Saturday, July 28, 2007

For The Manly

As a writer I am always sensitive to the presence of archetypes in literature and film, and while I extol the virtue of character development beyond these archetypes, it is sometimes fun to celebrate the appearance and endurability of these iconic figures. Okay, I'll put it differently...

I've been recently playing Warcraft and glutting myself on testosterone inducing cinematic experiences. You know, macho films. Manly movies. Studly Cinema. Is there anything more inspiring (in a manly way) than John Wayne taking the reins in his teeth as he charges down a hill to meet the badguys, both hands filled with hot iron? Is there anything more inspiring than the manly self sacrifice of Bogart, looking down at Bergman as he intones: "You're getting on that plane. If you don't you'll regret it. Maybe not tomorrow, or the next day, but soon and for the rest of your life. We'll always have Paris. Here's looking at you, kid."

Icons. Indiana Jones, Hans Solo, Harry Callahan, Rooster Cogburn, James Bond.

So, before slipping away once again to do battle in cyberspace, here's a quick nod to my own list of the ten greatest guy films in cinema. In no certain order:

1) Magnificent Seven
2) The Great Escape
3) Star Wars
4) Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark
5) The Dirty Dozen
6) Bullitt
7) Die Hard
8) XXX
9) Predator
10) True Grit

yeah, there are more..and manly men know them and celebrate their manliness.

29 comments:

SQT said...

I can't help but love that you put "XXX" on the list. It isn't Indiana Jones if we're being honest but it sure had some great stunts. I loved the motorcycle stunt at the beginning and who doesn't love a tricked out GTO?

Pythia3 said...

I have been over saturated with testosterone lately . . . I need a pink bubble bath, fast!
Miss you, but it sounds like you're having fun :)

Travis said...

Excellent list! I shall add The Wild Bunch as my contribution to your list.

Stewart Sternberg said...

SQT, I don't want to get caught in the "oldies" rut. There are some fantastic manly men films that have been made in the last ten years.

Pythia, good to see you around on the net. Hopefully, we'll see you in the flesh soon. Hope all is well.

Travis, I have that film lined up. I'm having it delivered by Netflix in the next couple days.Westerns are great for this subgenre, aren't they? I could have added "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" and "The Good The Bad and the Ugly", or Lee Marvin in "The Professionals". God..and I definitely should have had "Goldfinger" or "Dirty Harry" up there. Maybe a top fifty list would have been better.

Jon said...

Honestly, Sternberg...no Bond????

Kate S said...

Why is it I hear Tim Allen in the background going "whoo, whoo, whoo"?

Stewart Sternberg said...

Mr.Zech I don't think Bond is a typical manly man's hero...I think a person needs to be special to appreciate 007. Bond is above all lists. He is a Godshead.

And Kate..WHOO WHOO WHOO back at you

Charles Gramlich said...

Interesting list but I don't know if I'd agree with "Star Wars." as for XXX, I'm not sure about that either. I wasn't a huge fan of that film. I agree with you about Bond not quite fitting. But certainly any Clint Eastwood western or his Dirty Harry films. The "300" is a manly man film for sure.

miller580 said...

OK...I was going to say blade runner...but that really is more sc-fiish...

if it were my list though I would add Lethal weapon, Terminator (only the first one) and The negotiator. Oh and Smokey and the Bandit (which is coming on dvd next week...thank you net flix.)

I think I would also add Tombstone.

Bullitt...Steve McQueen right? Can I still keep my manliness if I admit that I never saw it? Not that I would admit that publicly anyway.

Lee said...

Wow. What a ghey post.

;)

Sidney said...

Great choices. You know Bullet will be on TV next week. Charles is right about "300." Any film with a line like: "Prepare your breaksfast and eat hearty Spartans for tonight we dine in hell." is manly.

Sidney said...

I had to weigh in on Bond too. "Casino Royale" would almost fit. Daniel Craig él es más macho!

