Yet again, the bowler hat is linked to criminal behavior, this time by the character Alex in Stanley Kubrick’s film adapation of A Clockwork Orange. Though Alex beats people to death and rapes women, at no point does he throw his hat at anyone, which is a marginal improvement on the behavior displayed by Oddjob. Also, I’m not sure Asians should wear hats.
Anyway, Alex wears the bowler as part of a bizarre ensemble that features a codpiece, one false eyelash, and suspenders. However, the bowler hat pulls the bizarre elements together for a smart ensemble that I dress my children in when we go to church.
During the heyday of Davey Crockett’s legacy (the late 40’s and 50’s), there was much to celebrate: Crockett’s legendary stand at the Alamo, his embodiment of the spirit of the frontier and exploration, and also his ability and willingness to gut a dead animal and place it on his head.
Scott Farkas sullies this lore in A Christmas Story by picking on Ralphie while wearing the coonskin cap. He is a horrible, mean boy, and if I was his parent, I would take away his coonskin cap until he proved himself capable of being a better person.
Finally, an instance of a lauded film character wearing a hat (a bowler, no less!) with dignity and grace. The Addams Family‘s Cousin Itt wears this classic headwear as it was meant to be worn, forgoing rape and murder, instead opting for some pleasant, gentle squeaking.
I’ve said my whole life that Cousin Itt is a true class act, and nowhere is that more apparent than with the style and respect in which he dons this handsome, handsome bowler atop his crown.