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The Top 10 Manliest Man Moments #1: The Last Stand Of The Wild Bunch

There’s something particularly heroic in the act of sacrifice.

While the term “hero” largely refers to individuals of admirable or extraordinary traits, courage and bravery; the ability to rise up and act in the face or adversity, are characteristics that define the word just as well.

Of the past 9 MANLY moments we’ve explored up to this point, most, if not all of them have involved instances wherein heroic individuals had to put their lives at stake for a cause greater than themselves.

In fact, in the case of our 6th and 2nd MANLIEST MAN moments, (Jim Brown’s suicide run in The Dirty Dozen and Optimus Prime’s battle with Megatron in Transformers: The Movie respectively) the MANLY MEN involved in said moments ended up losing their lives despite their accomplishments.

Martyrdom is indeed a powerful form of heroism and MANLINESS, and unsurprisingly; it just happens to the kind of MANLINESS that makes the finale of Sam Peckinpah’s turn of the century Western classic, The Wild Bunch; THE MANLIEST MAN MOMENT IN ALL OF FILM:

Unlike the vast majority of the movies on this list, The Wild Bunch is a legitimately great film.

That’s not to say Transformers: The Movie and Commando aren’t quality films in their own right, I for one fucking love them; however it’s hard to deny that they aren’t of the same caliber as a classic like The Wild Bunch.

That being said, when it comes to films with themes like brotherhood, redemption, and MANLINESS; there are few better examples I can think of than The Wild Bunch.

The finale of The Wild Bunch involves the main characters, a band of somewhat amoral hired guns; recognizing a need for justice in a wartorn Mexican community.

Not lawful justice mind you, just plain old fashioned MAN-JUSTICE.

Initially working for the local warlord and his German arms provider, the Bunch complete the task assigned to them and collect their reward; but at the cost of having their comrade Angel, a Mexican revolutionary; taken from their ranks and brutally tortured.

The Bunch react to this atrocity with disgust and anger, however they ultimately end up gritting their teeth and walking away.

Some time passes however, and their collective consciences rouse their spirits to take action.

In an awe-inspiring act of MANLINESS, the remaining members of the bunch, consisting of Willam Holden’s Pike, Ernest Borgnine’s Dutch, Warren Oates’ Lyle, and Ben Johnson’s Tector; march through the town and towards the warlord’s compound with fire in their hearts.

Pictured: The Pimpest Pimp-Walk in all of Pimp-Dom.

Arriving at the compound, the Bunch confront the warlord amid an entire mess hall worth of troops.

The warlord, at this point severely inebriated and thusly unaware of the seriousness of the situation, casually asks them what it is they want.

To this, Pike responds with a single demand:

"We want Angel."

Retrieving the battered and beaten Angel, the warlord seems to be willing to comply with their request.

Unfortunately, the warlord draws a concealed knife and ruthlessly slits Angel’s throat, prompting the Bunch to gun him down on the spot.

There is an awkward moment as the warlord falls, a calm before the storm.

Both the soldiers, and the Bunch themselves; stand in silent awe of the utter insanity of what has just transpired.

The Bunch have ample time to run, and yet for whatever reason; they stand their ground.

Slipping a deviously knowing glance between one another, the Bunch recklessly assault the army of Mexican troops; resigning themselves to the lethal eventuality of the overwhelming odds before them.

I don't know guys, that's A LOT of Mexicans...

Scores of Mexican troops are slaughtered as the Bunch wildly spray fire into the crowd, laughing maniacally at the sheer ridiculousness of the predicament they’ve willingly thrown themselves into.

As the initial surprise of their attack begins to fade away however, the soldier’s sheer numbers begin to wear on the Bunch; resulting in nearly all of our “heroes” receiving serious bullet wounds at some point.

Direct quote.

A major turning point in the conflict occurs when one of the Bunch manages to get ahold of a mounted machine within the base, increasing the Bunch’s attack power 10 fold.

Unfortunately, even a machine gun isn’t enough to turn the tide completely, as one by one the Bunch begins to fall apart.

Pictured: The Gorch brothers die.

At the end of it all, only Pike and Dutch remain, with Pike dieing a heroes’ death manning the machine gun as Dutch is gunned down trying to come to his aid.

Pictured: Pike and Dutch die.

In the end, The Wild Bunch isn’t really a story about good guys and bad guys.

As mentioned earlier, the Bunch is made up of brigands and outlaws; making them questionable as traditional heroes.

Despite their somewhat underhanded nature though, in the final act of the movie; the Bunch manage to redeem themselves by demonstrating a clear belief in the concept of moral decency and justice.

