From Butch Cassidy to Josey Wales: Masculinity in the New Hollywood Western

Parry, Luke (2023) From Butch Cassidy to Josey Wales: Masculinity in the New Hollywood Western. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/7DB2K3L4

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This thesis examines the representation of masculinity within the Western genre, during the New Hollywood era. Three films from this time are studied individually through textual analysis, in order to assess their portrayal of the masculinity in the Western hero. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Hill, 1969) and McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Altman, 1971) symbolise the genre’s broadening of masculine representation during this time. However, the third case study, The Outlaw Josey Wales (Eastwood, 1976), offers a return to a more classical representation at the end of New Hollywood The analysis focuses on the male protagonist in each film, and the way in which his masculinity is portrayed through a number of devices such as cinematography, characterisation, and costume. His masculine identity is then compared to the ‘Old Hollywood’, conventional Western hero. New Hollywood is evaluated as a key moment in the history of Hollywood, in which a more diverse range of character types were represented in the mainstream. By analysing these three film texts, this thesis uses the Western genre to evaluate the impact that the New Hollywood period had upon representations of masculinity in American cinema. The results of this analysis present the period as a time in which the diversification of male representation was prevalent. Rather than a revolutionary switch between ‘classical’ and ‘modern’ portrayals of the Western hero, New Hollywood symbolised a creative freedom to experiment with the representation of this archetype.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Masculinity; Westerns genre; New Hollywood era; Textual analysis; Western hero; Archetype
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Creative Practice and Theory
Depositing User: Kamila Niekoraniec
Date Deposited: 14 May 2024 08:57
Last Modified: 14 May 2024 08:57

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