The Top 10 Badass Movie Geezers

July 8, 2010

We can all admit that sometimes it's fun to laugh at the elderly.  They're missing teeth and hair, they sometimes soil themselves, and they're often forgetful to a hilarious degree.  But sometimes it's just not a smart move to mock the old guy next door, because he just might pull a shotgun on your whippersnapper ass and blast you off of his damn lawn.  Here are some of the most badass old coots in movie history. 

Source: Columbia Pictures

By Jeff Kelly


10. Pat Morita/Mr. Miyagi (The Karate Kid)

Sure, he's a pint-sized handyman who spends the bulk of his spare time gardening and carrying out a one-man war on flies, but when push comes to shove the paunchy little man from Okinawa has been known to beat the everloving hell out of punks in skin tight skeleton costumes. He's so confident in his ass-kicking ability that he'd just as quickly honk your nose as actually end your life, leaving you fully aware as you piss your pants in terror that he could rip out your trachea at any point.  Plus, hey, he's great at fixing bikes and tolerating oily teenagers who develop unhealthy man crushes on him. 


9. Sir Sean Connery/John Mason (The Rock)

Source: Hollywood Pictures

Let's face it, if you find yourself face to face with John Mason you're already in a pretty big hole, and if you flinch he'll probably beat you to death with your own shoe (while you're still wearing it).  Not only was he a British secret agent and the only man ever to break out of Alcatraz, but he can also apparently almost singlehandedly take out a highly trained team of U.S. special forces soldiers all while toting around a bumbling scientist who claims to have f***ed the prom queen.  He's also really good at destroying cities with oversized SUVs, shattering windows with a quarter, and getting the drop on douchebags with a clothesline. Bonus points for Connery also playing a walking pile of asskick in The Untouchables.


8. Sir Ben Kingsley/Don Logan (Sexy Beast

Source: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Now we know what you're thinking: is Ben Kingsley really a knight?  Well, he doesn't wear a suit of armor and wield a sword (at least, not in public), but yes, the man who is most famous for playing Gandhi is a bona fide knight, and when he played Don Logan he became an equally bona fide badass.  If you haven't seen Sexy Beast, you're missing out on one of the most badass characters of the last decade, geezer or not.  Logan is a menacing mobster who wants to pull off one last big job (don't they all?) and if his old crew says no, well, let's just say that things will not end well for them.


7. Lee Marvin/Major Reisman (The Dirty Dozen)

Source: MGM

In a film full bad badasses including Charles Bronson and Jim Brown, perhaps none was badder than gruff old Major Reisman, the man given the charge of assembling a group of Army prisoners to go deep behind enemy lines in World War II on what amounts to a suicide mission.  The mission?  Oh, just to kill as many Nazi officers as possible.  And it takes a man with brass balls to lead a mission in which part of the plan hinges on Jim Brown going "undercover" in a Nazi uniform. Now granted, Lee Marvin was in his 40s when he made this movie and not technically a geezer, but just look at the dude. We're betting he looked the part of a gruff 60-year-old by the time he was in junior high.


6. Sir Anthony Hopkins/Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs)

Source: Orion Pictures

If you need us to tell you why it's probably a bad idea to mess with Hannibal Lecter, then we encourage you to visit the good doctor, and be sure to have a nice bottle of Chianti in hand.  Here's a guy who can mindf*** you into doing pretty much whatever he wants, can and will carve off your face in order to escape wearing it as a disguise, and can somehow get through a scene where he's eating Ray Liotta's brain right out of his head without breaking character or snickering once.  You've got to hand it to the guy, for a short chubby Brit he certainly isn't a guy we'd want to have over for a dinner party.



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5. Sylvester Stallone/Barney Ross (The Expendables)

Source: Lionsgate

Okay, so technically The Expendables hasn't come out yet, but if you've seen the trailer you'll have to agree with us that the leader of this ragtag group of mercenaries (is there any other kind?) looks like exactly the kind of guy you wouldn't want to get in a fender bender with, probably because he'd pull out a bazooka and light your car up just to teach you a lesson. Played by the 64-year-old Sylvester Stallone, Ross is enough of an asskicker to lead a group that includes the likes of Jason Statham, Jet Li, and Ivan Drago himself, Dolph Lundgren. The endless supply of missiles and steroids probably help his cause more than a little, of course.

4. Sir Alec Guinness/Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars)

Source: LucasArts

You could argue that with his almost unlimited power thanks to the Force, coupled with his ability to hang around and offer sage advice despite being dead, Obi-Wan could easily find himself atop this list. The only thing stopping us from putting him in the top three is the pesky little fact that, when you really think about it, Obi-Wan did precisely jack to really help the Rebel cause. He let Vader punch his ticket early in order to either motivate Luke or just because he was gettin' too old for this s*** (we can't really decide which). However, we still respect the hell out of his badassery because he wields the greatest power of the universe, and he taught us that those were not, in fact, the droids we were looking for.

3. Charles Bronson/Paul Kersey (Death Wish)

Source: Paramount Pictures

Okay, right off the bat you know you're getting a walking, talking fireball of fury when you're the hero of a movie called Death Wish. And then when you add in the fact that you're played by Charles Bronson, who at the time of the first Death Wish was 53, your asskickitude goes up exponentially. Of course then you have to factor in the four sequels and notice that Bronson was 73-freaking-years-old in Death Wish 5, and you realize that this is a man who could do to you with an AARP card and a Hoveround what someone like Stallone or Willis could only do with an AK-47 and a Sherman tank.


2. Clint Eastwood/William Munny (Unforgiven)

Source: Warner Bros.

You knew that Clint Eastwood would wind up on this list, didn't you? The toughest decision we faced, of course, came down to determining which role to choose. Ultimately we gave the edge to William Munny over Walt Kowalski and Dirty Harry for one simple reason, which is best said by the man himself: "I've killed women and children. I've killed just about everything that walks or crawled at one time or another. And I'm here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you did to Ned." Simply one of the most badass lines you'll ever hear, in one of the most badass scenes you'll ever see. If you've never seen Unforgiven, or even if you have, you should probably go watch those final 15 minutes again just to bask in the pure awesome manliness that is William Munny.

1. Sir Ian McKellan/Gandalf (Lord of the Rings)

Source: New Line Cinema

At this point we can't figure out quite what it means that half of the people on this list have been knighted, other than apparently soccer hooligans are not the only tough guys from the U.K. Anyway, we decided to give the top spot to the man who combines the wisdom and magic of Obi-Wan with the one-man firepower of Sylvester Stallone, none other than Gandalf the White. Sure, he was an old man who required a cane and loved his ganja (probably for his arthritis), but if you'll notice, he was a one-man wrecking crew who could fend off the Nazgul and, oh yeah, he killed the freaking Balrog. Not too shabby for a crotchety old wizard who loved to amuse little people with fireworks in his spare time.



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