God of War 101: Best Shirtless Classical Dudes Flicks

With gaming's favorite shirtless Greek, Kratos, now beating up and killing baddies in God of War III, it is time to look at some of the best shirtless guy films.

Because when you're done playing a shirtless guy, you want to watch shirtless guys.

Here is a list of five of the best classical-style epic films. They are my favorites! Not yours, mine, so don't wallow like a baby because your favorite flick isn't listed here. Man up! We're talking about shirtless dudes.

Spartacus

God of War 101: Best Shirtless Classical Dudes Flicks

Starring Kirk Douglas, Spartacus was originally directed by Anthony Mann, but after a fallout with Douglas, Mann was axed. Mann would go on to direct his own epic El Cid. A young Stanley Kubrick was then brought on to helm the project with Douglas, who had worked with Kubrick on war film Paths of Glory, thinking he could control Kubrick. No such thing happened with Kubrick filming at a leisurely pace — until he got what he wanted. The end result? A classic and a strapping performance from Douglas. The film contained several sexually suggestive scenes that were cut from the original version of the film, but later restored.

Ben Hur

God of War 101: Best Shirtless Classical Dudes Flicks

Ben Hur was a gamble. If the film had failed, it would certainly driven studio MGM into bankruptcy. It went on to become a smash hit, garnering 11 Academy Awards — the most for its day. The center piece is the chariot race which actor Charlton Heston prepared months for (and a race in which a stuntman is rumored to have been killed). In an age before computer graphics, the race was and still is spectacular.

Jason and the Argonauts

God of War 101: Best Shirtless Classical Dudes Flicks

Two words: Ray Harryhausen. The special effects genius created some of the most memorable stop-motion work of the 20th century, such as the skeleton fight scene in Jason and the Argonauts. His last feature film was Clash of the Titans (the 1981 version). Now in his late 80s, Harryhausen is a true cinema pioneer.

Conan the Barbarian

God of War 101: Best Shirtless Classical Dudes Flicks

Featuring a screenplay written by John Milius and Oliver Stone, Conan the Barbarian turned Arnold Schwarzenegger into a movie star. While interesting and even enjoyable, his previous efforts Hercules Goes Bananas and Pumping Iron weren't career sustaining. Milius, who wrote Apocalypse Now, might have brought Conan to the big screen, but the finished product differs greatly from the Robert E. Howard Conan stories.

300

God of War 101: Best Shirtless Classical Dudes Flicks

In the wake of Sin City's big screen success, Frank Miller's 1998 graphic novel finally got the big screen treatment. It's a smorgasbord of madness and macho shirtless men.

Honorable mention:

Gladiator

God of War 101: Best Shirtless Classical Dudes Flicks

Whether it be science fiction robots or Demi Moore soldier girl, Ridley Scott has proven himself one of Hollywood's most versatile filmmakers. His work can be uneven, but when he hits the high notes, he hits them with the best of them. And it does it with such style. Gladiator made Russell Crowe an international superstar and helped paved the way for classical shirtless dude films like Troy (ungh) and 300 (yay). Russell Crowe does spend much of the film in armor. A shame.