Skip to content

Kurt Russell’s Best Sleeveless Shirts

December 3, 2014

Hello all. Mark here.

Kurt Russell is one of my favorite actors. The dude has been under appreciated for years and has never gotten the respect he deserves. He has been in some great films and his cult classics are ageless.  Whether it be his Carpenter Quadrilogy (Thing, NY, LA, Big Trouble in Little China) or his work with Tarantino (Death Proof) Russell always keeps it different. He can be a charming seafarer (Captain Ron, Overboard), badass soldier (Stargate, Soldier), conflicted lawman (Tombstone, Dark Blue), or just a nice dude (Miracle, Sky High, Executive Decision).

The following list compiles Russell’s best sleeveless shirts. This list may seem odd but some of his most famous roles have come while his arms are free of cotton/leather/polyester. Whether he is rocking a post-apocalyptic sleeveless leather thing or living the “suns out, guns out” lifestyle his arms always give the character more personality.

If you like this post make sure to check out the MFF podcast where we discuss all things involving Kurt Russell and sleeveless shirts.  We also dedicated our 50th podcast to all things Russell. You will love it.

Jack BurtonBig Trouble in Little China 

Big trouble

Jack Burton is a blowhard truck driver who found himself in over his head. The dude wasn’t ripped but he had a believable everyday look of a trucker who might sucker punch you in a bar. He is a lucky buffoon who will courageously engage in a knife throwing contest with ultimate evil. Could he have such quick knife catching reflexes if he was wearing a shirt? Nope.

Burton is my favorite Russell character and his tank top has become a thing of legend. Check out the post I wrote about Burton being the best.

Snake PlisskenEscape From New York/Escape From LA (check out why L.A. is a bonkers masterpiece)

Escape from new york

When the President or his family get stranded in a maximum security prison who ya gonna call? Snake Plissken! When you need to play basketball, what are you going to wear? A sleeveless shirt!

Escape from LA

Plissken’s sleeveless shirt has become synonymous with the word “badass.”  I am willing to bet the freedom the shirt allowed his arms was the reason for his quick draw success.His sleeveless shirt is practical, tactical and stylish.


Dean ProffittOverboard

Overboard pic


Kurt Russell cemented his construction worker/blue collar persona in Overboard. It takes a brave man to wear a sleeveless denim shirt.

Captain Ron RicoCaptain Ron

captain Ron

People love Captain Ron. It is a cult classic that is anchored by a devil may care Russell performance. He rocks an eye patch and fully embraces the “suns out, guns out” lifestyle.

I still love this exchange.

Caroline Harvey: Captain Ron, I was wondering. Are we going to be going to any more “human” type places?

Captain Ron: Well, you heard of St. Croix?

Caroline Harvey: Yeah.

Captain Ron: We’re going to the island just to the left of it.

Caroline Harvey: What’s it called?

Captain Ron: Ted’s.

Cash Tango and Cash

Tango and Cash

If you are gonna star alongside Stallone you need to bring your arm game. Russell didn’t go the weight lifting route. He looks like he has been carrying drywall around for the last two years. The practical muscles certainly pay dividends as the escape proved to be a grueling test of endurance and wet t-shirts.

What is your favorite sleeveless Kurt Russell shirt?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: