The guy behind the guy is now in the cigar shop in the sky.

I'd venture to guess that to 99% of humanity, the name Victor Argo doesn't ring a bell. Heck, he doesn't even have a photo on his IMDB page. But just because you don't know his name, that doesn't mean you don't know Victor Argo, and though his passing will not get much mention in the news, he will be sorely missed.

You know the classic True Romance scene where Walken interrogates Hopper? Who's standing behind him? Victor Argo. The guy who took down Walken in King Of New York? Victor Argo. Hey, who was guy who played the apostle Peter in Last Temptation Of Christ? I suspect you can see where I'm going here. I could literally go on all day pointing out various movies that Argo appeared, and I assure you, at some point you'd say "Ohhhhhh...THAT guy!"

I really loved "that guy," the guy with the mug. He was mostly cast as gruff, but it was never just straight-up gruff. A Moviemaker Magazine article once described him as "looking like he has a chronic case of indigestion," which is a perfect way to describe this character actor. There was usually an underlying sadness to his roles-- his scene holding back tears in the crime against humanity that is Angel Eyes was the film's only saving grace. Either that, or it was tough guy with a side of comedy. A perfect example of this side of Argo was in Ghost Dog when, after being chastized for shooting a cop because the cop was a she, Argo debates that his cohort is a "male chauvinist pig." Good times.

But my favorite Victor Argo movies are the ones he made with his pal Harvey Keitel.
Did you know they made thirteen movies together? That's a pair of hermanos for you. If I had the proverbial gun to my head and had only one movie to recommend to you to encapsulate the Victor Argo experience, it would be Smoke. Argo probably has more lines in this one than any other flick, and watching him gab with his ole pal Harv is truly a joy to watch. Trust me.

Now for your homework, I command thee to go see the top 10 Victor Argo movies, according to the gospel of Drew. There's no chaff in this cream of wheat, that's for sure. If you don't like any of these movies, I will gladly refund your money. And by refund your money, I mean scoff at you and proclaim in a holier-than-thou fashion that perhaps you'd be better off renting a movie like Radio.

I suspect this is why I'd never last working at a video store.

Top 10 Victor Argo Flicks (Alphabetical)

After Hours
Bad Lieutenant
Crimes And Misdemeanors
Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai
King Of New York
Last Temptation Of Christ
Mean Streets
Taxi Driver
True Romance

Related tune: Pledging My Love by Johnny Ace (Windows Media via

posted by drew on 4/08/2004

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