Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Mustache or No Mustache? (or is it moustache?)


speedracer5
 Share

Recommended Posts

The inspiration behind this thread I've started:

 

Yesterday I watched True Confession with Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray.  In this film, MacMurray had a mustache.  A mustache?

 

Many of the male Hollywood stars experimented with mustaches and clean shaven.  Some were known for their mustache and others grew one if the role required it.  Some actors' mustaches were more successful than others and others it probably wouldn't matter if they grew a full face Grizzly Adams beard, they'd probably still look good (Flynn, I'm looking at you). 

 

Anyway...

 

post-28550-0-44466500-1408081584_thumb.jpeg

Fred MacMurray as he typically appeared in film, sans mustache.

 

post-28550-0-78732600-1408081630_thumb.jpg

 

Fred MacMurray with mustache. 

 

In my opinion, MacMurray looks better without the mustache.  I don't know what it is about him with facial hair, but it doesn't work for me.

 

post-28550-0-18521700-1408081700_thumb.jpeg

 

Cary Grant without mustache, as he was typically seen on screen.

 

post-28550-0-37002400-1408081731_thumb.jpg

 

Cary Grant with mustache.  I believe this is Gunga Din

 

Cary Grant does not need a mustache.

 

post-28550-0-23940300-1408081783_thumb.jpg

 

Clark Gable on the other hand, is known for his mustache.

 

post-28550-0-77151400-1408081820_thumb.jpg

 

Clark Gable without mustache.  He typically appeared without his mustache in many of his earlier films.  I think he shaved it off for the 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty.

 

I like Gable with his mustache.  I think it helps in lending a bit of ruggedness to his face, which works since he is typically cast as the hunky, rugged, outdoorsy type man.

 

post-28550-0-24758100-1408081915_thumb.jpg

 

Finally Errol Flynn.  His mustache appeared off and on in his films.  He seemed to have just as many films without as he does with.  However, typically Errol Flynn is depicted in caricatures (and in other types of imagery) with his classic, pencil thin mustache.

 

post-28550-0-43394800-1408081982_thumb.jpg

 

Flynn without the mustache.  It gives his face a different look; but it's definitely not a bad look. (Note: I love this picture.  I'd never seen it before, I found it in the Google Image search.  It kind of looks like a mug shot.  Albeit, a really sexy mug shot)

 

Errol looks good with and without the mustache, it doesn't matter.  The man, during his peak, could not look bad.  Even in Gentleman Jim, with a black eye and fat lip, and no mustache, he rocked it and made it work.

 

What do you all think? What other actors had faces that looked good either way? Whose face absolutely demands a mustache? Who needed to make sure he kept clean shaven?

 

P.S. I chose to use the small thumbnail attachments because I didn't want to make this page load slowly and it was too much work trying to size the pictures properly while still making this post readable; so I gave up.

post-28550-0-44466500-1408081584_thumb.jpeg

post-28550-0-78732600-1408081630_thumb.jpg

post-28550-0-18521700-1408081700_thumb.jpeg

post-28550-0-37002400-1408081731_thumb.jpg

post-28550-0-23940300-1408081783_thumb.jpg

post-28550-0-77151400-1408081820_thumb.jpg

post-28550-0-24758100-1408081915_thumb.jpg

post-28550-0-43394800-1408081982_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's funny you should write this because I was thinking exactly the same thing when I saw Fred MacMurray in that same movie and I did not care for his mustache even though I generally like mustaches a lot.  He looks better without it and I agree with your other observations.  I also like William Powell's mustache and feel pretty much the same for him and John Gilbert as you do for Flynn. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

James Cagney (with Ann Sheridan and Helen Vinson) in Torrid Zone:

 

oz51OQw.jpg

 

 

Studio execs did not like the mustache, but Cagney insisted on wearing it.

 

On the other hand, the book Inside Warner Bros by Rudy Behlmer contains a memo written by Jack Warner after seeing It Happened One Night, commenting favorably on Gable's mustache and suggesting WB contract player Lyle Talbot grow one, as it will add a certain "dash and good looks".

