The Devil’s Hairstyle

The Devil’s Hairstyle – A Rumination from Andrew Beck.

The two most popular movies based on Fredrick Knott’s “Dial M for Murder” are, obviously, Hitchcock’s equally titled movie from the 1950’s and Andrew Davis’s re-imagined “A Perfect Murder” from the 1990’s.

beckThe wronged vengeful husbands in these movies are played by Ray Milland and Michael Douglas, respectively. Now while it is quite obvious I am the short side of this isosceles triangle of talent, there is, however, one small characteristic in which I do manage to match their efforts. That element, of course, is hair.

What does this hair style say about Tony Wendice (besides the fact that he has a particularly beefy hair gel budget)? It is a style that is forced upon the hair, cowlicks, bed head are no match for a firm comb and that handful of gel. It is a hairstyle that says I get what I want. It is a hairstyle that is unaffected by the world around it. Wind, rain, hail, snow or shine that hair helmet is in effect all the time.

It is a classic hairstyle no matter the era. Granted, it is slightly more formal then what is typically seen day to day today but it is certainly still viewed as a hairstyle used by a particular type of person, often seen s snooty or having a few more dollars in their pocket then he or she needs.

Now why have I spent so much effort to discuss a characters hairstyle? I find it interesting that three different versions, over numerous decades, have come to the remarkably similar conclusion when it comes to hairstyle choices.

douglasIt is a hairstyle that gives visual clue to the audience even before Tony Wendice utters a single phrase:

“Be careful, this guy may be just a little uptight and have a stick right where the forecast is always murky.”

It’s so important to me as an actor to notice these details.

So much about Tony Wendice is totally normal….He is a successful man about town with a unique talent (tennis), Tony is totally at ease rubbing elbows with the upper crust and he has a beautiful wealthy wife. Tony has the perfect life…that being said, he is still capable of murder.

How interesting and frightening is that? Would we be capable of the same choice were we given the same stimulus?

millandWhat does the way we present ourselves communicate to those round us?

What little signs when we meet that person in the bar or at work are we missing?

Have you seen someone with the devil’s hairstyle today?

Happy Halloween!