Everything they do throughout the movie, especially in the finale sequence, could very easily be viewed as “wrong” or unjust; however in going back for Angel, and thereby adhering to their personal form of MAN-CODE; they gain a very small, but meaningful degree of redemption.

In essence, the Bunch gave their lives not for glory, or even necessity; but simply for the purpose of being MEN both in life, and in death.

In that sense, I can think of no MANLIER act of MAN-NESS in the pantheon of MANLY cinema.

Well folks, thus concludes the Azn Badger’s list of the Top 10 Manliest Man Moments in movies.

Hopefully you all enjoyed yourselves.

I for one seriously need a break from all of this MANLINESS business, as all of this writing has pretty much pushed me to the brink of MAN-SANITY.

Maybe I should watch some Ugly Betty or something, cleanse the palette…

Filed under: Movies, Top 10 Manliest Man Moments, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Top 10 Manliest Man Moments #6: “Remember Jefferson, 20 Seconds!”

Today we reach the halfway point in the Azn Badger’s list of the Top 10 Manliest Man Moments in movies.

That’s not to say the MANLIEST MAN moments covered today and previously aren’t worth their weight in MANLINESS; rather they’re simply MANLY to a degree that makes them not quite worthy of the Top 5.

That being said, it causes me actual physical pain to rank it below the Top 5, but in any case our 6th MANLIEST MOMENT comes from perhaps the MANLIESTof WWII movies; The Dirty Dozen:

Or if you were on the other side of the conflict: "Das dreckige Dutzend!"

As with seemingly every entry on this list, The Dirty Dozen represents a drastically different school of MANLINESS; namely that of the classic “LEATHER-FACED MEN OF EPIC HARDNESS” subgenre that was prevalent in the 60’s and 70’s.

Whether you blame it on the fairly recent emergence of PC culture, or the government slowly poisoning our water supply with “pussy-fying” drugs; it’s hard to argue that the MANLY MEN of generations past bore a “harder” and more world weary image than those of today.

Drover or not, I'd put my money on Bronson...

It’s this HARD image that The Dirty Dozen thrives on.

As is evident from the title of the film, virtually the entire cast of major players in the film are made up of lowdown dirty bastards that are serving time for war crimes.

The vast majority of the Dozen are impetuous and irredeemable sons of bitches that probably should hang for the shit they’ve done, but at the end of the day; they’re all exactly the breed of HARD MEN that are needed to do what must be done.

In this case, the mission at hand happens to be a (fictional) mass assassination of several high ranking Nazi officials just before the D-Day invasion.

Despite the action-packed conclusion, by far the strongest aspect of The Dirty Dozen, is the fact that despite most of the cast being bigots and murderers; at the end of the day you end up caring about what happens to them:

Pictured: The appropriately named "Maggott," who nearly blew the entire mission.

Well, most of them anyway…

Being as there really are over a dozen fucking MANLY MEN in this movie, there really isn’t time to cover everyone; but at the very least I feel I should mention some of the more prominent heavy hitters in the roster.

First off there’s Lee Marvin, the MAN so MANLY even Toshiro Mifune was forced to acknowledge him as his equal.

Trust me, if this guy says you're cool; you're fucking COOL.

Marvin’s Major Reissman serves as the badass leader of the group.

While not a convicted a man like the rest of the Dozen, Reissman demonstrates, on more than a few occasions; that he’s every bit as SAVAGE as they are, and if anyone wears the pants in their relationship, it’s him.

Like Tom Selleck and his mustache, Lee Marvin made an entire career of being a tough-as-nails army dude; and The Dirty Dozen serves as an perhaps the finest example of his acting method.

Expect maybe The Delta Force. The Delta Force was the shit...

Next up is Charles Bronson as the German speaking Wladislaw, who as we all know can’t help but be a BADASS FUCKING SPHINX of a MAN even during something as sedate as a word association therapy session:

BADASS. FUCKING. SPHINX.

Throughout his lengthy career, Bronson played the LEATHER-FACED HARD MAN bit to the point of self-parody.

It’s not his fault, I mean fuckin’ look at him!

How could you ask a man with a MANLY FUCKING CATCHER’S MITT for a face to be anything but HARD in whatever role you cast him in!?

More importantly, what self-respecting MAN would pass up an opportunity to make use of said MANLINESS in a movie?

Apparently none, hence the reason the world has 5 Death Wish movies.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

In addition to Marvin and Bronson, I feel it’s worth mentioning that The Dirty Dozen also featured the EPIC MANLINESS of Cool Hand Luke and The Naked Gun’s George Kennedy, as well as the always awesome Ernest Borgnine and Robert Ryan of The Wild Bunch fame.

Pictured: A DAMN MAN.

