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    Here are the greatest mustaches in the history of (literary) film and TV.

    Dan Sheehan

    March 1, 2023, 2:03pm

    Earlier this week, Ewan McGregor was photographed in Bolton on the set of A Gentleman in Moscow, Paramount+’s upcoming limited series adaptation of Amor Towles’ mega-bestselling 2016 novel.

    McGregor plays the titular gentleman, Count Alexander Rostov, who, in in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, is banished by a Soviet tribunal to an attic room in the opulent Hotel Metropol, and threatened with death if he ever sets foot outside again.

    As you can see from the pictures, McGregor’s Count sports a matching fur-trimmed hat and coat, a pair of leather gloves, and a magnificent handlebar mustache. Now, as every true student of cinema history knows, the presence of such fulsome whiskers on a lead actor immediately elevates not only the performance, but the entire project.

    McGregor’s impressive lip foliage will soon become part of a long and luxurious history of scene-stealing mustaches in movie and television adaptations of literary works (yes, I’m aware that this is both an oddly specific category and a mouthful, but this is a literary website, dammit, and we have to weed out the over-referenced Ron Swanson/Sam Elliott/Borat mustaches somehow).

    Anyway, let’s take a look back at some of the hall of fame literary silver screen ‘staches of yesteryear.

    The Adventures of Robin Hood

    Errol Flynn as Robin Hood in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), based on the Robin Hood folktales by various anonymous balladeers

    Mustache style: The Priapic Arrow

    Clark Gable

    Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind (1939), based on Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel

    Mustache style: The Phwoar of Northern Aggression

    Throne of Blood

    Toshiro Mifune as Taketoki Washizu in Throne of Blood (1957), based on William Shakespeare’s 1606 play Macbeth

    Mustache style: The Sleep Noh More


    Omar Sharif as Yuri Andreyevich Zhivago in Dr. Zhivago (1965), based on Boris Pasternak’s 1957 novel

    Mustache style: The Frosty Doc

    Donald Sutherland as John Baxter in Don’t Look Now (1973), based on Daphne du Maurier’s 1971 short story 

    Mustache style: The Venetian Griever

    Lonesome Dove

    Robert Duvall as Captain Augustus “Gus” McCrae in Lonesome Dove (1989), based on Larry McMurty’s 1985 novel

    Mustache style: The Cattleman’s Coffee Strainer


    Dustin Hoffman as Captain James Hook in Hook (1991), based on J.M. Barrie’s 1911 novel Peter Pan and Wendy

    Mustache style: The Curly Crocodile


    Benedict Cumberbatch as Paul Marshall in Atonement (2007), based on Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel

    Mustache: The Pervert’s Pencil

    Gone Baby Gone

    Titus Welliver as Lionel McCready in Gone Baby Gone (2007), based on Dennis Lehane’s 1998 novel

    Mustache style: The Boston Face Sox

    Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel Plainview in There Will be Blood (2007), based on Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel Oil!

    Mustache style: The Oily Zaddy

    The Lorax

    The Lorax as the Lorax in The Lorax (2012), based on Dr. Suess’ 1971 children’s book The Lorax

    Mustache style: The Lorax


    Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot in Death on the Nile (2022), based on Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel

    Mustache style: The Acting Distractor

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