100 Greatest Guy Movies
Ever Made
(in three parts)

Part 1

by Maxim Magazine

Introduction to 100 Greatest Guy Movies Ever Made: Maxim Magazine selected The 100 Greatest Guy Movies Ever Made in their March 1998 issue. The textual descriptions below were excerpted from the magazine. See Filmsite's own Greatest 'Guy' Movies of All-Time (illustrated) for contrast, and Memorable and Great 'Chick' Flicks. Another list of 50 Best Guy Movies of All-Time, compiled by Men's Journal, is also excerpted on this site.

Facts and Commentary on the List:

  • The magazine stated the (obvious) appeal of these fast, loud, action-packed and testosterone-laden films. Guy movies were described in this manner: "Guy movies are hard to define, but you know 'em when you see 'em. They're packed with sophomoric humor, cartoon violence, mean-spirited putdowns and gratuitous nudity...and that's just during the opening credits."

  • Some of the choices below were really off-base, and there were some obvious omissions, according to this site's author. Films that might have been included, among others, included: almost any Three Stooges film, any of the best Tarzan movies, True Grit (1969), Jeremiah Johnson (1972), Young Frankenstein (1974), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Star Wars (1977), Alien (1979), The Warriors (1979), The Shining (1980), Escape from New York (1981), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Ghostbusters (1984), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Top Gun (1986), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987), Predator (1987), Wall Street (1987), Above the Law (1988), Bull Durham (1988), The Hunt for Red October (1990), The Evil Dead series, Tombstone (1993), True Lies (1994), Heat (1995), Happy Gilmore (1996), The Matrix (1999), Gladiator (2000), or Kill Bill (2003). (To be fair, the last three omissions came after the publication of the article.)

100 Greatest Guy Movies Ever Made
(part 1, ranked)
  1. Slap Shot (1977)
    Why is this the ultimate Guy Movie? Because Paul Newman and the rest of the Charleston Chiefs live the life every real guy dreams of: They drink beer, get laid, play sports, gamble, watch TV, avoid relationships, and successfully put off adulthood. And at the end of the film, their immaturity is rewarded with a Main Street parade in their honor! Slap Shot's got it all: sports, humor, male bonding, violence, more sports, plus some not-strictly-necessary-to-the-plot naked females. What's not to love?

  2. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966)
    Doodle-oodle-oo...wanh wanh wanh. Doodle-oodle-oo...wanh wanh wanh. It was the most memorable theme tune in Guy Movie history (until the theme from The Godfather), and it carried Clint Eastwood ("the good," more or less), Eli Wallach ("the bad"), and Lee Van Cleef ("the ugly") across a dusty, Civil War-torn America in search of buried gold. The best of the spaghetti westerns from Italian director Sergio Leone, this classic is not a buddy film. These guys would just as soon kill each other as share a drink, and the hero, Clint's cigar-smokin', poncho-wearin', bandito-splatterin' "Man With No Name" is the ultimate loner. Who needs buddies when you're packing heat?

  3. National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)
    "My advice to you is to start drinking heavily." The boys from the Delta House are immature, irresponsible, disrespectful, and not all that bright; in short, the perfect heroes for a Guy Movie. They know how to party, anyway, and the worse things get (pledge-party mishaps, double-secret probation, flunking out and getting their chapter thrown off campus), the better the parties get. And why shouldn't they: After all, was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Behind the antics of John Belushi, who shines as the colorful miscreant and future U.S. senator John "Bluto" Blutarsky, this is cheerful viewing for anyone who ever threw seven years of college down the drain.

  4. The Terminator/Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1984; 1991)
    "I'll be back." Breathtaking special effects. Shotguns. Motorcycles. An orgy of relentless robotic power. Plus: A buff, largely bra-free Linda Hamilton! If it ain't here, you don't need it. Arnold Schwarze-negger, a wooden actor but a meaty presence, peaks as the Terminator, an unflinching killing machine that can absorb bullets like so many mosquito bites. Bonus: As the cyborg with exactly one facial expression, Arnie turns a so-called male liability--our limited emotional range--into a virtue!

  5. Die Hard (1988)
    "Yippee-kai-yay, motherf----r!" One look at terrorist Hans Gruber's smarmy European grin and you instinctively want to kick his ass. And that's precisely what a barefoot, wisecracking Bruce Willis does for two hours: he kicks Gruber's (actually Alan Rickman's) ass all over a 40-story building, beating the standard impossible odds with his usual pluck and determination. The twist? Willis feels pain, and lots of it, which is a nice shot of reality. For instance, in the bathroom, he's plucking glass shards out of his mangled feet, and for a minute you almost think he's going to shed a...nah, just kidding.

