Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tough Guy Names

So I was reading Tom Shone's post about the reported return of Kevin Costner's dark side in Django Unchained and suddenly I was filled with joy and anticipation. Not because Costner is acting again but because he would be playing the character of Ace Woody. If there's one thing that current cinema is missing, it's tough guy names like Ace Woody. And that got me thinking about the many Golden Age films (mainly Westerns and Warner Bros. flicks) that weren't afraid to name their heroes things like Cole Harden. I miss that. Here's hoping that Tarantino can bring the tradition back.

And now, here's a sample of Golden Age actors and their manly, manly names:

Gary Cooper

Cole Harden in The Westerner
Blayde Hollister in Dallas

Clark Gable

Ace Wilfong in A Free Soul
Big John McMasters in Boom Town

Humphrey Bogart

 Whip McCord in The Oklahoma Kid
Gloves Donahue in All Through the Night
Rip Murdock in Dark Reckoning
Dixon Steele in In a Lonely Place

 John Wayne

Duke Slade in Adventure's End
Wedge Donovan in The Fighting Seabees
Chance Buckman in Hellfighters

 Randolph Scott

Brazos Kane in Gunfighters
Ransome Callicut in The Man Behind the Gun
 Buck Devlin in Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend
 Ben Brigade in Ride Lonesome

 Alan Ladd

 Salty O'Rourke in Salty O'Rourke
Whispering Smith in Whispering Smith
Hugh Tallant in Botany Bay

Ronald Reagan

Brass Bancroft in Secret Service of the Air, Code of the Secret Service, Smashing the Money Ring, and Murder in the Air
 Vance Britten in The Last Outpost
Webb Sloane in Prisoner of War


  1. I love the idea for this post! You definitely can't go wrong with Ace if you're going to be a tough guy, but my favorite is Dixon Steele.

  2. Considering that Bogart was playing a screenwriter in In a Lonely Place, the name Dixon Steele seems even funnier. And he's a screenwriter adapting a soppy romance novel, to boot.