4 items from 2015
In honour of The Times’ film critic Kevin Maher’s list of iconic movie rebels, we take a look at what it truly takes to make a tough guy in cinema.
What constitutes a tough guy, as in ‘man’, on film is usually a traditional interpretation of masculinity. There is always room for the sensitive hero in a sweater and slacks, but for those who watch movies as ingrained wish fulfilment, the sexy and sweaty man’s man needs suitable attire to reflect his personality. But it is not just about the garments themselves. A jacket is a jacket, but a leather jacket is a symbol. A wax jacket on the other hand is enlightened – the reformist hero.
Waxed cotton is fantastic stuff. Essentially it is a treated fabric, albeit one that needs regular re-covering to ensure longevity. The result is a lightweight, versatile material that, although not especially warm, »
- Lord Christopher Laverty
Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?
There's probably some conflation of Laslo Benedek's The Wild One (1953)--coming out for the first time on blu-ray--and Nicholas Ray's (superior) Rebel Without a Cause (1955) because of this famous exchange. A young woman, enjoying the antics of the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club (B.R.M.C.), asks Johnny (Marlon Brando), the ringleader, what they're rebelling against to which Johnny replies, "Whadya got?" The comparison is an interesting one. While James Dean is the height of 50's cool off screen, in Rebel Without a Cause, he plays a whiney youth in the throws of a terrible case of full-blown angst, having to deal with alienation and social phenomena he's not ready for. Why it was Dean that became the icon, despite making only three major films before he died, isn't obvious. Brando's Johnny, however, is what icons are made of with his black leather jacket, »
- Jason Ratigan
Hollywood, like any place that is more about its lore than the actual sum of its parts, is full of unsung heroes who have given audiences some of their most cherished cinematic moments. Odds are if you’re a movie buff, you’ll remember the car chases in iconic films like Bullitt, The French Connection and The Seven-Ups. Stuntman, stunt driver and later, stunt coordinator Bill Hickman was one of those people who remained virtually anonymous during his lifetime, but is responsible for some of cinema’s most iconic, and hair-raising moments.
The Los Angeles native was born in 1921 and had been working in Hollywood for ten years before landing his first (visible) role in Stanley Kramer’s legendary The Wild One, the 1953 film that cemented star Marlon Brando’s status as an icon of post-war teen rebellion. Hickman can be seen as one of Brando’s »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Having finally found acclaim as a writer/director with critical successes like The Defiant Ones (1958) after a brief period serving as a producer for others at Columbia on films such as Death of a Salesman (1951), The Juggler (1953), and The Wild One (1953), Stanley Kramer took it upon himself to follow-up his politically controversial nuclear war drama On the Beach (1959) with yet another topically contentious production – Inherit The Wind. Based on the stage play of the same name written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, the film fictionalizes the famed 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial, in which a high school teacher named John Scopes was accused of violating Tennessee’s Butler Act, which made it unlawful to teach Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in any state-funded school. Riding high on the creation/evolution controversy, as well as a genius ploy to exploit the witch hunt narrative to discuss the dangers of McCarthyism, which had previously seen Nedrick Young, »
- Jordan M. Smith
4 items from 2015
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