Written by


  • Harrison Ford
  • Robert Redford
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Sidney Poitier
  • Ali
  • Sean Connery
  • Jack Nicholson
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Mel Gibson
  • George Clooney
  • Mick Jagger

You can’t look at the mixed lineup of this lot and not ask yourself what is it that makes a man compelling? One universal might be pulling power. Warren Beatty with a hair drier or 007 with a Walther PPK both did a brisk trade in the sack and again we return to the mystique of Valentino, to pose a threat the volcano needs to be active not just a smoking threat. Hard men are good to find, or that is at least what Hollywood has learnt and yet each generation of Hunk Sapiens mutates subtly. The stars that we loved in the 80s and 90s are middle aged men now and to some degree they fought for better roles with more depth of character, breaking the mould of the grunty action hero or merely handsome romantic lead. This is true of the thinking woman’s love Gods, Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Richard Gere and Viggo Mortensen but of little concern to the likes of Sly, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mel Gibson the three icons of unreconstructed muscled manhood as famous for their off-screen alpha rage as their onscreen battles.