Movies, more than any of the artistic media, have the capacity to change societal norms and rival the status quo. It’s no surprise then that we’ve turned to this medium to showcase and galvanize the wet shave. These wet shave scenes capture the machismo and effortless charm and power of some of the greatest characters the silver screen has had to offer. Whether in the throes of a violent crime or a dispirited war veteran being tenderly shaved by a comrade – the wet shave on screen – is a poignant vignette of passion, comradely, brotherhood and resilience in the face of adversity.
In 2012 director Sam Mendes captured a unique scene in which James bond is revived (at least emotionally) by Naomie Harris (Moneypenny). The scene showcases Naomie effortlessly removing the stubble with a straight razor and perfectly captures the level of trust, friendship and love shared between both characters.
This 1987 biopic cast Robert De Niro in the leading role as former gangster and Chicago based mob leader Al Capone. The scene is expertly filmed as Robert De Niro answers questions from members of the press while under the professional care of a barber. De Niro’s character, while gesticulating to the press, inevitably moves under the straight razor blade securing a nick to the left cheek. Viewers watch intrepidly as Al Capone investigates the nick with his hand and upon seeing the blood, chooses to conceal his wild temper for the sake of the press. It’s a scene cleverly crafted to generate suspense by juxtaposing the well documented conundrum of Capone’s violent temper and concern for his own reputation.
A list like this would be remiss if we didn’t include a good old fashioned western. The ‘High plains drifter’ has a wonderful scene in which Clint Eastwood (also the director of the movie), asks for a 90 cent shave and bath. Iconic in every way the director and cast went to great pains to carefully articulate the details of a quintessential wet shave at the turn of the 19th century. Using the wet shave as a cover, Eastwood in true gung-ho style, proceeds to take down three outlaws with his Winchester Model 1892.
This classic with Cary Grant has the actor on the run from the law. Despite his confusing and crazy circumstances the movie makers still have the actor taking care of grooming while hiding out on a train. Having to use Eva Marie Saint’s diminutive razor makes for a comedic exchange between Grant and a fellow traveler as two FBI agents run past having failed to recognize Grant’s shaving cream covered face.
This great flick from the 1940’s showcases Charlie Chaplin in one of his most memorable roles. Playing a Jewish barber in the ghetto of a fictional country during the Second World War, Chaplin’s flawless physicality and timing is exquisite as he executes what has to be one of the closest shaves in recorded film history.
Here you have five of the most iconic wet shaving scenes in movies to inspire you to reach for that safety razor and hone your wet shaving skills. We hope you enjoyed the read and look forward to hearing about your own iconic wet shaving moment movies.