  6. Stripes (1983)
    "Chicks dig me because I rarely wear underwear..." Sure, this is just a remake of Abbott and Costello's Buck Privates. But Bill Murray, the crowned prince of smart-asses, was at the peak of his game, and when he was there, no one in Hollywood could touch him. In Murray's army, discipline is comfortably lax, R&R means mudwrestling, MPs are gorgeous and randy, and even the common Winnebago is reconfigured as a fully loaded tactical urban assault vehicle. A hilarious send-up of all things military.

  7. Caddyshack (1980)
    "You'll get nothing and like it." Bill Murray, country-club groundskeeper, swatting the heads off innocent carnations. Chevy Chase, hapless swinger, reinventing the tequila shot. Rodney Dangerfield, entertaining loudmouth, working straight man Ted Knight into a frenzy. Lacey Underall (some actress named Cindy Morgan), not trying very hard at all to keep a bra on her body. This was a movie about golf?

  8. GoodFellas (1990)
    Ain't life in the Mafia grand? Loads of cash, drugs, free time, and mistresses. Someone mouths off, you kill him. Even a stint in prison seems more like guy's weekend than a punishment. Joe Pesci is priceless as Tommy DeVito, a cold-blooded killer who makes Fred Krueger look like Fred Rogers. One unforgettable scene: A cocaine freak-out that makes you want to throw up--in a good way, that is.

  9. Dirty Harry (1971)
    "This is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off..." Only a drooling, jibbering, complete and utter imbecile would dream of f-----g with Harry Callahan, the original lawless cop. Movies like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly had already secured Clint Eastwood's guy movie credentials; this role made him a legend. Highlights: The scene where the bad guy hires a lug to smash in his face so Callahan will be blamed. The gunpoint showdown in which our man makes a poor dirtbag guess whether there's another bullet in the chamber or not...and the reprise at the end. The torture scene on the football field, where Callahan stands on a bad guy's wounded leg until he gets what he's after. You actually feel sorry for any criminal with the dumb luck to get in the way of cinema's most relentlessly bad-assed motherfucker.

  10. The Godfather/The Godfather: Part II (1972; 1974)
    "It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes." In the Corleone world, the men rule the families. There's plenty of dough to throw around; everybody's got nice suits and classy black cars. The womenfolk make big Italian meals. Letting aggravation explode into violence is accepted, even encouraged.

  11. Pulp Fiction (1994)
    "Zed's dead, baby." Black humor, heady violence, and inspired casting make this one for the ages. But it almost gets ugly again and again. Just when you're about to witness a horrible Deliverance-style anal rape, the victims triumph and get medieval on the perps! Just when drug-addled mob moll Uma Thurman is about to OD and plunge the theater into gloom, John Travolta saves her beautiful ass! Hallelujah; pass the Whoppers.

  12. The Blues Brothers (1980)
    "We're on a mission from God." It's hard to remember today, but there was a time when stretching Saturday Night Live skits into movies actually worked. Filmed in a simpler era when John Belushi was still alive, and Dan Aykroyd was still funny, this story of Jake and Elwood Blues serves up car chases, honky-tonk bars, and alcohol galore. A bizarrely gymnastic Belushi does backflips and Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and James Brown supply soulful cameos. These guys were so cool that the fact that they knew they were cool did nothing to diminish their coolness.

  13. The Longest Yard (1974)
    "I think you broke his f-----' neck." This film combines two Guy Film staples: prison and football. Stars Burt Reynolds (back when he was the studliest guy in the world) and Richard Kiel, who played Jaws in two James Bond movies. The film focuses so tightly on one guards-vs.-inmates football game that it's like watching sports and a movie at the same time: an eerily gratifying experience.

  14. Rocky (1976)
    "Yo, Adrian!" Rocky Balboa (Sly Stallone) is a regular Joe with a dream. (Maybe he's a lobe shy of being a regular Joe, but you get the idea.) And in just two hours, as he takes on slabs of beef, jogs up those famous steps in Philly, and gets ready for the Apollo Creed bout, he comes to represent the idea of willpower-conquering - all that's at the heart of every guy's hero dream. If Rocky had only won that fight, we might have been spared 500 sequels.

