They’re wild. Rough around the edges. Men that embody the unbridled excitement of the frontier. Idealistic, brave and strong. They’re not bad boys at all. These are men. And maybe they live hard, but they are about what’s right and good, with no excuses. They may have a bit of a past, but that’s okay. They’ve lived, learned and now have the wisdom that comes with experience.
So, we’ve come pretty far, haven’t we? Starting here, and now, these are tonight’s good men:
Norman Reedus plays Daryl Dixon, a motorcycle riding, crossbow wielding badass who has found a place in a devastated society – as a leader. It’s been quite a ride these past few seasons, and Daryl has definitely grown along the way. They say it’s who you are during the worst of times that shows the quality of your character, and Daryl is definitely a great example of that.
I have to honestly say that it took Michael Mann’s vision to turn The Last of The Mohicans into a movie that I would sit and watch. Which was a good thing, because his take on Nathaniel, or Hawkeye, as well as Daniel Day Lewis’ heroic performance distills Cooper’s Natty Bumpus into a riveting man. Raised by a tribe of Mohicans after his family is murdered, Nathaniel lives on the frontier of the New York colony in the days before the French and Indian War. Nathaniel is courageous, noble, honest and fierce. He quietly falls in love with the lovely Cora Munroe and tracks her across the war torn landscape, no matter what threatens to keep them apart.
Larry McMurtry is truly a master of creating memorable characters. In his epic Western, Lonesome Dove, Mr. McMurtry gives us two such men. For the purposes of this post, I’m only going to talk about one. Robert Duvall brought Capt. Augustus McRae to life – a Texas Ranger, whose Kentucky born heart is as pure as his wits are sharp. He’s brave, wise and infinitely kind – in love with a woman he can never have, but gentle and compassionate with the young Lorena, a prostitute who has followed Gus and his friends on a cattle drive to Montana, hoping to get to California. He hunts down the bad men that kidnap and brutalize her,hands down frontier justice and proceeds to take on the task of helping Lorie back from the trauma. Not too shabby, huh?
Take THAT, Mr. Grey!