Mature masculinity and the ageing action hero

Feasey, R (2011) 'Mature masculinity and the ageing action hero.' Groniek, 190. pp. 507-520. ISSN 0169-2801

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Much work within the field of film and gender studies has attempted to theorise, unmask and deconstruct the representation of the male action hero, paying particular attention to the spectacular body and the herculean physical performances of characters such as John McClane/Bruce Willis, Martin Riggs/Mel Gibson and Indiana Jones/Harrison Ford. And yet, at a time when these stars are returning to the action roles that made them famous, in some cases, several decades later, scholars continue to ignore and overlook the fundamental notion of age in their discussions of the hard bodied, hegemonic hero. After all, hegemonic masculinity has associations with physical prowess, sexual virility, social dominance and aggression, which are potentially at odds with the image of the ageing male. With this in mind, I propose to examine the representation of the ageing action hero in the popular and long running Die Hard (1988, 1990, 1995, 2007) franchise, and consider the ways in which the mature masculinity on offer is seen to either be confirming to or challenging the hegemonic ideal.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Bath School of Art, Film and Media
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2013 10:28
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 19:40
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