The ten best cads on film

By Charles Shyer, the director of 'Alfie'
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

1 WARREN BEATTY IN 'SHAMPOO' Hal Ashby, 1975

1 WARREN BEATTY IN 'SHAMPOO' Hal Ashby, 1975

Beatty's performance as George Roundy is superb. He's a hairdresser, so he knows how to make women feel good about themselves, and he flits from one woman to another, one affair to the next. Eventually, he realises that you can't have peace of mind doing this, and by the end, he's alone at the top of the mountain.

2 HUGH GRANT IN 'BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY' Sharon Maguire, 2001

Grant's Daniel Cleaver is completely transparent - everybody except Bridget can see what he is. He's the kind of man who, when he's with a woman, makes them believe that they are the only one he wants to be with and that this time is very special - and maybe it is. But then he gets bored.

3 ALBERT FINNEY IN 'TOM JONES' Tony Richardson, 1963

If a cad is a guy who wants to get laid a lot, without consequences, Tom Jones is one. But if the women are enjoying it, too, is he still a cad? I think he is, because there's a relentlessness to his pursuits.

4 ROBERT DE NIRO IN 'NEW YORK, NEW YORK' Martin Scorsese, 1977

De Niro's character is drawn to the Liza Minnelli character, but he feels that he will be betraying his artistic goals if he goes along with it, so he turns himself into a cad to protect himself and his art.

5 WILLIAM HOLDEN IN 'SUNSET BOULEVARD' Billy Wilder, 1950

Holden plays a user - there's no other way to say it. Being in show business, I've met several men who are "producers". They hook up with a talented woman, form a partnership, use her talent but get the top billing themselves. It's a strange dynamic, but that's the Hollywood cad and Holden plays a version of that.

6 JACK NICHOLSON IN 'CARNAL KNOWLEDGE' Mike Nichols, 1971

Nicholson's character makes you uneasy - the way he treats women goes beyond venality into misogyny. It's a very unpleasant look at how men can be. His character is so angry - you hope that it's Jack acting, not Jack revealing something about himself, because it cuts so close to the bone.

7 CHARLES GRODIN IN 'THE HEARTBREAK KID' Elaine May, 1972

This guy is on his honeymoon. His new wife is, admittedly, not the most attractive or sexy of women, but then, he chose to marry her. However, he sees this great-looking woman and becomes obsessed... He's on his honeymoon - surely, this is the definition of caddish behaviour.

8 TIM MATHESON IN 'ANIMAL HOUSE' John Landis, 1978

His character, "Otter", is a guy who is mega-cute and uses his cuteness to get women - it's easy for guys who look like that. Why do they do it? They are cut off; they won't let love in. They are looking for something to fill the emptiness that they feel, and it doesn't work, so they just move on to the next one.

9 ZERO MOSTEL IN 'THE PRODUCERS' Mel Brooks, 1968

Mostel's Max Bialystock is totally shameless - he seduces hundreds of little old ladies for their money, and he's proud of it. A truly hysterical performance.

10 ROCK HUDSON IN 'PILLOW TALK' Michael Gordon, 1959

Hudson plays a Rat Pack kind of guy - a playboy. He's very much of his era - this was the Fifties, before women's liberation, when it was more acceptable for a man to behave like that. Women put up with that sort of behaviour then in a way they wouldn't now.

Comments