Running Scared: Masculinity and the Representation of the Male Body

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Overview

Running Scared responds to the absence of critical attention to male sexuality in film by bringing representations of phallic masculinity into the spotlight. In his analysis of films, novels, paintings, photographs, popular music, jokes, and videos, Peter Lehman investigates the patriarchal culture that keeps the male body—and especially male genitals—out of sight. Lehman documents the pervasive anxiety underlying images of the male body, arguing that attempts to keep male sexuality hidden in the pursuit of "good taste" and an avoidance of perversion maintains the "male mystique" and preserves the power of the phallus.

Lehman examines representations of the male body and male sexuality in a variety of settings and through many different lenses. Among the films he analyzes are Howard Hawks’s Rio Bravo and Rio Lobo; Scarlet Street; feral child films The Wild Child, Kaspar House, and Greystoke; and Nagisa Oshima’s In the Realm of the Senses. In these works, Lehman explores the symbolic enculturation of males, assumptions about power and the male body, and the ways that men’s and women’s bodies are marked differently with regard to scarring, wounding, and aging. In addition to film, Lehman also considers such varied material as Jim Thompson’s noir novel The Nothing Man, sexology and medical representations of male sexuality, the video Dick Talk, penis jokes in Hollywood films of the 1970s and 1980s, and popular music by Roy Orbison. This edition of Running Scared also includes a new chapter on male nudity in the films of the 1990s, adding fresh analysis to this classic text. An updated preface situates the book within the current critical climate.

Scholars of film studies, cultural studies, and gender studies and general readers interested in representations of gender and sexuality will appreciate this valuable text.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Peter Lehman is director of the Center for Film and Media Research and Film and Media Studies at Arizona State University, Tempe.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: "What Have We Done to Deserve This?" 1
2 "I Will Suppress Nothing": Sexuality in Male Feral-Child Narratives 37
3 "I Like Scars, Really": Men Called Scarface, Scar, and Stumpy 55
4 "No Nothing": The Nothing Man 71
5 Another Nothing Man: Edward G. Robinson and Scarlet Street 85
6 "I'll See You in Small Claims Court": Penis-Size Jokes and Their Relation to Hollywood's Unconscious 105
7 "The Question of the Century": Sexology and the Medical Representation of Male Sexuality 131
8 An Answer to the Question of the Century: Dick Talk 147
9 The "Gift" And the "Keepsake": In the Realm of the Senses: Castration Fantasies 169
10 Conclusion: Running Scared 197
Bibliography 221
Illustration Credits 227
Index 229
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