Hottest Books & Movies — Flashback

                           Flashback to Juvenile Infatuations
                                                     By Jeff Salter

             I’m dodging a bullet here.  It’s a bit unseemly for a gentleman to reveal his most sizzling experience with a book or a film — even if that gentleman is the resident ‘Hound’.  So here’s a compromising variation which might satisfy this week’s theme, without getting me in hot water … so to speak.

 Books that were really HOT … in their day
            Yep, here’s my dodge:  these were the FIRST books I ever read that were hot.  And they were smokin’.
            Ian Fleming’s James Bond series.  After seeing “From Russia With Love” on the silver screen, I was hooked on J.B. and had to read the books which inspired that movie and “Goldfinger” … and others (though they quickly went downhill).  Don’t even remember which book I saw first, but I read ‘em all.  At that time, paperbacks were 50 cents or less and my dad soon acquired the complete set.
            Of course, they are unbelievably tame by today’s standards, but in the early 1960s, those books were scorching — a perfect blend of heroic action, lovely ladies … and escapism.  Bond was quite a guy and all his women were gorgeously ‘built’.
            One anecdote about my reading those ‘hot’ books (at about age 13-14):  My dad approached me and said, “Aren’t you a little young to be reading those Bond books?”  Without hesitation, I responded (quite sincerely … and not nearly as snarky as it sounds now):  “Aren’t you a little old to be reading them?”  My dad, in his ‘ancient’ mid-forties, just laughed … and we both continued to enjoy Bond books.

 The hottest females in movies … way back when
            This part is not about particular movies that were inordinately hot (although Marilyn Monroe’s performance in “Some Like It Hot” was extremely … uh, hot).  Here, my dodge is that these were the FIRST screen stars I ‘fell in love’ with … back in those tender days of boyhood-through-adolescence.  So, with no attempt to isolate particular films (and in no particular order), here’s my partial list of Hollywood Hotties who fed my juvenile infatuations:
            *  Jill St. John — vivacious, flirty, sexy, pretty, & smart
            *  Ann-Margaret — pretty, vivacious, flirty, & sexy (& usually managed to make it seem wholesome)
            *  Barbara Eden — vivacious, flirty, pretty, & sexy (& in her TV ‘Jeanie’ role … unbelievably naive)
            *  Marilyn Monroe — voluptuous & sensuous (but seemed oddly ‘innocent’ at times)
            *  Stella Stevens — voluptuous & flirty (& seemed to enjoy her roles)
            *  Kim Novak — lovely & sultry … but classy
            *  Sophia Loren — shapely & sultry (but usually seemed moody)
            *  Gina Lollobrigida — pretty, voluptuous, seductive & earthy
            *  Claudia Cardinale — shapely, seductive & earthy
            *  Janet Leigh — voluptuous (but not really ‘sexy’)
            *  Raquel Welch — she had the breathtaking proportions of a Barbie doll … but (unfortunately) only that same degree of warmth & personality
            *  Maureen O’Hara — gorgeous & spirited
            *  Jean Simmons — lovely & classy
            *  Deborah Kerr — lovely & elegant
            *  Debra Padgett — pretty in a ‘college campus’ sort of way

 Question:
            So those are among the film stars who made my juvenile hormones crackle.  Who (on the silver screen) FIRST made you swoon?  And WHY?
            What were the FIRST books you read which were ‘hot’?

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
This entry was posted in Jeff Salter and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Hottest Books & Movies — Flashback

  1. Tonya Kappes says:

    What a great list, but Marilyn never has done anything for me! I’m not into women who make themselves look like air-heads. I maybe be young, but I love old movies with hearthrobs like Rock Hudson, and Carey Grant:))

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      You’re up very early again, Tonya. Glad you stopped by.
      Yeah, Cary Grant was a favorite of mine and I’ve enjoyed nearly all of his movies.. I liked Rock Hudson in some of his action roles (like Ice Station Zebra), but not so much in the fluffy comedies. One exception was where he played a dept. store fishing equipment expert but he had never even been fishing before.

