Bearded men have passed down knowledge through tales since the dawn of language. One can only imagine the grandiose stories told through grunts and clicks in days bygone. Now, instead of sitting on boulders and staring at campfires, we have Netflix and couches. Though, the bearded storyteller will always remain essential. The bearded man no longer pontificates to his eager tribe; rather he acts, allowing the viewer to discern the message and its importance. He can inhabit villains, the devout, vagabonds, criminals, war heroes, and outlaws and men worldwide turn to his shores for answers about how life should be lived. But he’ll give you a hint: survival, power, and sex appeal – all while maintaining your cool.
So kick back, pour yourself a strong scotch, and visually condition your beard to be the best.
I can’t recall the amount of times my quiet playing in the shallows with a ball has been interrupted by someone, whether they be stranger or friend, calling out “Wiiiilsoooonn”. The beard has always been a symbol of independence, exile and survival, though no movie has portrayed the primal endurance of a hairy man quite like Castaway. Chuck Noland’s resourcefulness, boat building, fishing and survival skills are the aides-mémoires of a lost masculinity that sleeps latently within every man. A masculinity that we all secretly hope we will be able to awake if and when certain circumstances dictate: zombie apocalypse, return of dinosaurs, black outs.
His dudeness, el duderino or duder doesn’t have the most epic beard on his face (it is more of a goatee) but he practically has a beard growing from every other part of him. Regardless of its stature, that goatee ties the Dude’s face together like his special rug. The Dude is easy-going, cool under pressure and loves the finer things in life, like White Russians, because he knows that the key test of any man is how he spends his leisure – “that, and a pair of testicles”.
As much as contemporary beardsmen attempt to shed their ancestral shadow of bums and wizards, no beard movie list would be complete without an ode to Gandalf. His white chin mane is imbued with more power than all seven rings combined, and provides placation to the colourless beards. Both Gandalf’s grey and white bearded incarnations are epically cool, and it may have taken him 2000 years, but fuck it was worth it.
Wes Anderson’s flicks are like watching a slideshow of bizarre and beautiful paintings and with his red beanie, unrelenting gaze, strange wit and grey chin-strap, Steve Zissou is the most accidentally powerful protagonist on this list. He fights off pirates in a dressing gown, fends off man-eating jaguar sharks and give his son a bloody nose, all while maintaining a constant dull and senseless apathy. He is cool, loving and strong, and therefore an undeniable idol for all beards.
Another ode to the grey beard, this movie has less staff and spell magic than Gandalf but exceeds in feels with the magic of reality. It follows Woody Grant, an aging man who walks towards the promise of millions and during his journey addresses issues of mortality, endurance, and man’s emotional trials. Shot in black and white, Nebraska is a throwback to simpler times and shines a dull light on the tales of bearded old men worldwide who are slowly being forgotten – despite their greatness.
Whether you're hungover, tired of work or just need to switch off, these bearded movies will be sure to teach and captivate, and will do wonders for your brain and beard.