Thursday, February 5, 2009

Top Dogs

Humphrey Bogart defined what it meant to be a man during the WWII era. The example he set is seen in many of my favorite macho-men characters. Men are supposed to be rough on the outside, and when you truly are allowed in, they are to be of great character. I grew up under such a man and it is a hard act to follow, yet there is example after example in film. So I would like to touch base on just a few of my personal heroes in film, my tribute to manly men of film!

You first have to define what makes a manly man. So here is my criteria, although others may differ. The man must be very rough and may come off as indifferent and neutral. Also, the man must have a turning point in his past that was the cause for him being rough. His turning point in a film must be a moment when he can finally gain the ability to empathize again.

The first comes as no surprise to those that know me, and that is Clint Eastwood. His work is a follow up to many old famous detectives, one of which Humphrey Bogart played in The Big Sleep. The entire Dirty Harry premises is based off of the idea of the rough, manly man. In his latest role in Gran Torino he is the macho man that I described. Tough on the outside, but play-dough to his values on the inside.

The last man I will talk about is an actor that comes under a lot of criticism for his beliefs and especially his height. You have it folks, it is Tom Cruise. I emulated him when I was little, and my favorite movie of his is and will always be Top Gun! It is the true testament to 80’s masculinity. I will most likely get railed for saying this, but it is one of my favorite movies of all time.


  1. I am not sure you have convinced me that Tom Cruise is cool just yet.

  2. All right here is the run down on why tom cruise is cool in top gun. Evidence A. he is constantly grinding against authority and never compromises his feeling for others. IN the beginning of the movie he risk his life and the million dollar jet to save one of his flying mates. He is constantly buzzing the tower and he makes one of his instructors fall in love with him. Honestly F John how is he not cool in the movie?

  3. For once, I agree with FJohn. You're going to make one heck of a case for Tom Cruise for me to believe that he's actually cool and not just crazy. ;)

    Very interesting approach to this journal. A little short - there are surely more manly men in film - but I liked what you were trying to do here. Keep it up!

  4. I'd like to hear even more about why Tom Cruise is cool, not just in Top Gun, but in the whole persona he embodies. (Let it be said right now that I agree with you -- he's a very talented actor, despite being somewhat crazy.)