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Gender Meets Genre in Postwar Cinemas$
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Christine Gledhill

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036613

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036613.001.0001

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It’s a Mann’s World?

It’s a Mann’s World?

(p.125) Chapter 9 It’s a Mann’s World?
Gender Meets Genre in Postwar Cinemas

Adam Segal

University of Illinois Press

This chapter shows how there can be no easily assumed relationship between genres and gendered audiences, for as socially circulating gender assumptions change, they bring with them consequent shifts in audience address. It analyzes Hollywood masculinity in the early to mid-1990s and how this is reflected in the film, Heat (1995). Heat is a unique entry in the police procedural/crime genre in that it attempts to illuminate for its viewers the emotional toll that crime work takes on the police and thieves while also revealing the toll it takes on the spouses and loved ones who are left at home to wonder when the men will be coming home. It is argued that male and female spectator relations in regard to traditionally masculine film genres cannot be viewed in essentialist terms. Heat exemplifies the ways in which conventional gender roles in masculine genres can be detached from traditional representations as socially circulating gender assumptions change.

Keywords:   Hollywood masculinity, Heat, crime genre, gender roles, masculine film genres

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