 

 

lsD7H3K.jpg

 

E1cCH4Y.jpg

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Errol Flynn.  His mustache appeared off and on in his films.  He seemed to have just as many films without as he does with.

 

I never got that impression at all.

 

He had to shave it for the West Point scenes in Santa Fe Trail and They Died With Their Boots On because cadets were not permitted to wear them. He also didn't wear one in Gentleman Jim for authenticity, although I doubt if many people would have cared if he'd kept it.

 

Flynn's friend David Niven was just as identified with a mustache, if not more so, the only notable exceptions being write-with-a-feather-and-walk-out-of-the-room-backwards costume dramas.

 

I mention Niven because one of his co-stars, Stewart Granger, is on record regarding this subject: "Acting with David Niven was like playing straight man to a mustache. He was always playing with it, or twitching it on someone else's lines. You couldn't win against that bloody mustache."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow thanks for that thumbnail of Errol-blown up it's print-worthy!

 

I just came back from seeing William Powell featured in his earliest films. In one, he's a gentleman wrongly accused of a murder and his mustache shaved off for incarceration is part of the story-so you see him both ways in one movie!

 

I always like William Powell just a tad better with a 'stache, but Gable just a tad better without his 'stache. And you're right, some actors just look dumb with one like ole Fred MacMurray.

 

You certainly see Ward Bond with all sorts of facial hair styles throughout his film career. What a handsome man!

 

100x100_5898_Ward_Bond_American_Film_Act

 

ward-bond-gonewiththewind-2.jpg

 

ward-bond-operationpacific-5.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I have a BEARD, so what do I know?.............

 

Anyway, guys grow and/or shave moustaches for a variety of reasons.  My brother-in-law needed to shave his off for some kind of health issue.

 

Maybe that's why ALEX TREBEK shaved off HIS 'stache.

 

Yeah, some actors images are defined by the "soup strainer".  Like David Niven.  Looked odd without it, to me.  Some would only have one, real or phony, for a particular role, as Sellars for CLOUSEU( or however it's spelled).

 

I agree, Flynn looked good either way.  MacMurray didn't look good with one.  Neither did Cagney.  But, GILBERT ROLAND looked better WITH one than not.

 

Sepiatone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

It's ironic Charlie Chaplin had one long since made to order when he starred in "The Dictator" (1940)

 

greatest-speech-ever-made-charlie-chapli

 

 

Photo taken before Hitler

doglife_bigger.jpg

 

 

Actor Sam Elliot has the best one for modern films.

 

Movie-Mustaches-Big-Lebowski-Sam-Elliott

 

 

The very first official movie "The Great Train Robbery" (1903) starred James D. Barnes who wore it well.

mustache1.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Along those lines...John Wayne with or without...and to top Charles Chaplin's moustache how have we overlooked Groucho Marx...with a fake moustache or a real one....and who could top Terry Thomas's moustache matched with that alluring???? gap in his teeth!!!

 

Oh yes...I forgot Dennis Morgan as I believe there were some movies where he sported a moustache. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, Tyrone Power looked good with a moustache as Jesse James, Hank Fonda not so much as brother Frank. Power also alternated some other roles with a 'stache, including the.thin one he used as Zorro. I think he looked better without, but when did have one, it gave him character.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never got that impression at all.

 

 

Sorry that was poor phrasing on my part. I know that he had the mustache more often than not; what I should have said that while he and his mustache appeared in most of his films, there were many where he was clean shaven.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In most cases it takes a period of time and several film appearances to establish a persona, it's like you are typing yourself.  When you go against your established type you sometimes just look awkward,  maybe even silly.  I thought Fred MacMurray  looked "weird" with a mustache, maybe if he had stuck with that  look for awhile in his movies it would have been more acceptable in later film characters.  Imagine Fred , with mustache, as Walter Neff?   For that matter many think Barbara Stanwyck looked so odd as a "blonde" , of course that cheap wig she wore didn't help matters (director Billy Wilder picked that out wig to make Barbara look a little "trampy" ). :)  I think Gable looked perfectly fine without the mustache in "Mutiny" , if he had kept that look would it have handicapped him in his later films?  Basil Rathbone used the mustache vs no mustache look to his advantage when playing villains and heroes (Sherlock Holmes), almost like having a dual identity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All this talk of mustaches has reminded me of a particular Dick Van Dyke Show episode where while Laura gets her big toe stuck in a faucet while lounging in their hotel room's bathtub, Rob draws on a mustache with a permanent laundry maker.

