The 8 Greatest Movie Bartenders

Thursday, March 8 by Houlihan Macaco

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Why is it that the unsung heroes in many movies are the bartenders? Some of the coolest movie characters are supplying all the drinks for the supposedly cooler characters. It's a bad rap that we're just going to have to address right here and right now. These eight guys deserve their due for pour the drug you chug into your mug, so behold; the eight greatest movie bartenders.

 

Wuher from "Star Wars".

Ted Burnett plays the bartender in the rowdiest bar in the galaxy: Chalmun's Cantina. This is the place where petty scores are settled with laser guns and lightsabers. For some reason, this establishment has a fixation about droids. Wuher won't even let the clunky translator and his beeping companion in the bar. Only hooligans are allowed in the Cantina. 

 

Gary the Bartender from "The Big Lebowski".

 

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Peter Siragusa is the local bowling alley barkeep in this 1998 cult classic movie that millions of Lebowskiheads are still quoting today. The most annoying of them have a bad habit of bombarding Facebook with them. This bartender's job is a bit easier than Wuher's because the toughest part is having to listen to asanine conversations as well as making funny yet aloof facial expressions. "With friends like these, eh Gary?"

 

Lloyd from "The Shining".

 

What's cooler than a ghostlike and straightlaced hotel bartender with a bowtie? Probably a lot of things, but this guy has some style. According to Jack Nicholson's character, he is "the best goddamn bartender from Timbuktu to Portland, Maine-or Portland, Oregon for that matter." OK, so he's a bit boring but a wonderful listener. And besides, there's something to be said for the reserved and refined old-school bartender.

Eddy in "The Barfly".

 

Eddy, played by the immortal Frank Rourke), in this bar movie from 1987. That is, until their big battle scene. After Henry gets kicked out of the bar where Eddy works, he then meets a woman who jumps in the sack with Eddy behind his back. Eddy is certainly the stud of the entire film. 

Short Bartender in "Desperado."

 

 Cheech Marin's career didn't stop after "Cheech and Chong". In 1995, he played Short Bartender in "Desperado", a drug war classic filled with smuggling operations and rowdy bar scenes. If there's one thing that can be said about this movie bartender, he doesn't take insults lightly. Still, if only he had his vampiric powers from "Dusk Til Dawn," in this Robert Rodriguez flick. Movie would have taken a different turn.

 

Nick from "It's a Wonderful Life".

 

Some bartenders have no soul and no Christmas spirit either. One of these is Nick, played by Sheldon Leonard, in a 1946 Christmas flick from hell. This guy even sprays a disgraced-pharmacist-turned-hobo, proving that it's not just clowns who get laughs from such shenanigans. But laughter aside, that's kind of an a-hole thing to do, isn't it?

 

Cowboy Bartender from "48 Hours".

Peter Jason is a redneck bartender in a redneck bar where officer Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) searches for a wanted criminal. This bartender doesn't seem to be too kindly to black folk, and Reggie doesn't seem to like country folk much either. The movie was released in 1982, a few years after the peak of the civil rights era. 

 

Spare:  Brian Flanagan in "Cocktail".

Remember that hunk from the 1980's who made all the ladies swoon? In this 1988 bar movie, Tom Cruise plays bartender Brian Flanagan. This is no ordinary bartender. Unlike Lloyd, his status as a closet ghost isn't in question, either. This man can even do the "Hippie Hippie Shake" while juggling glasses and bottles. If you want a real circus, check out Mr. Cruise in this movie.