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7 Movies That Show You The Masculine Ideal

We're not talking about The Notebook.

by
John Hawkins

Bio

March 13, 2013 - 7:00 am
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2) Spider-Man

Most men wouldn’t have Spider-Man on this list, but it’s a unique movie in some ways. Here you have an ordinary guy who gains great power and learns the hard way that “with great power, comes great responsibility.” Peter Parker is a good, decent man who cracks jokes while he risks his life to help people who will never know his name. In the interim, he pines to get the girl, struggles to make ends meet, and worries about his family. In other words, Peter Parker is the ordinary man who is a superhero in his spare time, as compared to someone like Superman, who’s more a superhero whose ordinary existence is just a cover for being Superman. Additionally, Peter Parker cuts to the core of what life should be for men: doing what you can to help people and reach your full potential, while still trying to keep from drowning in the flood of day-to-day worries that are always coming at you.

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The real American Hero works hard, takes responsibility, helps his neighbors and his friends. The real American Hero is an active father, dependable in all that he sets his mind to, implacable in his determination to do what is right, serving a good cause if called to and possible paying the ultimate price, one he is well aware of. The sight of him gladdens the hearts of his friends and sends a shiver down the spine of his foes. He is not Superman and he knows that and that is what makes him great.

I don't know of any movies that portray all of that but that's Ok. I got to see it many many times in my father and my grandfather.

I see that occasionally around me today but by and large we are a lesser breed. We have been indoctrinated to be a docile, a more pliable subject for those who covet power, for those who believe that we the people are too deficient to have freedom and the responsibility that our forefathers wielded as a right.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

Me, I'm only guessing, but has anyone ever mention the name "John Wayne" to you ???
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Fight Club? Seriously? The only movie less masculine than that is "Heathers". Chest-thumping pseudo-masculinity, machismo, is not the same thing as masculine.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (68)
All Comments   (68)
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I would include almost any WWII era British dramatic movie. DAMBUSTERS is a classic and endorsed by UK historian Andrew Roberts. Anything with David Niven or Kenneth More. It's a quiet and undemonstrative sort of masculinity that you still occasionally see coming from Britain. 1940s Cary Grant should be included here. Patrick McGoohan was a babyboomer era example. Didn't care for Rocky or Rambo to be honest. Does anyone recall the Mel Gibson film THE MAN WITHOUT A FACE (title?) about a disfigured man who mentors a young boy and is accused of the worst crime that people can imagine. A very fine example of masculinity under attack. And condemned of course by leftist critics. Jude Law can be masculine but not very often. Something has definitely happened to men on the screen since the 1990s. At some point they'll try to make an action heror or antihero out of Justin Bieber. You heard it here first...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I would add "signing a 30 year mortgage" to the short list of things a man is allowed to cry over.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1. The Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven. If you had to pick one movie, this is it. Every form of masculine value there is.

2. Breathless (Godard's version) On one level, it's manly noir, and on the other, it's the interplay of real crime and idealized crime. Women always get us in the end, too.

3. Casablanca. The world-weary yet virtuous man.

4. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Beats out Star Wars for the idealized male adventurer.

5. Godzilla. Preferably one of the campier ones. Male wish fulfillment at a primal level. Who doesn't want to destroy Tokyo while saving it at the same time from other monsters?

6. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Male humor of a certain kind. Silly, wordplay based, endlessly quotable.

7. Frankenstein, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, The invisible Man-all Universal monster movies. This is different from Godzilla in that all of them show the tragic side of manhood. Man as estranged creature, hideous thing, hunted, strong but with cursed strength. The male values and attributes twisted into dark things, and the only end is death.

I'd add more westerns, but I don't like that genre much.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I would suggest Tombstone, a manly morality play much better than the history it sort of resembles.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How about Courageous from Sherwood Films? Definitely should be a top exemplar.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gee, John. I can't believe you overlooked "A Clockwork Orange" with all its healthy life-lessons about loyalty to friends and following your own conscience.
These choices are ones that an overgrown adolescent would make. How about "To Kill A Mockingbird"? Or "The Old Man And The Sea"? Or "Captains Coutrageous"?
Gee, John.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hi! What about Secondhand Lions? I LOVE that movie and I think it's a great story of two older men showing a boy what it means to be a man. It also shows why it's so important for men to be involved in raising children....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One of the best movies ever!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here's my list of all time favorite male-oriented movies: John Wayne - They Were Expendable, The Quiet Man, The Searchers; Humphrey Bogart - Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The Caine Mutiny; Charlton Heston - Ben Hur, Planet of the Apes, Will Penny; Steve McQueen - The Great Escape, Bullitt, Papillon; Clint Eastwood - High Plains Drifter, Dirty Harry, Unforgiven; Robert Duvall - Apocalypse Now, Lonesome Dove, Open Range; Mel Gibson - The Road Warrior, Braveheart, They Were Soldiers
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I mostly like your choices, except I have a problem - Wayne and Bogart are just SO before my time! I also can just barely emotionally connect w/Heston and McQueen.

For Eastwood, I wasn't so keen on Unforgiven, but really liked the way he handled duty and relations w/the women in "Pale Rider" and "The Outlaw Josie Wales". For Gibson, I think that first "Roadwarrior" was a little odd (and Mel so adolescent). I'd prefer (for duty and love) "The Passion of the Christ" and (for fatherhood and love of country) "The Patriot". I think it's a little odd to leave out Schwarzenegger - while his "Conan" may have been a little extreme, I like the way he behaved towards kids (and bad guys) in "Kindergarten Cop", for his strength and unstoppability in "Terminator", and his duty and self-sacrifice in T2. Another favourite actor of mine is Liam Neeson - whether it is his strong but supportive attitude towards women in "Nell", his honour, toughness, and devotion to family in "Rob Roy", or his lethal devotion to family in the two "Taken" films, the world would be a better place w/more men like these.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The real American Hero works hard, takes responsibility, helps his neighbors and his friends. The real American Hero is an active father, dependable in all that he sets his mind to, implacable in his determination to do what is right, serving a good cause if called to and possible paying the ultimate price, one he is well aware of. The sight of him gladdens the hearts of his friends and sends a shiver down the spine of his foes. He is not Superman and he knows that and that is what makes him great.

I don't know of any movies that portray all of that but that's Ok. I got to see it many many times in my father and my grandfather.

I see that occasionally around me today but by and large we are a lesser breed. We have been indoctrinated to be a docile, a more pliable subject for those who covet power, for those who believe that we the people are too deficient to have freedom and the responsibility that our forefathers wielded as a right.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Some of your picks are ok, but many of these movies are beloved by the homosexual community for the over-the-top, pretty boy, sweaty, muscle bound gay iconography they portray. We don't need that. I think a few more Westerns are in order, John Wayne anyone? I like "Road Warrior" as suggested by ddcan and Fritz.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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