No Such Nonsense

A little of this, that and... what was I talking about again? It's TV, sports, pop culture and politics - all the stuff that really matters in life.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Boys and Cars

Some guy just paid $2.3 million for a car once owned by Steve McQueen.

That's some serious money for any car not made out of actual gold or outfitted by Q with an invisibility cloak and rocket launchers. Sure, it's a very pretty 1963 Ferrari, but one suspects that it is a bit more that the market price for your average early-60s sports car.

It's all about McQueen - an actor perhaps more associated with fast cars than anyone out there.. The car chase scene in Bullitt is one of the most famous, and widely imitated, sequences in the history of film. In his non-screen life, McQueen really did race - motorbikes, cars, on-road and off. So if you want some McQueen memoriabilia, a car makes sense. But why McQueen in the first place?

The McQueen mystique - which clearly still lingers almost 30 years after his death - is about way more than speed. He drank. He smoked. He fought. He was - despite a small stature - instantly tougher and meaner than anyone he faced off with on screen. Simply, there has never been an actor so effortlessly cool on screen. No wonder guys still see him as the ultimate guy's guy. Whether chasing down the bad guys in San Francisco or escaping them in WWII Germany, McQueen exuded a confident screw-you attitude that almost all young men covet.

So, the enduring appeal of Steve McQueen isn't really all that surprising. What is surprising? That there's no-one in Hollywood today that comes anywhere close. It's all Orlando Bloom pretty boys and Sean Penn artistes and Vince Vaughn frat boys.

Where have the men gone?

George Clooney comes close, I suppose, to being a real man - but is just a little too self-aware and sensitive for the job (the hang-dog puppy eyes his characters always lay on to get laid pretty much rule him out.)

Brad Pitt? Much as one might admire his newfound daddy-of-the-world status, it doesn't exactly bolster the manly-man cred. Besides, I suspect that Angie's the one on top in that relationship.

Leonardo DiCaprio? Johnny Depp? Owen Wilson? Girls go crazy for them. But guy's guys? I don't think so.

Even Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a quietly lethal amnesiac spy, really just wants to settle down with his girlfriend and snuggle by the sea.

Has most women's desire for sensitive studs killed the real man in Hollywood?


  • At 2:29 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    George Clooney is old Hollywood. We need him to be our Cary Grant/Clark Gable.

    We have to look outside of North America for men's men. Clive Owen, Daniel Craig, and (if he'd do a decent movie again) Benico Del Toro.

    He'd come home late from drinking, smoking, and fighting with the boys. He doesn't give a shit you had a hard day at work. But you'd still gladly pour him his scotch and take him to bed.

  • At 1:12 p.m., Blogger Jen said…

    Clive Owen and Daniel Craig - I like both of those suggestions. I'm afraid the powder blue swimsuit may have killed a bit of the Craig mystique, though.

    But Clive Owen, now he has some real man's man potential.

  • At 1:27 p.m., Blogger Unknown said…

    what about Jason Stantham? he's pretty manly in his films, with the smoking and the driving and the fighting. He's not looking to settle down. He's a Brit, so I wonder if there are any manly North American males left. You know, aside from me.

  • At 1:17 p.m., Blogger Jen said…

    Weary Hubby suggested Russell Crowe. But I just can't see Steve McQueen throwing a phone a someone. Real men don't have Naomi Campbell hissy fit.


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