Let’s give it up for the ponciest, flounciest, and prissiest of characters in historical costume movies: foppish boys! I counted down my honorary mentions and top 6-10 fops last Friday, now let’s go to the best of the best:
#5: Richard Cosway in Jefferson in Paris (1995)
I’m not positive why Simon Callow as Richard Cosway kills me so much in Merchant/Ivory‘s Jefferson in Paris. It’s partially the wig and makeup, but it’s even more Simon fickin’ Callow, who can ponce with the best of them! So he’s a cockblocker, he looks great doing it…
#4: The Prince of Wales in Blackadder the Third (1987)
Blackadder, in all its iterations, has had many fops, but no season is foppier than the 18th century-set one (Blackadder the Third):
But none of them can match the MAD GENIUS of Hugh Laurie as the Prince of Wales. Okay, so I’ve raved about this version of Prinny before. It doesn’t matter. Laurie’s Prince of Wales is the foppiest, airhead-iest, ditziest, flounciest man in Regency England!
#3: Lord Arthur Goring in An Ideal Husband (1999)
Oh, Rupert Everett as Lord Goring. SIGH. So dapper. So perfectly turned out at every moment. So god-damned witty! Yeah, pair a hot, talented actor, sharp suits, and Oscar Wilde’s genius writing, and you’ve got the fop you really really want to shag.
And yes, you may want to split hairs about a “dandy” vs. a “fop.” I guess they are different, but I’m still including Everett/Goring in my list. BECAUSE I WANT TO.
#2: Sir Percy Blakeney in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)
It’s probably going to be a fight-to-the-death about whether I’m right to put the fabulous Sir Percy in at number 2 and not number 1. Sir Percy Blakeney is, of course, the foppiest, prissiest, flounciest fop EVER as a disguise for his real identity as a badass spy known as The Scarlet Pimpernel. And, of course, there’s been multiple versions of this story, and you may be team Leslie Howard (don’t hate me, but I haven’t seen that version yet so I can’t compare!) or Richard E. Grant (who, in my opinion, pales in comparison).
Anyway, Anthony Andrews just about killed me with his take on Sir Percy. He flounces. He gesticulates. He gets prissy. He fluffs his lace and prances around and then suddenly, WHOMP, he’s all badass and capable and hot.
#1: The Duc d’Orléans in Marie Antoinette (1938)
I’m sorry guys, but the Joseph Schildkraut as the duc d’Orléans just takes the cake for me with THAT HAIR and THAT MAKEUP. Gaaaaaaahhhhhh! So he’s really evil, and plotting against you, and would compromise you in an instant! LOOK AT THOSE PINCURLS!! THE 1930S PENCIL BROWS!!! THE CUPID’S BOW LIPS!!!!!
Okay, let’s do this. Are you going to kill me over Leslie Howard? Who else did I forget?