  15. Diner (1982)
    "I'll hit you so hard, I'll kill your whole family." Guys find this a feel-good film because director Barry Levinson suggests that going to a strip club, getting into fist-fights with old rivals, tricking girls into touching your unit, and requiring a prospective wife to pass a sports quiz is perfectly acceptable behavior. Bonus: Seeing Kevin Bacon and Paul Reiser before they sold us out and went sensitive.

  16. Scarface (1983)
    "F--k 'em all! I bury those cock-a-roaches!" As Cuban tough guy Tony Montana, Al Pacino lives one version of the American Dream: he sleeps with Michelle Pfeiffer, heads a mighty empire, and snorts more cocaine than Michael Irvin on a Super Bowl bender. But life isn't all fun and games. Tony gets caught in a U.S. government sting operation, mistakenly murders his brother-in-law, and, in one of the most intense scenes ever filmed, is forced to watch as his buddy is butchered with a chainsaw. A chick flick this ain't.

  17. The Wild Bunch (1969)
    Critics may argue that Sam Peckinpah's film is about society's reaction to violence, but in our book it's really about six guys on a great Mexican road trip where they ride horses, drink, whore around, shoot unfaithful girlfriends, play practical jokes with dynamite, and take one hot-as-hell sauna. Make sure to wake the kids for the last scene, in which the bandits of the title happily gun down two thirds of the Mexican population.

  18. Every Bond Movie except Never Say Never Again (1962-1997)
    Amazing, willing women with a license to thrill. Cool gadgets that would put the real CIA in a full ball-sweat. Evil villains with diabolical plans and the cash flow to make them happen. Never was such a formula played to such perfection. The sad exception, Never Say Never Again (featuring a geriatric Sean Connery, already playing lawyers and scientists elsewhere) does nothing to diminish this greatest Guy series of all time.

  19. The Deer Hunter (1978)
    "It's gonna be all right, Nickie. Shoot...shoot, Nickie." What's a guy to do when he's trapped in a Vietcong prison where the captors love to play Russian roulette? If you're DeNiro, you grab the guns, shoot the enemy, escape, and try to save your buddy (psycho-actor Christopher Walken).

  20. Swingers (1996)
    "You're so money and you don't even know it." A combat movie about the war between the sexes, Swingers unabashedly takes the Guy road: Even the most awkward guy looks sincere, strong, and Sinatra-cool, while nearly every chick looks selfish, unsympathetic, and cold. The painful late-night phone-call scene alone will forever make you think twice about leaving a message on a woman's answering machine. And they wonder why we don't call?

  21. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
    "All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you aren't going to get." A perfectly planned heist by six color-coordinated strangers gets washed out when one turns out to be a cop; a drawn-out bloodbath ensues. Whether you love Quentin Tarantino's movie for its stark reality, or loathe it for its unapologetic brutality, most guys agree they'd never want their ear cut off in the unsanitary and infection-causing method depicted here.

  22. Raging Bull (1980)
    "You punch like you take it up the ass." Boxing movies are tough to carry off; biographies are even tougher. But the one-two punch of Scorsese and De Niro pulls off both in a masterpiece of simmering anger and exploding violence, based on the life of real-world nose-buster Jake La Motta. Joe Pesci shows early signs of greatness as Jake's manager/brother, but it's De Niro's eternally frustrated LaMotta that rivets ya -- and won the boy a well-deserved Oscar.

  23. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
    "What we've got here is failure to communicate." If you ever have to do time on a cracker chain gang, this is the one you want. Sure, the warden's a sadistic bastard--but aren't they all? At least you'd be entertained by Paul Newman as the feisty con who, like Nicholson in Cuckoo's Nest, refuses to let the corrupt system break his spirit. (Bonus: With this troublemaker around to draw their fire, nobody would bother kicking the crap out of you.)

  24. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
    Dyin' ain't much of a living for the bounty hunters hot on the trail of legendary gunslinger Josey Wales. As the ultimate outlaw, Clint Eastwood defines cool as he spits tobacco juice on his victim's foreheads, refuses to bury the dead ("buzzards gotta eat, same as worms"), and kills everyone but the producer and the key grip.

  25. Apocalypse Now (1976)
    Apocalypse Now is two and a half hours of depression, ennui, and nihilism, broken up by intermittent scenes of violence and death. Which doesn't mean it's not great fun. Surfing on the beach! The smell of napalm in the morning! Martin Sheen's eyes opening as he rises from the mud! Marlon Brando, bloated and incomprehensible!

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