Simply The Best – Day Seven of Seven Days of Good Men in Movies, On T.V. and in Books

I’m breaking out “Nobody Does It Better” for this post, because the men we are about to meet truly are the best of the best, In my opinion. I already covered Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead, and I don’t want to repeat what I said about him, but since this IS the best of post, know that my perfect man is a combination of all of the men in this post and him. It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? What started out as a reaction to the frenzy over Fifty Shades of Grey and the dubious Mr. Grey himself has really turned into a celebration of the truly heroic male characters that populate big and small screens, books and comic books.  As fictional as these men are, there are real, important lessons to be learned about what qualities we seek out – either in fantasy or in real life – when we are searching for a person to love.

This is how far we’ve come, so many men…. I bet you’re wondering how I’m going to top the choices we’ve had so far, but I’m going to do my best.

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Atticus Finch – To Kill A Mockingbird

When I first read To Kill A Mockingbird in high school, I remember thinking that Atticus Finch was the kind of man I wished my father had been. (I have a wonderful stepfather, though)  Reading the novel and watching the movie as an adult, I found myself half in love with him (or maybe completely in love, because I’m teary as I write this about him). Atticus Finch is the best father. He’s an honorable man, well respected in his community and the kind of man people look to when they have doubts about the world around them. Most of all, he loves his late wife and you can hear it in how he talks to his children about her. The goodness of Atticus Finch is evident in how he treats Tom Robinson, his client, and the entire Robinson family. He doesn’t brag about his accomplishments or complain about the problems laid at his feet.
Atticus Finch is just about the perfect man, in my opinion. Other than my grandpa, who truly was the best of men. 🙂

And,then....there is Clark Kent

And,then….there is Clark Kent

The first ‘heart-throb’ poster I had on my wall when I was young was of Superman. It was Christopher Reeve as Superman, but the Man of Steel has cast a very long shadow since those days. It’s a cliché that all superheroes have a secret identity, to protect themselves and the people they love from danger. On the surface, it seems like it’s Kal-El, the Kryptonian orphan who lives as Clark Kent, hiding in plain sight. The truth is, it’s Clark Kent that puts on the Superman suit to use the super powers he has to make the world he calls home a better place and to protect the other residents of Earth. This is an important distinction, especially where we are talking about superheroes. In the case of Batman, Bruce Wayne is the mask, the place where the Caped Crusader lives. The Batsuit is his uniform, not a disguise, where the Superman suit is definitely a garment designed distract from the man wearing it. There is nothing about Clark Kent that isn’t good, honest and best of all, optimistic. He believes the best of people without being naïve, in the same way Atticus Finch does. Clark Kent is a devoted son, a good friend and in love with his headstrong, determined, and loyal girlfriend, Lois Lane. That his god-like power is held in check by his wonderfully humble humanity is beyond amazing.
I love Clark Kent.

George Bailey and Mary Hatch - It's a Wonderful Life

George Bailey and Mary Hatch – It’s a Wonderful Life

This series would not be complete without my talking even a little bit about George Bailey. George is also one of the best men ever – selfless, compassionate, community minded, loving, loyal and determined. Watching It’s A Wonderful Life, you watch him grow from a little boy who sacrifices his hearing to save his brother to a young man who gives up the future he’s dreamed for himself to save the family business, send his brother to school, marry the girl down the street, sacrifice his honeymoon to save the family business….you get the idea.  George keeps his sense of humor all the way through, until finally it’s a situation where he KNOWS he would take the fall for his elderly uncle and lose everything he’s managed to build for himself while giving up his real dreams. It’s his love for his wife and children that wakes him up to the truth of his life – that it’s so worth living – something he’s always known. Once again, we have a man that is respected for his thoughtfulness, his dedication to his community and his unswerving loyalty to his family. It’s is easy to see why Mary adores him. We all should.

Well, that’s it. Seven day of better men than Mr. Grey. Now, it’s time for you to let me know what you think – who are your picks? What makes them good men? What makes anyone a good man?

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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5 thoughts on “Simply The Best – Day Seven of Seven Days of Good Men in Movies, On T.V. and in Books

  1. I agree with Atticus Finch, though I must say I never got the Clark Kent/ Superman thing (any version). I would pick James Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I would throw in Linus Larrabee from Sabrina and Joe Bradley from Roman Holiday. My top spot is undoubtedly reserved for Mr. Darcy, who you included in a prior post. It’s been a fun week following along with your choices!

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    • Good choices! Mr. Darcy is a popular choice, and that always gives me hope. Clark Kent is a lot like Atticus, raised in Kansas, but very similar. There is a tremendous lot to say for a character that doesn’t take this immense power they have and abuse it, in my mind. I agree about Joe Bradley, but Atticus Finch tops him for me. 🙂

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  2. I love this Denise your choices are wonderful. I too am a Clark Kent fan. Every since I seen my first cartoon and found out that he was originally designed by a Canadian. My picks would be Clark Kent/Superman, Jack Carson, (another Canadian actor), who played a guest supporting actor in Mr. Smith goes to Washington, Sidney Poitier (Mr.Tibbs), Clark Gable (Rhett Butler) Gone with the Wind, Errol Flynn (Robin Hood) Yul Brynner, (King and I) and John Wayne (Mclintock, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) are my favorite movies of his. All these men were illustrious in their movie careers, and in reality. They filled my head with what real men should be and act like. My Mom was a James Cagney fan as well. They just don’t make them like that anymore. Great topic, I’m going to read more of your previous posts. 😊

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