A good barman is a noble and rare beast. Here is a list of the greatest movie bartenders ever to yield a damp cloth:
1. Lloyd – The Shining
Most barmen turn into a shivering wreck when faced with the slightest sign of complexity. Not Lloyd. Lloyd handles the notion that he is either a figment of Jack Torrance’s deranged mind or one of many impeccably dressed ghosts haunting an old hotel with a quiet dignity and professionalism.
Lloyd is the type of guy who would never let a touch of existential despair get in the way of a classic Jack Daniels on the rocks. He is also ‘The best Goddamn bartender from Timbuktu to Portland Maine…or Portland Oregon for that matter.’
2. Spider – Goodfellas
Spider has an inauspicious start in his role as primary bartender at an underground mob joint. He has a poor rapport with customers, a lousy attitude and his dancing leaves a lot to be desired. When he returns after being shot by Joe Pesci’s menacing gangster Tommy De Vito however Spider is a changed man.
A good barman should be full of confidence and Spider is not afraid to tell an imposing gangster to go fuck himself. Though he might be dead, his spirit lives on in downtrodden, hard working bar folk everywhere. Extra points for popping up in the Sopranos alive and well.
3. Razor Charlie – From Dusk Till Dawn
It is essential that a barman can handle their customers whether they be bikers, vampires or Harvey Keitel. Danny Trejo’s Razor Charlie deals with all three heroically whilst also sporting a tremendous moustache.
The reasons for RC’s inclusion on this list are plentiful . He works in a bar called the Titty Twister. He makes George Clooney look silly by pouring George a drink and then drinking it himself. I’ll just let that sink in a second… HE MAKES GEORGE CLOONEY LOOK SILLY. Also THAT moustache!
4. Gary – The Big Lebowski
It is quite difficult to picture Gary even though pop culture hero Jeffrey ‘The Dude’ Lebowski maintains a pretty constant relationship with him throughout the Coen Brothers cult classic. It is this anonymity that makes Gary such a true pro. Rarely seen or heard; he lends a sympathetic ear to the dudes ongoing woes whilst also serving up a mean White Russian.
5. Brian Flanagan – Cocktail
The irrepressible Brian Flanagan is probably the most famous bartender in the movie world which makes him annoyingly difficult to leave off this list. Tom Cruise’s Flanagan may not be cool but he undoubtedly has talent. He would work in the upstairs cocktail bar but would be shunned by his co-workers.
Rick Blaine (Casablanca)
Because of course it is.
Just ask Peter Griffin!