Detecting Men : Masculinity and the Hollywood Detective Film

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-07-06
  • Publisher: State Univ of New York Pr
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"Detecting Men examines the history of the Hollywood detective genre and the ways that detective films have negotiated changing social attitudes toward masculinity, heroism, law enforcement, and justice. In this volume, Philippa Gates examines classical films of the thirties and forties as well as recent examples of the genre, including Die Hard, the Lethal Weapon films, The Usual Suspects, Seven, Devil in a Blue Dress, and Murder by Numbers, in order to explore social anxieties about masculinity and crime and Hollywood's conceptions of gender. Up until the early 1990s, Gates argues, the primary focus of the detective genre was the masculinity of the hero. However, from the mid-1990s onward, the genre has shifted to more technical portrayals of crime scene investigation, forensic science, and criminal profiling, offering a reassuring image of law enforcement in the face of violent crime. By investigating the evolution of the detective film, Gates suggests, perhaps we can detect the male."--BOOK JACKET.

Author Biography

Philippa Gates is Associate Professor of Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario.

Table of Contents

The crime lab - theorizing masculinity and the detective genre
Introduction : the casep. 3
The myths of masculinityp. 27
Investigating masculinity - the 1940s and the 1980s
Investigating national heroes : British sleuths and American dicksp. 55
Investigating crisis : neo-noir heroes and Femmes Fatalesp. 95
Investigating crisis : the spectacle of "musculinity"p. 125
Investigating the crime scene - the 1990s and 2000s
Investigating the hero : the criminalistp. 157
Investigating the "other" : race and the detectivep. 189
Investigating the "other" : women and youthp. 217
Investigating the "other" : the cult of villainyp. 253
End of the investigation : case closedp. 283
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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