Representation of Masculinity in British Cinema of the 1960s: Lawrence of Arabia, the Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, and the Hill

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This book challenges the received wisdom of approaches to both a “crisis” in masculinity and British cinema. Taking four key case study films which can be said to typify areas of British film production during the 1960’s, this book opens out how widely difference methodologies can be used to analyse the British film as text in contrast to the primarily contextual analyses of British cinema of the period found elsewhere. In addition, she argues that the dominant mode of analyzing masculinity, via a “crisis” needs to be re-examined and the terminology returned to its original sense rather than the pop psychological comprehension which places the blames for any problem with masculinity upon feminism. As such, she seeks to reframe a “crisis” of masculinity (the psycho-sexual) as a crisis of masculinism (the socio-political) whilst concurrently examining individual masculinities as an abjected relationship based upon the social and the Other rather than the feminist and the emasculated.


“Dr. Claydon’s volume seems to be highly laudable for a number of reasons. It places masculinities at the forefront examining the four films. It brings together in a fruitful congruence a range of ways of 'reading films'. It places the spotlight on the iconic 1960’s. It restates the centrality of film to that seminal decade. It opens up and indicates further useful lines of investigation. This thought-provoking volume will become recommended reading on a wide range of course and modules not only in Film Studies but also in Media, Cultural and Communication Studies, in the Humanities, as swell as in the Social Science.” – (from the Commendatory Preface) John Beynon, Professor of Cultural & Communication Studies, The University of Glamorgan, UK

“This engrossing book explores masculinities in 1960s British cinema, through a study of films centering on male outsiders and rebels. Using an eclectic methodology combining narrative analysis, psychoanalysis and Foucaultian power analysis, the author conducts a series of closely argued case studies of 1960’s films centred on the figure of the outsider ... the author ably demonstrates that, in dramatizing the outsider’s liminal position at the edge of societal law and meaning, the films challenge the workings of that society and, in particular, the power structures constituting these anti-heroes through discipline and punishment ... An expressive and complex text which challenges both the reader and the field, this is a text which expands the approach to British cinema in a way which is innovative and exciting.” – Dr. Tasleem Shakur, FRSA, Director of ICDES, Edge Hill College of Higher Education, UK

“The book’s engrossing and unusual approach produces a fresh perspective on these particular films, on this fascinating period in British Cinema, and on masculinity more generally.” – Carol Houtman, Senior Lecturer, Film Studies, University College, UK

"This thought-provoking book will become recommended reading not only in Film Studies but also in Media, Cultural, and Communication Studies, in the Humanities, as well as in the Social Sciences. Dr. Claydon's book will undoubtedly assist students in the task of seeing film through the lens of masculinity. In demonstrating how masculinities were articulated in British cinema at a particular time, Dr. Claydon raises important wider issues about how to make sense of and talk about films in general, British films in particular."

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. British Cinema and Masculinities in Analysis
3. Quality and Content: The British B-Movie, The “Monstrous Masculine” and his Oedipal Conflict: The Projected Man
4. Narrative, The Subject and Identity in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
5. Climbing The Hill: Power, Punishment and Suffering with the Masculine Institution
6. Figuring the Other: Lawrence of Arabia
Conclusions: "The winning post’s no end”
Appendix A: The Projected Man
Appendix B: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
Appendix C: The Hill
Appendix D: Lawrence of Arabia

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