Cover image for "He's all man" : learning masculinity, gayness, and love from American movies
"He's all man" : learning masculinity, gayness, and love from American movies
Clum, John M.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Palgrave, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxxii, 221 pages, 10 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PN1995.9.M46 C49 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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"He's All Man" is John M. Clum's insightful, biting and characteristically humorous analysis of the central myths of American manhood that have been propagated by Hollywood films and dramatized by our major playwrights. In the politically incorrect way he dared to ask "What happened to gay irony?" in Something for the Boys , Clum now dares to ask the explosive question "What is the vision of the American Male that Hollywood has sold us?" "He's All Man" examines the ways in which homoeroticism has been part of the myth of American manhood, wrapping itself around cowboy, soldier, and gangster legends as they fuse to create a picture of the quintessential American male. From Audie Murphy to The Sands of Iwo Jima and The Maltese Falcon , Clum takes us on a tour of the roughs, the toughs, and the fluffs that swagger, strut, and pirouette their way through the Hollywood Masculinity Machine and the ways in which gay filmmakers have bought into the Hollywood vision of manhood and romance. Just as Something for the Boys raised hackles and caused controversy over Lorenz Hart's lyrics and Ethel Merman's lungs, "He's All Man" will surely do the same for Edward G. Robinson's cigar and Marlon Brando's t-shirt.

Author Notes

John M. Clum is Professor of Theater Studies and English at Duke University.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Clum's (drama & English, Duke) latest does for movies what his earlier Something for the Boys did for theater: it gives readers a definitive treatment of how a popular form represents gay men and, more generally, manhood. Although Clum continues to include some references to plays in this work, his main focus remains American film. And unlike other academics, he does not attempt to "queer" the subject, that is, to interpret it from a gay/queer perspective, but rather wants to examine broader social issues that it implicates and to answer the highly provocative question, "What is the vision of the American male that Hollywood has sold us?" In other words, Clum does not just seek to identify gay references in film but also attempts to explore and come to terms with topics such as violence and masculinity, gender equity in portrayals, fathers on-screen, and images of gay men both before and after the advent of liberation movements of the 1960s. Fortunately for general readers, his style is accessible, so most people will be able to enjoy reading this book even if only as a survey. Libraries collecting popular culture or film studies will want to own this title. Some comparable works include Richard Dyer's Now You See It: Studies on Gay and Lesbian Film (1994) and his Culture of Queers (2002). David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libs., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Clum (English and theater studies, Duke Univ.) extends his critical analysis of performing arts from musical theater (which he looked at in Something for the Boys, CH, Jun'00, and in his edited anthology Staging Gay Lives, CH, Nov'96) to film and television. Here, he structures his analysis as an examination of masculinity: how films and selected television series construct gender roles for men. Organized in three sections ("Learning Masculinity," "Learning Gayness?" and "Learning Love"), the eight chapters examine a variety of films and series, from Little Ceasar to Six Feet Under. Contrasted with James Keller's Queer (Un)Friendly Film and Television (CH, Jul'02), Clum's book offers a more explicit organizational scheme but delves less deeply into postmodernist queer theory for its analysis of gender. For example, in examining Gods and Monsters, Keller explores the dynamics of "masculine protest" in Clay Boone's reaction to James Whale's sexual anecdotes, whereas Clum says only that Boone "goes homophobic." Still, Clum's volume has its own share of worthwhile insights, particularly regarding classic Hollywood films and their stars, such as Grant and Hepburn. Including ten illustrations and 12 pages of notes, this title is accessible to readers at all levels but is particularly recommended for undergraduate collections supporting work on popular culture and gender. J. J. Marchesani Pennsylvania State University, McKeesport Campus

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Foreword: Ronald Reagan, Audie Murphy, and I: A Saturday Matinee Education into Manhoodp. xi
I. Learning Masculinity
1. Dicks and Testosterone: What Little Boys Are Made Ofp. 3
2. Father Knows Best: Picturing the Gender Orderp. 23
3. Fathers and Cowboys: Teaching Manhoodp. 49
4. Manhood Unraveling: Homosexual Panic and Martyrdomp. 79
II. Learning Gayness?
5. Gay Killersp. 99
6. Sex and the City: Nuts, Sluts, and Deadly Queersp. 133
III. Learning Love
7. In the Shadow of Cary Grant: Gay Romancep. 161
8. Black and White: "Ennobling Love"p. 189
Coda: Assimilationp. 199
Notesp. 203
Index of Titlesp. 215
Index of Namesp. 218

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