Male Action Heroes: The Spy Film.


Within the spy genre, we can see how the idealised portrayal of the male hero has shifted over time, as perceptions of masculinity have altered. First, consider the following clip from the 1962 James Bond film, Dr No: 


During the 1960’s this kind of portrayal of masculinity was considered admirable – a man should be authoritative, composed and smooth. As we have looked at already, the hegemonic perception of masculinity changed over the next several decades to the point where characters such as James Bond, appeared old-fashioned, a throwback to an age that had gone by.

On the other hand, in the 2000’s the Jason Bourne films were praised for their more realistic, up-to-date characterisation. Jason Bourne is highly skilled and deadly, but he is also a complex and conflicted character:


As a result, the James Bond films faced a decision; How was the best way for the franchise to evolve and maintain its popularity with a modern audience, whilst keeping the classic Bond trademarks that made the films so distinct. The answer was Casino Royale (2007) a grittier take on the James Bond film, which received much praise from the critics. Watch the following clip for an example of this combination of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ Bond.


One Response to “Male Action Heroes: The Spy Film.”

  1. Media Districts Entertainment Blog » Male Action Heroes: The Spy Film. Says:

    […] lstephenson added an interesting post today on Male Action Heroes: The Spy Film.Here’s a small reading […]

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