I’ve been trying to record as much of my mom’s stories and memories as I can lately. Since she’s the person who introduced me to classic movies, I decided to ask her who her favorite Old Hollywood actors are. Her top choice is not a surprise because she’s talked about this movie star since I can remember, but a lot of them are new to me. It’s an insight into my mom and her own youth.
10. Cary Grant and 9.Deborah Kerr
An Affair to Remember (1957)
She’s always told us how she loved Cary Grant, but funnily enough we’ve never talked about this movie so I never realized that it’s one of her favorites. And Deborah Kerr is the perfect match for Grant in this movie. So who can blame my mom for including these two? This is peak Cary Grant, and that scene towards the end never fails to make us all cry like a baby.
8. Ingrid Bergman
Another unexpected choice. I expected my mom to choose Casablanca, but apparently she prefers Bergman in Spellbound. I haven’t seen it so I didn’t ask about the plot, but maybe the fact that her third favorite actor (rhymes with Shmegory Shmeck) is also in the film has something to do with it.
7. Errol Flynn
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
My mom always talks about Errol Flynn, so I expected him to be higher on her list. I tried watching Robin Hood but it was a bit too cheesy for me, though my mom thinks it’s Flynn’s best.
6. Maureen O’Hara
The Foxes of Harrow (1947)
What is The Foxes of Harrow? I have no idea about this film, and my mom only says that it’s good and I should watch it. This is her usual answer whenever I ask what a film is about. But it got me to watch a ton of classic films so it’s effective.
5. Audrey Hepburn
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) and Roman Holiday (1953)
Oh, this one is a no-brainer. I watched Roman Holiday for the first time with my mom and sister. It was my first Audrey film, and I fell in love with her. That last line “Rome, by all means, Rome”; that scene with Gregory Peck walking quietly towards the camera – I have goosebumps just writing about it!
She likes Breakfast at Tiffany’s mostly because of the song “Moon River”. Personally it’s not one of my favorite Audrey films (it is not a happy one), but it is probably the most iconic one, so I can see why it would make an impression on my mom.
4. Rex Harrison
The Foxes of Harrow (1947)
Rex Harrison is ranked higher than Audrey? My mom’s only explanation is that he was very authoritative in the film and that I should really watch it. We’ll see, mom.
3. Gregory Peck
Duel in the Sun (1946)
Of course! I first watched Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday, but my mom absolutely recommends Duel in the Sun. I just Googled it and saw that it co-stars Jennifer Jones. With all due respect, blech. I am not a fan of hers, but I guess I have to check this out and see what made my mom choose this as her favorite Peck film.
2. Lana Turner
The Three Musketeers (1948)
This was totally expected. My mom absolutely adores Lana Turner and her perfect platinum blonde hair. I thought she would choose Merry Widow, which was the first Lana movie she made me watch, so I guess I’ll have to add another movie to my list.
1. Tyrone Power
The Mark of Zorro (1940)
Mom calls Tyrone Power her boyfriend (even in front of my dad). When I was writing this she kept reminding me that he should be number one. She says it’s because he’s a good actor, but really I think it’s just because he’s pretty.