      Like

  2. jeff7salter says:

    It didn’t fit in my column today — since these were MY adolescent ‘crushes’ — but my wife pointed out some screen hotties of a few decades prior: Ava Gardner & Rita Hayworth. It’s true that both are attractive, but none of the few clips (of them in films) that I’ve seen have drawn me in. Not sure why.
    And two more ladies for my list that I didn’t think of earlier: Natalie Wood in “The Great Race” — luscious. And Mitzi Gaynor in several films — like Ann-Margaret, she was pretty, flirty, lively, sexy … yet seemed incredibly wholesome.

    Like

  3. Elaine says:

    Ah Jeff. Memory lane, and it’s quite a bumpy ride on occasion! Dare I admit my age and swooning for (gasp) Shaun Cassidy when he starred in the 70s TV show ‘The Hardy Boys’? He was the first swoon, followed by various others of that generation.

    While I certainly agree that many typical actors are eye-candy material (Brad Pitt, anyone?) I will say my tastes have shifted as I’ve grown older. Now it’s the actors who intrigue me rather than make me swoon. Gary Sinise, for example. Love his performance in everything, and his quiet yet stunning acting talent will make him always beat out the typical heartthrobs 🙂

    Interesting list on your side too!
    Elaine

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Wonderful to see you here again, Elaine. Yes, Gary S. is a terrific actor, though I think he’s under-utilized in his CSI-NY role.
      Shaun C. never made my radar, as you can imagine.
      You’ve got an excellent point about our tastes changing: actors who intrigue us rather than make us swoon. In some sense, relationships are like that as they mature … though, hopefully there’s still some ‘swooning’.
      Sean Connery is one actor who has survived many decades and remains a terrific actor as well as a genuinely handsome male specimen. And, of course, he was the first Bond I saw on screen. Ha.

      Like

  4. crbwrites says:

    Back in the day, when bomb threats were the norm for my high school on sunny Friday mornings (and we weren’t even frightened, because we knew, or suspected we knew, which kids made the call) we all evacuated to the stadium. Part of the entertainment was searching out the hot parts in the novels of the time. I particularly remember The Godfather. My first screen crush? Clint Eastwood. In the ultra-hot movie musical, Paint Your Wagon. (Yes, I’m laughing at myself.) And then Warren Beatty in Shampoo.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Chris, my wife and I both love “Paint your Wagon” — though, in my case at least, not for the songs. Other than Mariah and Wandrin’ Star, the songs are just so-so. Clint’s solo is awful, IMHO.
      Never seen the entire movie Shampoo, but I remember a lot of buzz about it.
      The Godfather movie is intense and riveting … and I appreciate it on many levels. Never read the book(s) however.

      Like

  5. Micki Gibson says:

    Elaine’s not alone! Believe it or not, Shaun Cassidy popped into my mind as the first one I remember oohing and ahhing over back when I was in 4th grade. The next celebrity crush I clearly recall shifts to music when my friends and I would have deep discussions about the hottest member of Duran Duran (clearly John Taylor with Simon LeBon a close second). And then there was Tom Cruise who held the top spot for quite a while. Mel Gibson nudged him aside for a while, then they both jumped onto the crazy train. However, my top hottie from music who took the reins from the Duran Duran guys has been firmly planted there since 1986 and shows no signs of leaving is Jon Bon Jovi. (See Monday’s post here.) Major swoon. But there’s a movie coming out TOMORROW starring two of my current faves….Cowboys and Aliens with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. See Jeff? I like a Bond Guy too!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      I’ve never been a Tom Cruise fan. I used to like Mel Gibson pretty well, but lately he can’t stay out of the headlines. I prefer my fav. movie stars to stay on the screen and out of the tabloids.
      But Dan’l Craig and Harrison Ford are two fantastic actors. In fact, I’ve used a younger Harrison as a model for my heroine’s boyfriend in 3 of my novels.

