Hugh Jackman, dreamy star of 'Kate & Leopold,' picks his favorite movies to smooch to.

With its slashing claws and flying fur, Hugh Jackman’s U.S. film debut as Wolverine in last year’s X-Men didn’t seem to be an auspicious introduction for a romantic leading man — unless, of course, you’re a member of PETA.

But somehow, the 33-year-old Australian has since parlayed this animalistic role into pure animal attraction. While his follow-up, the Ashley Judd romantic comedy Someone Like You (U.K. title: Animal Attraction), didn’t exactly set tongues — or tails — wagging, few complained about the scene in which Jackman emoted while clad only in his Skivvies. And for moviegoers who still weren’t sure that the actor oozes sex, even in the worst of circumstances (or movies), there was the moment in Swordfish where Jackman showed that a gun to his head couldn’t entirely ruin a rousing moment.

Now Jackman’s back, fully dressed — behaving oh-so-properly in waistcoat and cravat — with Kate & Leopold, in which he plays a 19th-century duke who lands in 21st-century Manhattan and falls for a thoroughly modern career gal (Meg Ryan). ”It just felt like being in this movie, or hopefully seeing this movie, you might actually think about the way you live your life,” says Jackman. ”You might just buy a bunch of flowers for your partner, and not just the cheapest in the bunch. Manners [aren’t] just about formalities, they’re about honoring the people you are with.”

Jackman’s currently with his wife, actress Deborra-Lee Furness, and toddler, Oscar, in London, awaiting the Dec. 21 opening of Kate & Leopold. Here’s what this newly minted loverman likes to watch on a cold winter night, when it’s time to turn up the heat.

CASABLANCA (1942) Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman ”I love its unsentimentality, its romantic approach. It’s incredibly epic, which the best romances are, with the scope of the war and what was at stake. I suppose for me it’s about the love that came out of this hopeless situation. The first time I saw it I was in acting school and someone said, ‘You have to see it,’ and I was watching sort of out of duty, but I was blown away. We have the soundtrack to Casablanca, and put it on for very romantic nights.”

AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (1957) Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr ”I haven’t seen it but my wife said, ‘You have to list it.’ She said, ‘Lie.’ There’s another one I haven’t seen but she said, ‘You can’t do the list without it, that’s grounds for divorce,’ and that’s The Way We Were. She’s seen it 20 times and can recite all the lines. My wife goes right down for anything Barbra Streisand.”

BAREFOOT IN THE PARK (1967) Robert Redford, Jane Fonda ”Redford is so good in it, and the dialogue is so fantastic. It’s the kind of movie you don’t see that often these days — it’s a situation comedy. It’s this young couple stuck in this house and newly married, and they’re trying to come to terms with being in love and living together. It’s not at all familiar because now we all live together from the moment we’re dating. It starts with this shot of the couple going into [a hotel] room and closing the door on their honeymoon night, and you see newspaper after newspaper piling up — you know it’s days before they come out. Nowadays, everyone’s been shagging miles before they’ve gotten married, so the wedding night is all about getting a good night’s sleep.”