The 7 Biggest On-Screen Gentlemen of All Time

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James Bond, the secret agent with a licence to kill, returns with the story of his first 007 mission where he must defeat a weapons dealer in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, but there's more to the mission than meets the eye.
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures
April 25th, 2014

The modern understanding of the term "gentleman" is a man of high social status or one with a chivalrous attitude who is proper, polite and respectful around others. Although women may complain that gentlemen are hard to find, the world of cinema is full of them. Both classic and modern films have dished out plenty of classy characters worthy of the title of gentleman. From James Bond to Yip Man, these seven men make women swoon and inspire men to take notes.

 

 

james-bond.jpgPhoto Credit: Columbia Pictures

James Bond From the "James Bond" Film Series

James Bond, a British Secret Service agent, who goes by the code number 007, is a classic on-screen gentleman who is best known for liking his martini "shaken, not stirred." The character first appeared in the film "Dr. No" in 1962, and the on-going film series portrays Bond as a well-dressed, polite man who drives stylish cars and always gets the girl. Over the years, he has been played by a number of off-screen gentlemen including Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.

 

 

batman_0.jpgPhoto Credit: Warner Bros.

Bruce Wayne From the "Batman" Movies

Although he is a caped crusader by night, by day Bruce Wayne is the perfect picture of a gentleman. As the heir to Wayne Enterprises, Bruce is a high-status individual whose closest friend is his butler. Although he is portrayed as more of a playboy than a gentleman in some films, audiences cannot forget the class that George Clooney's Bruce Wayne brought to the silver screen in "Batman & Robin."

 

 

rhett_hat.jpgPhoto Credit: Loew's

Rhett Butler From "Gone With the Wind"

For many, Rhett Butler is the iconic gentleman, and his portrayal by real-life gentleman Clark Gable is all the more appealing. From his first appearance in the film, Rhett proves himself to be intelligent, courteous and interesting. Although the beautiful Scarlett first views him as cynical, she realizes that he is a true gentleman when he rescues Scarlett and her family from a Union troop siege of Atlanta. The character of Rhett Butler, with his slicked-back hair and pencil mustache, is the perfect example of an on-screen gentleman.

 

rick_blaine.jpgPhoto Credit: Warner Bros.

Rick Blaine From "Casablanca"

This movie gentleman's adventurous attitude and high status have made him a picture of class for generations. Rick Blaine is an exiled American who owns a popular nightspot in Casablanca. Rick, portrayed by Humphrey Bogart, is rarely seen without a tasteful suit and bow tie, and his affection for his love interest Ilsa is an inspiration for moviegoers of every age.

 

jay-gatsby.jpgPhoto Credit: Warner Bros.

Jay Gatsby From "The Great Gatsby"

The title character from the 2013 film is the ideal gentleman, and the film centers on the mystery that surrounds him. Jay Gatsby is a man of high social standing who throws regular parties at his luxurious mansion, and those who meet the elusive man find him to be classy, charming and exceptionally polite. It is soon revealed that there is more to this gentleman than meets the eye as he tries to woo the love of his life back to him. Due to Gatsby's kind nature and unexpected quirks, audiences find themselves rooting for the character almost immediately. Jay Gatsby is elegantly portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, who is notorious for playing high-class gentlemen.

 

 

danny-ocean.jpgPhoto Credit: Warner Bros.

Danny Ocean From "Ocean's Eleven" and Subsequent Sequels

Former U.S. Army sergeant Danny Ocean exudes the charm of a gentleman even as he plans elaborate robberies with other former soldiers. Danny is friendly, collected and charismatic, and he is both loving and devoted to his wife Tess. He always keeps up an impeccable appearance, and he adheres to a strict code of conduct, making him a true gentleman of the criminal world. Frank Sinatra was the original Danny Ocean, but George Clooney keeps it classy as the modern version.

 

 

yip-man.pngPhoto Credit: Well Go USA Entertainment

Yip Man From "Ip Man"

In the film, Yip Man is a martial artist of high class in 1935 south China, and he is characterized by his courteous treatment of everyone around him, especially his wife. After Japan invades China, he continues to act like a gentleman even when his family is forced into poverty. The character is based on the real-life Yip Man, the first martial arts master to teach Wing Chun, and the mentor to Bruce Lee.

Most on-screen gentlemen are characterized by fashionable suits, well-kept hair and an air of confidence, but their courteous attitude and respect for others, particularly women, are some of their defining attributes. These characters have charmed audiences again and again, but they would never reach this status without the talented, classy actors who portray them.