      Like

  6. Linda says:

    Oh, Jeff, it’s so nice to see names you don’t see much anymore. Thanks for the memories! And thanks to my mother, I have such a passion for old movies. Although my all-time favorite film stars are Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, my “crushes” were all TV stars. David Selby (Quentin Collins on Dark Shadows), Bill Bixby (Tim O’Hara on My Favorite Martian), Pernell Roberts (Adam Cartwright on Bonanza), who, sadly, just passed away not long ago, and David Hedison (Captain Lee Crane on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) all just set my little heart a-flutter–and truthfully, they still do when I see them on TV. I don’t remember reading any “hot” books, though–if my parents read them, they were very well hidden.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Glad to have you stop by, Linda.
      David Hedison? LOL. I’m afraid he’s way down on my list of impressive actors.
      I used to like Pernell R. and Bill B. quite a bit — didn’t Bill play half of the Hulk also?
      Not familiar with Selby, though I do recall hearing about the series Dark Shadows.
      Never was a fan of Fred A., though I loved Ginger Rogers.
      Never liked Gene Kelly, though I admired his athleticism.

      Like

  7. Hi Jeff! I’ll have to go with Shaun Cassidy…and then ‘Jake Ryan’ from Sixteen Candles. Yeah, I said it. Loved Jake Ryan and kept waiting for him to rescue me from church every Sunday. Sadly, he never showed up in his red Porche.

    From your list, Maureen O’Hara is my absolute favorite. Irene Dunne was a lot of fun, too — especially in ‘Life with Father.’ Have a great one! 🙂

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Rebecca, I also liked the Jake character in 16 candles, but I thought his girfriend was really hot.
      Glad you also appreciate Maureen O’hara — I don’t think we have movie stars like her anymore.

      Like

  8. Hi Jeff,
    this is a fun. Your list seems pretty comprehensive. I love that your wife is coaching you.

    I too loved those Hardy Boys. LOL. Oh, and Kurt Russell in those early Disney films! ‘Jake Ryan’ was dreamy in Sixteen Candles. Who didn’t love that movie? When I was a little older it was Mad Max Mel and Risky Business Tommy, might as well throw in Thelma and Louise’s Brad too.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Thanks for visiting today, Kimberley.
      I’m a fan of Kurt Russell’s acting and he’s certainly had a LONG & productive career.
      As I recall Brad P.’s debut in Thelma & Louise, it was his keester which got more attention than his acting. LOL. Brad is certainly a good-looking guy. It will be interesting to see if he ages well. Some of those guys from his era have already gone to seed. For example, what the heck happened to Mickey Rourke? Yikes.

      Like

  9. I swooned over all of the “boys” in The Outsiders: Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze and Emilio Estevez- that movie was SMOKIN’!!! I also fell in love with Jared Leto when he played Jordan Catalano in the television series “My So Called Life”. I was already in college at the time, but the scenes where he would kiss Claire Dane’s character were hot. Oh, and Dennis Quaid in the movie mentioned yesterday, “The Big Easy”. I drooled big time over him.

    My first “hot” book was “Wifey” from Judy Blume. I “borrowed” it from my mom without her knowledge.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Happy to have you visit, Meredith.
      I was a fan of P. Swayze, but mostly his action roles like “Road House”. I did watch Dirty Dancing with my daughter (who was in LOVE with Patrick) but I never got into it.
      Rob Lowe is one of those good-looking guys that I speculate will look awful when he ages a bit more. Though he could surprise me and be like Cary Grant or Sean Connery … both who aged very well.

      Like

  10. ~Sia McKye~ says:

    I slogged through Mischner’s Hawaii in grade school. Pretty racy and the language, wow. There were a couple of Sci-Fi books that were rather racy but I can’t remember the names.

    On your list, I loved Maureen O’Hara and Kim Novak because they were feisty, gorgeous and classy.

    Since my dad was a big western fan and if you wanted to watch TV you watched them. At the tender age of 7 or 8, I think, I fell in love with Little Joe, on Bonanza. He was young and cute, had a horse and a cool place to ride it. I think James Drury and Doug McClure came next, cool horses, could kick serious butt, and had grand adventures. Rory Calhoun, tough guy, cool horses, adventures, and kicking bad guy butts. hmm, I think I’m seeing a pattern here.

