Everytime a character becomes presented on the silver screen, the director and the costume designers articulate every detail, from their outfits to the style of hair that they are wearing. This kind of detail is the same reason why there is so much emphasis put into a tattoo that a character has. Tattoos are the personality that the film’s protagonist wears on their sleeve and here you will be reading about the five most famous tattoos and the films behind them.
5. Night of the Hunter (1955)
Early in the film you meet a man who self-appointed himself a preacher man and you can see that he no doubt the loves the lord but Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) still seems like a down-to-earth guy. His iconic tattoos which are H-A-T-E and L-O-V-E inked on the knuckles of both hands reveal that maybe the man has a bit of dark past. Not too much further into the film, this is confirmed by him ending up marrying and murdering two women. Maybe not so down-to-earth now, is he?
4. Red Dragon (2002)
Dolarhyde (Ralph Fiennes) is a man who adores William Blake’s painting “The Great Red Dragon” and because of this he has a massive dragon tattoo on his back. The man also can’t get enough of power and strength and to him, the Great Dragon exudes these two attributes. Dolarhyde is always trying to come to grips with the abuse that his grandmother has inflicted upon him as a child, so between this and a little case of schizophrenia, he has turned into a full blown serial killer.
3. Cape Fear (1991)
Martin Scorsese’s “Cape Fear” gave us a mean, crazy character named Max cady, played by Robert De Niro. He is a convicted rapist and while he spent his time in prison, he garnered himself quite the collection of tattoos. However, out of all his tattoo’s, it is the one on his back that bears a giant cross with a dagger and a bible, which stands for truth and justice. You can see clearly that Cady is a man consumed with vengeance and he is willing to take out his frustrations on an innocent family vacationing on a yacht.
2. American History X (1999)
Derek (Edward Norton) has a giant, black swastika tattoo on his left-sided peck. He is a man who exudes his brazen and aggressive anti-semitic behaviours like it were going out of style. In the film, you see that Derek is a man who is trying to free himself from his evil and anti-semitic ways and he does everything he can to forget the past but his past is waiting to remind him at every turn that he makes. This is the kind of film that will tell you that there will be always room for redemption and letting go of your past and even though there are many sad elements, it is feel good in it’s own way.
1. Memento (2000)
Leonard (Guy Pearce) is a man who has got a serious case of amnesia. He also is a saddened widow who is eaten up by a past that he simply can’t put behind him. That is why he utilizes the tattoo and a lot of them by using them as text reminders of things he must remember before he ends up forgetting about them again and he won’t because he is completely covered in tattoo’d messages. Between the odd circumstances of the film and the great direction by Christopher Nolan, Memento is a great watch in case you haven’t seen it.