Digging into my archive of articles from an old movie website that I used to write for, I stumbled across an old article I wrote up about beards in movies. At that time I wrote of my envy for those who can grow cool beards. A beard defines one’s manliness. After all, when was the last time you ever saw a clean-shaved Jesus? That’s right… never. Unforuntately, at that time I wrote that “my facial hair grows in looking like I pasted pubic hair to my face.” Nearly four years after I wrote that, nothing really has changed (but then again, Christian Bale grows a pretty shitty, pubic-looking beard too, so I have that to comfort me). I even tried to grow a ‘stache this summer, just for kicks, and failed miserably (i.e. I looked like a child molester).
As I must live vicariously through other bearded-folk, I put together a new, definitive list of great beards captured in cinema. There are plenty of great beards out there though, so if you feel someone got the short-handed by not making this list, feel free to comment. Otherwise, enjoy.
10. Russell Crowe in Gladiator
I have always been amazed how despite being a military general in battle for weeks on end, despite being a slave turned gladiator, Maximus was always able to keep his beard trimmed to perfection, his neck perfectly shaved, the hair on his cheeks trimmed neatly. It is apparent by the film that the Romans had very nice razors and treated their slaves very well.
9. Al Pacino in Serpico
How could one make a ‘Greatest Movie Beards’ list and not include Serpico, the only cool, hippie cop to ever grace the screen? He actually reminds me of our very own Andrew…
8. Harrison Ford in The Fugitive
Ever need a much more attractive Theodore Kaczynski for a biopic? Here you go. Where you at Oliver Stone?
7. Paul Newman in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
It was a rarity to see Mr. Newman’s usual babyface covered with any sort of stubble, let alone a full-out man’s man beard, but as the mythical jury, judge, and executioner Roy Bean, we got just what we’ve always wanted. This beard can only be described as “epic.”
6. Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of Sierra Madre
In many ways an inspiration for the character of Indiana Jones, from the outfit and fedora to his moral ambiguity, his carries a nice scruff not unlike Indy’s when he is off on many of his adventures.
5. Tom Hanks in Cast Away
Just like the crazy homeless guy who wanders through the park with his grocery cart full of kitty litter and hot pockets.
4. Toshiro Mifune in Yojimbo
Oddly enough, this bearded character inspired our number one choice as well.
3. Alan Rickman in Die Hard
Hans Gruber keeps his beard obsessively and sophisticatedly neat and proper, much like his meticulously laid out plans.
2. Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
With every post-1980 movie Sean Connery made, he redefined what it mean to be an old guy and have a beard – you know, without looking like that crazy homeless guy.
1. Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The beard that every man wishes he could grow. No more explanation needed.