 

The episode is all done in flashback while telling the story to their neighbor Millie. And at the end Millie asks Rob how he finally removed the drawn-on mustache, to which Rob replied he wasn't able to and that it was just being covered up by some of Laura's makeup, and he then proceeds to wipe off the makeup to show her.

 

Millie then says, "Hey, you know who you look like with that mustache?"

 

Rob replies with a jaunty look, "David Niven?"

 

Millie relies, "No! Ben Turpin!". To which Rob then crosses his eyes.

 

(...fade out to commercial)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All this talk of mustaches has reminded me of a particular Dick Van Dyke Show episode where while Laura gets her big toe stuck in a faucet while lounging in their hotel room's bathtub, Rob draws on a mustache with a permanent laundry maker.

 

The episode is all done in flashback while telling the story to their neighbor Millie. And at the end Millie asks Rob how he finally removed the drawn-on mustache, to which Rob replied he wasn't able to and that it was just being covered up by some of Laura's makeup, and he then proceeds to wipe off the makeup to show her.

 

Millie then says, "Hey, you know who you look like with that mustache?"

 

Rob replies with a jaunty look, "David Niven?"

 

Millie relies, "No! Ben Turpin!". To which Rob then crosses his eyes.

 

(...fade out to commercial)

Somehow, jokes with "Ben Turpin" as the punchline are a pretty hard sell in 2014.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Somehow, jokes with "Ben Turpin" as the punchline are a pretty hard sell in 2014.

 

Not with THIS crowd around HERE it ain't!!!

 

(...you know, "this crowd" that at last count is at about 50 percent of 'em thinkin' ANY movie made after Louie B. kicked the bucket by definition must be "inferior" and "definitely not a classic"?!!!...uh-huh, THIS crowd around HERE...and so THEY know who "Ben Turpin" was, dude!) ;)

 

LOL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not with THIS crowd around HERE it ain't!!!

 

(...you know, "this crowd" that at last count is at about 50 percent of 'em thinkin' ANY movie made after Louie B. kicked the bucket by definition must be "inferior" and "definitely not a classic"?!!!...uh-huh, THIS crowd around HERE...and so THEY know who "Ben Turpin" was, dude!) ;)

 

LOL

I know the name, but details about the gentleman are not part of my repertoire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, one more old sitcom/mustache reference to follow here...

 

So, I'm watchin' an old episode of The Donna Reed Show a while back, and in this one her husband played by Carl Betz(a very good lookin' guy sans a 'stache anyway) decides to keep his after returning from a fishing trip.

 

Well, Donna just HATES the thing and by the end of the episode gets him to shave it off. But I gotta say, I thought Betz looked pretty darn good sportin' that sucker.

 

Btw...has anyone noticed that JUST sportin' a mustache and with no other facial hair has become VERY "un-hip" in the last few years?!

 

(...but THANK GOD that little freakin' "soul patch" thing so many hipsters were sportin' under their lower lip until recently has now seemed to run its course...THAT just looked LAME sittin' on a guy's face and without any other facial hair!) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, one more old sitcom/mustache reference to follow here...

 

So, I'm watchin' an old episode of The Donna Reed Show a while back, and in this one her husband played by Carl Betz(a very good lookin' guy sans a 'stache anyway) decides to keep his after returning from a fishing trip.

 

Well, Donna just HATES the thing and by the end of the episode gets him to shave it off. But I gotta say, I thought Betz looked pretty darn good sportin' that sucker.

 

Btw...has anyone noticed that JUST sportin' a mustache and with no other facial hair, has become VERY un-hip in the last few years.

 

(...but THANK GOD that little freakin' "soul patch" thing so many hipsters were sportin' until recently has now seemed to run its course...THAT just looked LAME sittin' on a guy's face and without any other facial hair!) 

Nothing looks worse than a beard, with no 'stache. That's the Amish look, which is seen in these parts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...