Look at that mug! Haven't seen the film yet, but I'm in awe of Sean Penn's Dick Tracy face rage exploding all over the Gangster Squad trailer. I've never been his biggest fan. I've dug flicks like Milk, U Turn, & Carlito's Way, but for the most part he's just not one of my go-to actors. That being said, his hammer head performance in that very movie-movie Gangster Squad trailer is hypnotic. I immediately want to drop him in a Dick Tracy remake, call him Flattop and watch him tommy gun his way through the cops of Chicago. And his Mickey Cohen got me thinking of all the other great, beastly mugs in cinema. What other character actors deserved the spotlight of Chester Gould's comic strip.
5. Jason Clarke - I first noticed Mister Clarke's crazy looking mug in Paul W.S. Anderson's Death Race remake as he stomped to the hateful drum of Warden Joan Allen. Looking straight on at the man, you see a slightly doughy face sharpened with a pair piercingly hateful eyes. But it's the profile that truly makes Clarke's face a must pick for goons. He's got this jutting chin that can assault your lead actor well before his fists make contact. He's built for the head butt. Clarke is starting to gain some waves with rolls in TV shows like Showtime's Brotherhood & ABC's The Chicago Code as well as bit parts in Lawless and Zero Dark Thirty - Now is the time for his Miller's Crossing.
4. Jack Elam - A childhood staple. I first encountered Jack Elam the Goof yucking it up with Burt Reynolds and Dom Deluise in Cannonball Run. He had those Marty Feldman eyes that swiveled on his noggin like the most untrustworthy of chameleons. He could give you a cock-eyed glance that could produce coughing laughter, but if you watch his brutes in Westerns like Hannie Caulder & Once Upon A Time In The West, he represented an animalistic thug. Funny looking, but pretty damn scary. He played a lot of heavies, but he also never got that right Heavy - of The Untouchables variety.
3. Jeff Kober - Here's a scary looking bastard. One of my favorites. He's stalked Lou Diamond Phillips' good guy cop in the Satanist thriller The First Power. He's gotten drunk on milk & beaten the snot outta James Caan in Alien Nation. And he's worn a plethora of latex masks for various incarnations of Star Trek. He's got the stretchy, demonic grin of Willem Dafoe and a plank of wood forehead that rivals Christopher Walken. Jeff Kober should have been in Warren Beaty's Dick Tracy. He would have been a diabolical Cut Famon.
1. Rondo Hatton - You can't talk about Dick Tracy faces without ending the conversation on Rondo Hatton. But as much as I enjoy flicks like The Brute Man and Sherlock Holmes & The Perl of Death, Hatton never really got that essential role to showcase his obviously unique visage. The closest I got to the Ultimate Hatton Role is the heavily crafted homage in Disney's The Rocketeer, and we all just have to be satisfied with his tiny, small roles. And photos like the one above. Man. That's a true Heavy.