Peter Russell

Pete is a technology expert. He founded Joomla with a great group of people in Europe. He is an author of a range of content including stories and tutorials.

The Ten Gallon Black Hat

The Ten Gallon Black Hat

Don't we all secretly love an anti-hero? — the tall figure in the Western movies who is bad, possibly dangerous, but you can't help but like the character.

I started thinking about this after watching a complicated, evil, twisted but charming character in a Marvel Daredevil episode.  The Punisher, a brutal combat-hardened soldier, takes revenge to a whole new level.

What makes us love the bad boys? Sometimes you catch yourself hoping the baddie will escape or will live on to fight another day. Is it their charm?  Think of McEnroe having a hissy-fit on the court.  We loved that!  It was alarming but still we loved it.  Wiley Coyote, despite his desperate attempts to catch and eat the Road Runner, is quite endearing.  He's not bad; he's just misunderstood!!!

Some of the not-so-obvious anti-heroes are often thought of as heroes.  James Bond for one. Holden Caulfield from "Catcher in the Rye," Prince Hamlet from "Hamlet," Harry Callaghan in "Dirty Harry," Michael Corleone in "The Godfather."  It's a massive list, just Google anti-heroes for more.

When you think of the Ten Gallon Black Hat types, you start to ponder what makes them so appealing.  There seems to be some truth to the "good girls love bad boys" concept.  But I believe this is true for actors seeking fulfilling roles.  Some of the best characters are the baddies.

Leonardo DeCaprio in "D'Jango Unchained" is charmingly evil.  De Niro in "Heat" is another example of a charming bad guy who meets a sticky end.

Throughout history, there have been monsters, men of pure evil who have been depicted on modern celluloid because we are fascinated by the dark side.  Vlad the Impaler, Ghengis Khan, Caesar, Hitler, Black Beard, Jesse James, Ned Kelly have collectively been depicted in film multiple times.  We seem to have a fascination with what motivates people who reside in the darkness.

The original Batman too must be the all-time most complex, tormented soul fighting for apparently the right reasons yet dispatching justice with extreme malice.

Hollywood loves the bad boys and girls. There's something more fascinating and endearing with Zorro compared to the Lone Ranger.  The man in black is infinitely more mysterious and often more complex. And without the baddies, wouldn't the storytelling be boring?



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