I’m still seeing signs for Gangster Squad everywhere, and I’m sick of not indulging my fetish for gay listmaking. So, here’s my way of getting a fix: These are the nine hottest hotties of gangster films, and I hope we can agree that a gangster film can either be a classic shoot-’em-up thriller of the 1930s-40s with mensches like Jimmy Cagney and Paul Muni or a stylized modern version that’s more about dress-up than White Heat credibility. I’ve included both versions in this list.
Here are your gangsters, ranked and dapper as hell.
9. Ryan Gosling, Gangster Squad
Forgive me — I am obligated to include the impossibly debonair Gosling since he makes every suit, glance, and cigarette puff a libidinous delight in Gangster Squad. How does he achieve such angles? I fear he has taken a sander to every pane on his face. I can’t explain what he’s achieved. But it is a masterful achievement in architecture as well as gangster realness.
8. Jude Law, Road to Perdition
The makers of The Road to Perdition selfishly tried to ugly up Jude for this role — his teeth were yellowed, his skin was blanched, and his general “Jude Law” glow was deadened. And yet, he’s somehow freakishly hot (and a little identical to Ryan Phillippe) as a photographer-turned-criminal in this so-so jam from ’02. Look at his stoicism and sexiness shooting through that powder job. You’re no match for his allure, makeup department.
7. Humphrey Bogart, The Petrified Forest
Never forget that Humphrey Bogart was the picture of dreaminess in his early days. I usually recall him looking rather piscine and bedraggled in The African Queen, but in The Petrified Forest alongside Leslie Howard and a perky, ’30s-style Bette Davis, he and his five o’clock shadow are charismatic and downright comely.