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Masculinity and the sixties British film

Claydon, E. Anna (2003) Masculinity and the sixties British film. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94273) (KAR id:94273)

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British cinema has increasingly been a focus of study for academics in the UK and elsewhere over the last 15 years but work upon the films has been dominated by a cultural history approach. This has meant that whilst the British cinematic product is well documented, and its place within culture understood, the films themselves have remained a secondary aspect - little regarded beyond their value as artefacts. This thesis seeks to address this practice by discussing the representation of a key aspect within the British national cinema, masculinity, via methodologies more typical of closer analyses - particularly psychoanalysis and narrative theory - although its generally interdisciplinary technique also means that the cultural studies method is equally, if contextually, important.

I analyse four films to demonstrate my theoretical schema - that the evidence in the text is primary whilst the context is secondary for interpreting the representation of masculinities in British film: The Projected Man (Curteis, 1966), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Richardson, 1962), The Hill (Lumet, 1965) and Lawrence of Arabia (Lean, 1962). With the notable exception of Lean's epic, none of these films have received significant analysis and in the case of The Projected Man and The Hill none at all. Therefore, the work herein is original both in the application of method and subject matter.

I have chosen to focus on films before 1966 because they precede the so-called 'swinging London' era, a period which has received much close cultural analysis. It would be a false economy to prioritise the 'counter-culture' of the late-60s because those films which manifest it cannot be said to represent wider discourses of sixties British identity but these earlier movies do reveal the political tensions in operation within the fiction of dominant and subordinate ideologies. Consequently, the four films within this thesis can be said to typify more accurately British cinema during the 1960s.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Cowie, Elizabeth
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94273
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2022 13:37 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2022 13:41 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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