    My mom thought Cary Grant and Errol Flynn were hot. I didn’t like Errol–too effeminate for me, although charming in the rolls he played. This was the time when all the old movies played on TV during the summer. I liked Clark Gable because he was hot, for an older guy, sophisticated and had that slightly rough and dangerous edge. I loved sexy Cary Grant (James Stewart too) as a romantic comedy lead. I still like that type of hero, funny, good looking, sophisticated, witty. He could portray a tough guy too. I absolutely loved him in Gunga Din–“Tho’ I’ve belted you and flayed you, By the livin’ Gawd that made you, You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”

    Some of my favorite actors: James Garner, Michael Douglas (Loved him on Streets of SF and as Jack in Romancing the Stone), Sean Connery (in anything he’s sexy and tough), Tom Selleck (Magnum PI, Jesse Stone, Blue Bloods), Pierce Brosnan (Remington Steele and The Thomas Crown Affair), Avery Brooks (Hawk and Deep Space 9), Viggo Mortensen, Karl Urban (LOTRs) Hmm, I’m seeing a pattern again. What can I say, I love kick ass character who are charming and have a sense of humor.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      I agree, Sia, charm and sense of humor can go a long way. In your list, I also like Selleck and Brosnan and Garner. Never cared for Mike Douglas. I also liked James Drury and Rory Calhoun — I was big for western and wanted to ride a horse and shoot guns.

      Like

  11. Laurie Ryan says:

    I had to read your “hottest ladies” list to my husband. He gave resounding approval. lol

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Laurie, tell your husband (for me) that he has excellent taste in cinematic females! LOL
      Thanks for visiting again today.

      Like

  12. Good rundown of the women!! I tried to read a James Bond book once and couldn’t get through it. Seemed a bit cheesy.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Jillian, that might depend on which decade you read it. IN the early 60s, it was sizzling stuff. Today, it’s probably just ‘retro’.

      Like

      • Early 60s I was a little kid- more like the 80s

        Like

      • jeff7salter says:

        Yep, the Bond books were pretty cheesy by the 80s. Of course, by then the Bond movies had become nothing but special effects displays … with awful acting and laughable plots.
        Now, I will say that in the 80s a new writer took over from Fleming and wrote a few Bond books. His are actually better books — in a literary sense — than Fleming’s were. Don’t recall his name at the moment.

        Like

  13. jbrayweber says:

    Great list, Jeff. Love some of those ladies you have listed. On of my favs is Maureen O’Hara.
    I think I was in love with the boys from Young Guns and the TV series Younger Riders. A little dirty, a little dangerous, and a lot good-lookin’!

    Jenn!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Great to see you today, Jenn.
      Wow, Maureen O’Hara is one of the favorites of most respondents today.
      I have no recollection of those two TV series you mentioned. Hmm.
      Dirty, dangerous, and attractive — that’s often a nice combo. Works for pirates too, doesn’t it?

      Like

  14. I will admit to finding and reading a copy of The Happy Hooker that someone left behind when it was out; it is pretty tame by any standards of today, but then,it was really controversial,a real ‘hot’ book at the time.
    I will also admit to staying up in the late 1960’s and watching TV, long before cable. In the Washington, DC area, the stations were pretty conservative, but at night, you could get in Harrisburg,PA and Baltimore, MD stations that were pretty loose with what they showed in the wee hours.I don’t remember which one I watched the one night, in the dark, alone, volume down,through the ‘snow’ of the poor reception on the black and white screen, but there was a Japanese movie about a Samuri who was rescuing and guarding a ‘Lady’.He had a duty to keep her safe …and happy, apaprently. I did not know about certain ways to make women happy until that night.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      LOL, Tonette, “keeping women happy”? Can’t believe a Samuri warrior would give a hoot. My earlest contact with cable was HBO, back in the mid 70s I believe, at my brother’s house in Mobile AL. There weren’t very many mainstream movies which were much more than what we’d consider PG13 these days, but I do remember seeing a few glimpses of partial nudity. Totally shocked. On TELEVISION? Impossible! Ha. Times have changed.

