What makes a tough guy? Why are we so fascinated by them? Who wakes up in the morning and decides that today is the day that they will smash a baddie’s head through a wall, save the damsel in distress and ride off into the sunset? These are all pertinent questions. In order to answer them, we have to look at the world of cinema. Here stories come to life. Stories of fantasy, romance, adventure, comedy, tragedy and heroism. Anybody can be a hero with the right back-story. However, to be a tough guy, that takes a special gift.
Tough guys are those individuals who lived the hard knock life. The rough and tumble of the streets have made them as hardy as leather, steely-eyed and taciturn. They will chew on a cigar, bite down on a cigarette or even keep a toothpick in the side of their mouths. You can hit them as hard as you’d like and they would take it without a whimper or protest. But if anyone raises a hand to the weak and the defense-less, then heaven help them. Hollywood has given us many tough guys and here are a few of my favorites in no particular order of ranking: