When we saw the beard that was sporting for the Southern indie drama Joe, we knew it was good. But soon, the screen-beard historian awakened in us, and we decided to measure just how well Cage's facial bravado holds up the best of the furry best.
As such, we proudly present the 10 best beards in cinema history. Some are ridiculous, some are darn pretty, but all of them uttelry awesome.
10. in Sleepers
Always an underappreciated actor (right now delivering one of the best performances of his career in FX's Justified), proved how much sadness you can express with a hefty upper lip plumage in the dark courtroom drama Sleepers. A superior piece of 'stache driven acting!
9. Peter Sellers in A Shot in the Dark
In the movie A Shot in the Dark, 's thick snot mop underlines Inspector Clouseau's utter helplessnes in regards to the world. The mustache could best be described as the furry equivalent of a chubby sauna guest refusing to keep his distance.
8. Roger Livesay in The Life and Times of Colonel Blimp
Michael Powell's charming The Life and Times of Colonel Blimp exudes British-ness from every pore. But Roger Livesay's walrus of a mustache must be considered the flagship of the whole enterprise, paying homage to the heroic and the silly aspects of English Gentleman-ship. Both adjectives seem quite appropriate for Livesay's dapper stache, too, if we dare say. We do.
7. Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski
While it's certainly true that the Dude's rug tied that room together, the same could be said about the mighty goatee on his face. One equally well-bearded stranger began the story with, "Way out west there was this fella..." We might add, "...and this fella sported one hell of a beard."
6. Tom Selleck in Quigley Down Under
We're pretty strict concerning the distinction between movie and TV beards here, which unfortunately means we can't include 's magnificent nose neighbor in Magnum. Before you cry out, "Sacrilege," fear not -- Selleck's facial hairiness isn't limited to his iconic TV private eye. Indeed, Mr. Selleck proved that a dusty Wild West Van Dyke can steal a whole (slightly underrated) movie in Quigley Down Under.
5. Bruno Ganz in Downfall
played Adolf 'The Toothbrush' Hitler with just the right kind of ATZUNDZUGNAUFN-ness that we demand of every portray of the decidedly shitty dictator. The mad shape and cut of the brushy Lip Hat communicate mad determination and intensity, making us wonder, how many wily attacks on Eva Braun's bunker did the scrubby soup strainer lead? Honestly, we just wanted to see him punched in it.
4. Sean Connery in The Man Who Would be King
In most films where willed his face to grow facial hair, it worked as a quasi-teaser for the rest of his body. The often mustachio-shaped beard basically said, "Hey, if you go one floor down there is so much more." That may have been slightly intriguing in the past, but not so in The Man Who Would be King. The only hairs we can pay attention to are the ones that make up his mammoth handlebars. It's only fitting that the 'man who would be king' would sport facial hair worthy of a monarch.
3. Burt Reynolds in Smokey & the Bandit
Similarly to Sean Connery, could basically star in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as a human undercover agent, who tries to find out what those furry fiends are up to. If we had to single out the one piece of Reynolds' immense body rug we're most interested in, it had to be that stellar piece of face furniture most perfectly displayed in Smokey & the Bandit. In the kingdom of the stache, Reynolds is the prince. The king, however, is...
2. Sam Elliot in The Big Lebowski
truly is the man. Equipped with a voice so deep it drills a hole in your brain, his mustache could very well be that symbol of manhood that generations of males will strive for. If you look closely, this gray, well-brushed edifice of virility is formed like a bird, which makes sense. It can return quicker to the celestial heights it came from in the blink of an eye.
1. Robert Redford in Jeremiah Johnson & Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
I still have a deep appreciation for 's commitment to a beard without any kind of shame. Before hipsters stole the 'stache, Redford showed the world how it should be worn as the Sundance Kid. Before Indie bands decided it was cool to wear big scruffy hobo beards, Redford fought bears with it in Jeremiah Johnson. Bravo, sir, bravo!
That was our selection. What do you think? Do you have a favorite pile of hair attached to a famous face? Let's talk about this, it's totally not weird at all!