About TGMC

The Tough Guy Movie Club is the result of a conversation that happened in 2005 between two dads in Falls Church, Virginia, who were planning to get a group together to see a movie on a Saturday night. The idea grew as the conversation continued, and a vision was formed to show movies about heroes that have a real message of value to share. Instead of all the media garbage out there vying for kids' attention, we have selected some excellent movies to watch with our young men.

A typical TGMC event is a tremendous amount of fun.  We don't just watch a great movie. There's great guy food, too:  very large (did I mention very, very large) quantities of root beer, BBQ ribs, baked beans, and slaw. (Cole slaw is the official form of vegetable accepted by the Tough Guy Movie Cub.) And with good food comes good conversation and friendship building. Truly a good time.

So far we have picked a mix of old and more recent movies to provide a broad perspective and to spark discussion. Naturally, Tough Guy movies often do contain some violence: the shootout in High Noon, the chariot race in Ben Hur, the government attacks on school children in Cry Freedom, and the boxing scenes in Cinderella Man. With these movies, though, the violence is not the gratuitous violence for the sake of showing violence that we see in so much media today. Violence, like any challenging topic, can and should be discussed with the group before, during or after the movie if you feel it appropriate. These are great teaching opportunities.

The concept of what a real hero is centers many of our conversations. A man from Louisiana once said at a lecture that to be a real hero you do "what you can, with what you got, when you can." (That's where the TGMC motto comes from.) His point was that people mistakenly see heroes only as those who do the big or high-profile heroic deeds or who just do high-profile things that get them noticed. Some of these people are true heroes, but they are not the only ones. Real heros often go unnoticed. A real hero holds the door for someone or returns the shopping cart in a parking lot for someone else. A real hero uses his or her words respectfully of others or visits the elderly person on their street just to give them some company. Yes, some heroes help save nations like Stephen Biko in the dramatic Cry Freedom, but some just look out for their brother or sister like the siblings in the fabulous Children of Heaven. Our message to the young men is to not believe the commercials that tell our youth that something has to be the "biggest" or the "best" to be worth anything at all. Rather, TGMC says that helping the one person in need on your street is just as important as the dramatic and publicized stories that get the press.

Examples of how these young men can be heroes right where they are have included:

  • Being polite and respectful to the girls at school
  • Never using words like "fat and ugly" (or worse) to make fun of others
  • Reaching out to others by just simply saying "hello" to the kids in school or to those in the neighborhood who seem lonely
  • Encouraging others towards kindness as well

These things can change lives for good.

Please come to a TGMC movie showing or start a group in your neighborhood. The movies are easily purchased online through TGMC's Amazon store, often for just a bit more than renting them. Everyone attending their second show receives a free TGMC hat with the "what - with what - when" motto stitched on the back as a reminder to all of us!

Let's enjoy our time teaching our youth and eating great BBQ!


ntg (notable tough guy)