Sphinx Ink said...

I love action films. I'm feeling testosterone-deprived lately, so I think I'll go out and rent some of your suggested titles, most of which I last viewed years ago. Bring on the manly men!

ShadowFalcon said...

I do love macho films - aliens and most thing directed by jim cameron usually have all the action i like (T@ was just awesome)

Stewart Sternberg said...

Charles, NO!!! "300" was w-a-a-a-a-y too homoerotic to ever be considered a manly man film. I have no problem with homoerotica, just not in my macho man movies.

Sidney, what I said to Charles...same to you. I hated 300. Hated. If I have to have a film with homoerotic scenes, then give me SPARTACUS!!!!

Will Kinshella said...

I think You're all forgeting the greatest "manly man" film of them all.

Man on Fire.

You can't beat it.
Denzel is just too awesome.
And I mean, come on,

"Creasy's art is death, and he's about to paint his masterpiece..."

You can't get much more testosterone laden than that.


As for the 300, well, as much as I hate the blatant historical inaccuracies, and consider myself a straight man. I must admit, those guys are damn sexy.

Plus the fight scenes were cool.

Best,


Will

avery said...

What about Red Dawn? Bunch of guys with guns hiding in the bushes, makin' sure the colors on old glory didn't run.

Wolverines!!

Kate S said...

homoerotica, sexy men... oh, I have SO got to see 300 now!

miller580 said...

Red Dawn I forgot about that one...and its patriotic too!

Charles Gramlich said...

There was no homoeroticism in 300, Kate. Don't let Stewart fool you. I imagine that charge comes from the fact that they were all buffed and didn't wear a lot of clothes, but such things have nothing to do with homoeroticism. Some folks may also read into the film because they know the Greeks weren't bothered by homosexuality. They kicked maximum ass and the only real sex scene is a wild one between a man and a woman. It was far more manly than "Star Wars."

Pythia3 said...

When is the next flesh-filled writing evening? I have lost track - I only know today is Thursday!

Stewart Sternberg said...

Charles...first...the Spartans wore armor. They didn't run around looking like ads for exercise equipment, oiled up and amazingly defined.

Secondly, don't you remember the scene with the head of the Persians? That wasn't homoerotic??!!!

I'm sorry, but I really hated 300. I think they lost me when the Persian emissary was pushed into the bottomless pit in the center of Sparta. I mean, don't all towns have a bottomless pit in their center? And the scene with the rhinos...please.

And yes, Avery..Jim..I think I would include Red Dawn. You know, Spike TV should take a look at some of these comments and adjust their programming accordingly.

Stewart Sternberg said...

pythia...next thursday. It's sadly become known as the curmudgeons' club.

Pythia3 said...

Well, I guess that makes me Sophia Loren!
I promise I won't bring any fluff, maybe just a snack.

SQT said...

Hey Stu, Sfgirl has some interesting posts on James Bond over at her blog. You should check it out, I think you'd appreciate it.

avery said...

Even if the bottomless enemy well isn't believable, I still want one.

My father would pop me in the head if I didn't also mention Charles Bronson (or Chuck Norris, for that matter).

Kate S said...

Ok, Stewart. Walk away from the damn game and get to writing and posting again. Don't make me hurt you.

(How's that for trying on some testosterone?) ;)

Lori Witzel said...

If I had some more caffeine in my system this morning, I'm sure I could add to the list...my sweet husband and I BOTH love manly movies (yes, they could revoke my Girl Card for that, and for my lack of interest in shoes.)

We have three, count 'em, three John Wayne boxed DVD sets here, and have been saturating ourselves with the Duke lo these many weekends.

Tammie Jean said...

Yeah, Die Hard is such a guy movie. I like it though. Love Indiana Jones!

What do you think about the Bourne Identity movies? A lot of action, and he's unstoppable... (plus I think Matt Damon is hot when he's a bad boy).