The best moustaches in the movies

There's an art to facial hair. As new Brit thriller Tony shows how it's done, we've tracked down more examples of fine face-fluff...

In the new British serial killer thriller, Tony (which is out today), Peter Ferdinando plays a sympathetic recluse with severe social problems, an addiction to VHS action films and a horrible moustache. Occasionally he snaps and murder is the result…

It’s an incredible moustache, though. And it set us thinking about other examples from the world of the movies (with one or two TV choices too, because we like to cheat a little). So without further ado, feast your eyes over our festival of facial hair…

Our House (1986) Wilford Brimley as Gus Witherspoon

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Following the death of his son, Gus Witherspoon takes in his daughter-in-law and his three grandchildren to live with him. Adjustment to the new arrangement is not easy on any of them. Brimley subsequently took his iconic ‘tache to the movies too, most notably in the Tom Cruise vehicle, The Firm.

Moustache assessment: Big and busy with nice curves

No Country For Old Men (2007) Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss

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Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon some dead bodies, a stash of heroin and more than $2 million in cash near the Rio Grande. Brolin, meanwhile, looks hairy throughout.

Moustache assessment: Rugged yet controlled curtain-y flair

Pulp Fiction (1994) Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield

The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. And, let’s face it, Samuel L Jackson cruises through the film with some of the coolest furriness seen on the big screen.

Moustache assessment: Minimal face afro, highly styled

There Will Be Blood (2007) Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel Plainview

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A story about family, greed, religion, and oil, centred around a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business. And second place, for us, in Day Lewis’ own personal furry face hall of fame.

Moustache assessment: A well groomed broom-head tash

The Gangs Of New York (2002) Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting

When his father is killed in New York City, Amsterdam Vallon returns in 1863 to hunt down his father’s killer, the ruthless, Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting, who rules over all the gangs of the area. Day Lewis, to get into the part of Cutting, sports the most awesome gathering of fur. Given how bloody frightening he is in the film, though, our inclination is not to tell him to his face.

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Moustache assessment: Curly Wurly-esque

Smokey & The Bandit (1977) Burt Reynolds as Bandit

Bandit, a truck-driving southerner, gets caught up in wedding drama upon picking up a hitchhiking bride-to-be who just left her groom. The local sheriff and the estranged husband-to-be go on a ‘high-speed pursuit’ across the Southeast to catch the bandit. To be fair, where Reynolds’ facial hair is concerned, we could have picked pretty much any project he’s done on the planet. But hey, we happen to like Smokey & The Bandit…

Moustache assessment: Elegantly curved with ample bushiness

The Big Lebowski (1998) Sam Elliot as The Stranger

Another Coen Brothers movie, arguably the planet’s finest at working with bushy characters. Here, Dude Lebowski is met by two mobsters wanting repayment of a loan that he knows nothing about. This simple case of mistaken identity entangles him into a complex kidnaping plot, and Sam Elliot’s Stranger is the one who most challenges his Remington on a daily basis.

Moustache assessment: Extreme

Magnum P.I. (1980) Tom Selleck as Magnum

You can’t have Reynolds without his lookielike. It’s the law, and clearly the only reason we’ve snuck a TV show onto the list again. Thomas Magnum is employed on the Hawaiian estate of a wealthy absentee owner name Robin Masters. The estate is run by Jonathan Higgins who mostly tolerates Magnum’s presence as head of security on the estate. Magnum is also a private detective whose cases frequently have a humorous overtone and always just enough danger. And his moustache? It’s his faithful partner in crime throughout.

Moustache assessment: Controlled and stylish bush

Tombstone (1993) Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp

Former lawman Wyatt Earp settles in the town of Tombstone in order to lead a profitable and peaceful life, but soon comes into conflict with the Cowboys, a band of outlaws led by the Clanton brothers. And if you’re looking for the key difference between the two tellings of the story that came out around the same time – Tombstone and Wyatt Earp – it’s this: when it comes to balancing facial hair, Russell > Costner.

Moustache assessment: Sleek handlebar

This Is Spinal Tap (1984) Harry Shearer as Derek Smalls

In 1982, legendary British heavy metal band Spinal Tap attempt an American comeback tour accompanied by a fan who is also a filmmaker. The resulting documentary, interspersed with powerful performances of Tap’s pivotal music and profound lyrics, candidly follows a rock group heading towards crisis, culminating in the infamous affair of the eighteen-inch-high Stonehenge stage prop. From what we can tell, Harry Shearer’s moustache is roughly the same length…

Moustache assessment: Holy-inspired

Top Gun (1986) Anthony Edwards as Goose

The macho students of an elite US Flying school for advanced fighter pilots compete to be best in the class, and one romances the teacher. Goose tries to boost his chances by growing a bit of fluff on his face, but it doesn’t really look like he’s committed to it at all. He needs to take a leaf, or a bush, out of Sam Elliot’s book.

Moustache assessment: Slug-like fluff

Miami Vice (2006) Colin Farrell as James Crockett

Based on the 1980’s TV action/drama, this update focuses on vice detectives Crockett and Tubbs as their respective personal and professional lives become dangerously intertwined. And Colin Farrell perfectly demonstrates how to incorporate a bit of facial hair into a gritty, earthy look.

Moustache assessment: groomed to perfection