It’s unfortunate that all 3 of said EPIC individuals are only in the movie for a few short minutes, but even so; their presence did a lot to bolster the palpable air of MANLINESS that permeates every frame of The Dirty Dozen.

Now, I’ve spent a great long while sucking the cock of this movie, and yet, up until now; I’ve actually made no mention of the MANLIEST MAN moment contained within it.

Said moment belongs to none of the awesome individuals mentioned above, nor any sort of big-time movie star; but rather to football legend turned actor, Jim FUCKING Brown:

Whatever movie this image is from, I haven't seen it. Looks fuckin' savage though...

As the only black member of the Dozen, Jim FUCKING Brown’s Robert T. Jefferson spends much of the movie at odds with the majority of his comrades.

The target of bitter racism during the early portions of the film, Jefferson responds in kind with hate of his own.

Despite this, Jefferson demonstrates a clear sense of duty and commitment to his mission that rivals even the most steadfast of the Dozen, as evidenced by he and Bronson’s Wladislaw going out of their way to prevent John Cassavete’s Victor R. Franko from deserting, thereby scrapping the entire mission.

It’s this sense of duty that ultimately leads to Jefferson’s death, which also happens to be our 6th MANLIEST MAN moment:

At this point in the movie, the Dozen’s forces have been cut down to a mere half-Dozen; and things are starting to get down to the wire.

Having succeeded in forcing the Nazi officials into the bomb shelter area beneath the mansion, our heroes work frantically to throw grenades into the air ducts that lie just above the bunker.

... And based on the big-ass grin on Jim FUCKING Brown's face, I'd say they enjoyed it.

As enemy forces rapidly bear down the mansion, members of the Dozen simultaneously work to provide cover fire to those prepping the explosives, and secure a half-track to use as their getaway vehicle.

Eventually, the half-track is readied and the machine gun crew begin to displace, however one thing remains out of place:

The explosives need to be detonated, and the only man in position to do so is:

JIM. FUCKING. BROWN.

Before he can make a move though, Jim FUCKING Brown is ambushed by a sniper, who proves to be a terrible shot; thusly prompting Mr. FUCKING Brown to dispose of him in decidedly MANLYfashion:

Following this, Jim FUCKING Brown strips off his extraneous gear and steels himself for the task at hand one of the Dozen yells:

“Remember Jefferson, 20 seconds!”

20 seconds?

The man runs 100 yards a game, I would think he can run a Nazi driveway in 20 fucking seconds!

With that Mr. FUCKING Brown clenches a pair of grenades in his hands and steels himself for the task of EPIC MANLINESS that lay before him.

Chucking his first grenade into the air duct beside him, Jefferson breaks out into a trademark Jim FUCKING Brown sprint towards destiny…

Run Jim FUCKING Brown! Run!

With enemy fire incoming all the while, he reaches the 2nd duct and puts a pineapple in there without skipping a beat.

Making his way to the 3rd and final duct, Jefferson fumbles with his last grenade, costing him precious seconds as he struggles to dislodge the spoon.

Looks like somebody got caught with their hand in the cookie jar...

With all of the explosives in place, Jim FUCKING Brown runs down the homestretch of the mansion driveway; when from out of nowhere, hidden just beside a nearby bridge, he is gunned down in mid-sprint by a Nazi soldier.

As his body collapses against the brick driveway, the remaining Dozen members call out to Jefferson in both agony and anger.

Mere seconds later though, all emotions are put on hold as the massive fireworks show that would be Jefferson’s parting gift springs to life, thereby solidifying the exploits of the mission; no matter how chaotic or disorderly, a job well done.

BOOM.

As the of the mansion cuts a fiery swath across the night sky, all the fighting and gunfire seems to pause for a moment.

Despite this, with the memory of his fallen friend and comrade still fresh in his mind, Lee Marvin turns to the bridge and revenge-kills the fuck out of the Nazi bastard that took out the Dirty Dozen’s Ambassador of MANLINESS, Jim FUCKING Brown.

Make that, "Overweight Nazi Bastard."

Pair this immediate revenge/spite killing of the Nazi soldier with the fact that Jim FUCKING Brown is the only member of the Dozen to get a sad music cue as a result of his death, and you have a MANLY moment worthy of the Top 10 MANLIEST MAN moments of all time.

If all that isn’t enough to convince you, I present to you the heap of forlorn reaction shots that show up as soon as our boy Jefferson goes down:

Anyway, thus concludes our 6th MANLIEST MAN moment in movies!

Check back tomorrow for MANLY moment #5!

Filed under: Movies, The Best Track in the Game, Top 10 Manliest Man Moments, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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