Inaccurate Portrayals of Straight Razor Shaving or How Not to Use a Straight Razor

I have no idea why Hollywood simply cannot portray straight razor usage correctly. Is it really that hard to find someone who knows how to use one? Can they not do some quick online research on how to hold the blade? Straight razor usage should be seemingly obvious, but as my experience and Hollywood pictures show, that is simply not the case.

Back in the 90’s, when I was buying my first straight razor, as I was asking the salesperson at the knife store about straight razors, another customer chimed in on their use. He was under the impression that you dragged the straight razor spine first across the hairs. He said that the razor was supposed to be so sharp that the hairs would just pop off. He even claimed that that was how his friend used his straight razor while camping. In case you were wondering, it doesn’t work.

Perhaps these people got their incorrect beliefs from Hollywood. Just take a look at these pictures. Robert Duvall was part of the “Actors Acting” special by the NY Times. The below picture appears to be a promo shot.

Below is a screenshot from the HBO series Game of Thrones. What is interesting is that in the season’s first episode, one of the characters receives an accurate portrayal of a straight razor shave. Why they couldn’t get that same guy to give the other actor shaving tips baffles the mind. If your going to portray something, why not do so accurately or not at all?

And what is even more baffling about the Robert Duvall photo is that Robert Duvall himself clearly knows how to shave with a straight razor! Check out the video below of the actor using the razor correctly. Clearly the photographer or someone thought that it would look better to have Mr. Duvall show people how to gouge themselves with a straight razor! Clearly the razor is dull otherwise Mr. Duvall would be bleeding all over the photo set from the promo shot. He’s also clearly not really shaving in the video since there is no hair removal.


What are your thoughts? Do you think the media unfairly portrays straight razors? Tell us in the comments.

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