on the list, but they should be!

  8. Elizabeth M

    Cary Grant really does it for me everytime, as does his reincarnation George Clooney… And the older I get, the more I get Jimmy Stewart! (kinda sexy in Rear Window!). But there is an alive guy with GREAT vintage style that no one has mentioned: Joseph Gordon Levitt. Hot, plain and simple! 🙂

  9. Rebecka

    Seriously – how can Clark Gable have been left out? He was even the hottest man on the planet when rather old and weary in The Misfits! Put on It Happened One Night and I’ll be phwoaring for the exact run time of 105 minutes. And don’t get me started on Gone With the Wind…

  10. Susan

    Definitely the young Jimmy Stewart, WOW, soooooo good looking!! He’s a real hottie in the Philadelphia Story. I’m not immune to the tough guy charm of Jimmy Cagney either!

  11. Maja

    Jimmy Stewart and Paul Newman for me please… and perhaps that yummy French guy from the artist… he is just *sigh* …

    • Lena

      Oh true Dujardin is rather dashing, although his modern everyday look isn’t quite as good. It’s like seeing Don Draper in jeans. Just ruins it.

  12. Hannah

    William Holden for me, especiallly in Love Is a Many Splendoured Thing. But I’m also another keen Gene Kelly fan, and Dirk Bogarde too.

  13. La Sweeta Deeva

    The inimitable Gregory Peck, no question. Impeccably generous and gracious (insisted newcomer Audrey Hepburn get top billing on ‘Roman Holiday’ in view of her talent and contrbution to the film) and played sensitive, intelligent characters (be still my beating heart when Atticus Finch opens his mourh).

  14. Kat

    I’d throw in Robert Mitchum, too – and the underrated Joseph Cotten …