      Like

      • Oh,I won’t go into detail here, Jeff…I guess the man was under orders…she was the noblewoman here…they all called her Lady Some-one-or-other. I have no idea how this one slipped by to get on-air, to tell you the truth.
        I always wanted to look like Sophia Loren. They used to compare my mother to Rita Heyworth..she was actually insulted when,(in the 1950’s) her best friend’s husband told her ,( my red-haired, green-eyed Italian mother), that she looked like Gina Lollobridgida…I would consider it a compliment to be told I look like old Gina does NOW!

        Like

      • jeff7salter says:

        I haven’t seen a pix of Gina Lollo … taken recently, but she used to be a real knock-out. Her accent was also very cool. Well, it was very ‘hot’ actually.
        Back to Sophia L., do you agree that she always seemed very MOODY? Or was that just me?

        Like

  15. Lois Grant says:

    Jeff, I am old enough that my first “hot” books were Zane Gray and Ernest Hemingway. I was a young teen busy reading my way through the Lecompte Branch of the Rapides Parish Library. Looking back it is funny to think about them being censored with the curse words written with just the first letter and a long dash, obviously very old copyright dates. Can’t remember titles, but Frank Yerby wrote some that were considered steamy in the late 50s. Of course, he is tame compared to the ones now a days. My favorite “hot” actors were Cary Grant, James Garner and Gregory Peck. My favorite “hot” TV stars were Pernell Roberts on Bonanza and Richard Chamberlain on Dr. Kildaire. I still consider Tom Selleck one of the HOTTEST TV actors of all times, though. A hot Clint Eastwood movie that I liked which was also a good suspense was Play Misty For Me. Enjoy your blogs as you always bring about a good discussion.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Glad you stopped by, Sug.
      Yeah, we do have some great discussions on this group blog … but that’s partly because we have great visitors with insightful comments.
      Grerg Peck was one of my favorite male actors. He certainly was distinguished looking, but I never thought of him as classically ‘handsome’. Oh, I remember so many girls had crushes on Dr. Kildare. LOL.
      I enjoyed the Magnum series, but my fav. Tom Selleck roles were in the Sackett series and some movie about tiny robots (which critics panned broadly).
      Play Misty for Me was an excellent film — very interesting in how deeply it went into the psychology of that disturbed woman.

      Like

  16. I haven’t seen Gina lately, either…I was kidding; I mean, Mom wasn’t bad looking to say the least, but insulted at being compared to a young Gina L??? Big ego, Mom had, I guess.I didn’t inherit her looks or confidence.
    Sophia was moody…I think it was part of her mystique.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      I don’t know many guys who find ‘moody’ to be attractive. Maybe Sophia was trying for mysterious or sultry. LOL

      Like

  17. I never watched a lot of TV or movies, but the movie guy to capture my attention was Indiana Jones. (I still like my man filthy … go figure). Years ago my parents made me go with them to the movie theater to see one of them and I had no idea I’d enjoy it SO much. ;c) As for books, I used to get Harlequins from the grocery store. I think I read my first at 11 or 12ish.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Glad you made it, Sarah. I kept the porch light on for you.
      Yeah, I’m a fan of Indy Jones also — at least the first three. I thought that last one was quite disappointing. At age 70 (I think), Ford is just a leetle past playing such a swashbuckling role IMHO.
      I wonder how many billions of Harlequins have been printed? I’d bet most young ladies had their first taste of ‘grown-up’ romance literature through that brand.

      Like

  18. I don’t know if it was a curse or a blessing, but my grandfather could have been a double for actor Clint Walker. Dad, uncles, brothers, cousins: they all were attractive. And the few of us girls there were used to make spending money running interference for them from adoring females! lol I love bribery! Growing up around them, a guy just being good looking didn’t mean that much. So I think I missed all the juvenile crushes until I saw Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. That man could move like a dream! I read from every genre; and Mom loved the Harlequins. I’d snitch them when she was through. But I always needed a strong story line to stay interested.

    Dang it, Jeff. It’s all your fault! Now I have to go dig out my copy of Dirty Dancing!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Hooray, Runere, you made it just before I logged-off for the night.
      Clint Walker — was he the big muscular dude who played Cheyene on TV?
      Yeah, Swayze had some moves on the dance floor, but he could also fight up a storm. Watch ‘Road House’ if you want to see some action.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s