As part of our ongoing effort to recognize and acknowledge the signature styles of men throughout time, we’d like to turn our attention to some of the men whose lives have been documented on-camera.
America has taken a tremendous amount of its cultural and fashion ideals from that which has been represented on film and in motion pictures. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword having art imitate life, as well as life imitating art. On the one hand, early motion pictures allowed humanity the first real opportunity to document and preserve cultural icons. On the other hand, as we look back, we have to take both the good and the bad from our own history. No matter how you look at it, we’re fortunate to have a record of our past. We can learn from it and revel in the nostalgia.
On film, men have oozed machismo, defied the physical boundaries of the human body, and played the hero time and time again. Here’s a look at a few men whose styles have become entrenched in the cultural landscape of America:
He had a career that spanned over 50 years, is widely considered one of the most influential actors of all time, and he has produced some of the most oft-quoted lines from cinema history. Marlon Brando helped popularize the Stanislavski method of acting, bringing an undeniable realism to his on-camera performances that had only previously been seen on Broadway.
Brando was never himself when you saw him. He was Stanley Kowalski, Terry Malone, or Vito Corleone. Brando didn’t just perform as these characters, he became them. And as such, he gave us images of the epitomized man in the 1940s, a rebellious motorcycle gang leader, a mafia boss and so many more that will be a part of the American consciousness forever.
He is widely regarded as an athlete, fighter, and actor who defied the very laws of nature as they apply to mankind. His physical acumen was unparalleled at the times that he was releasing movies in which he would perform lightning-fast feats of physical brilliance that were hard to believe when seen.
He could do push-ups with a couple of fingers. He could shatter wood blocks with a one-inch punch, and he moved so fast on film that it seemed as though he was flying. The man had trained himself to near physical perfection. And his talents didn’t end there.
Bruce Lee was also considered a philosopher and poet. His reflections on the body, emotional state, and life in general are held in regard almost as much as the brilliant mechanics of his finely honed physical skills.
Clint Eastwood is the image of a man that many have idealized for themselves. As a cowboy, he epitomized the rough-and-tumble male protagonists of spaghetti westerns. As a violent, anti-hero police officer, he became the picture of a man hell-bent on justice. Even in his 80’s, he pulled off the role of a benevolent old boxer, passing on his wisdom and his quietly paternal compassion to a young, upstart boxer. One way or another, he always plays a fighter, and we love to see him fight for us.
As a director, Eastwood’s work has drawn attention from ethics philosophers and theologians alike. His work often features questions of ethics and morality as a central plot point, particularly focusing on abstract subjects such as justice, death, violence, and how all of these concepts more interact with the human experience.
The filmic quality often ascribed to Eastwood’s directorial efforts is one of “noir-ish” lighting and backlighting, taking tonal elements from early black-and-white cinema. Some might call him the classic “Fighting Philosopher” of American cinema.
We look to these men from the Silver Screen as icons of American style and imagery. And while we don’t expect you to start rocking a yellow jumpsuit or old-fashioned western poncho, you might want to take a note or two from these icons. You could be like Brando, revitalizing a vintage, combed-back hairstyle. Or maybe you see yourself as a “Dirty Harry,” but your long locks need to be styled.
Whether you want to be the picture of masculinity or a symbol of athletic grace, it all starts with the right haircut and a good shave. At Crewners, we take the best influencers of the past and merge them with the highest level of modern barbering techniques and style. Book an appointment online today to become an icon in your own right.