It seems like one can trace a line back through movie male stardom, from Harrison Ford to Warren Beatty to, here, George Bancroft, of a kind of leading man who is, to put it kindly, dumb, dense as a pile of concrete. The pleasure in watching them is seeing the kind of stubbornness and obstinacy that comes with attractive, aggressive dumb men in action. The additional pleasure of watching this type of man embodied in Bancroft is that the man himself seems physically as dense as a hunk of concrete. You'd have as much difficulty pushing him down as getting an idea through his head.
Inspired by the Film Forum's showing of Blood Money (Brown, 1933) in the Breadlines and Champagne series.