|About the Book|
Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando, and James Dean were very likely the three most influential and gifted male movie stars of the 1950s. They were also, as Graham McCann shows in Rebel Males, highly aware of the connection they shared. All came out ofMoreMontgomery Clift, Marlon Brando, and James Dean were very likely the three most influential and gifted male movie stars of the 1950s. They were also, as Graham McCann shows in Rebel Males, highly aware of the connection they shared. All came out of the midwest- all clashed with their fathers when they announced that they were going to pursue a career as frivolous and effeminate as acting- all were obsessed with their mothers- and all felt themselves to be bisexual and therefore well suited to roles in which gender boundaries were fluid.It is the Hollywood model of male identity that McCann looks to in this book. First, at what the pre-war and pre-McCarthy era gave us in Clark Gable, Cary Grant, and others, and at John Garfield as a transitional figure. Then at the anti-hero male type that his main three figures embody. He looks at the cultural climate (the HUAC witch hunts and Eisenhower era conformity, the publication of the Kinsey reports) in which they rose to fame, the acting methods they employed, their idolization of and competition with each other, romantic links (especially Brando and Clift) that brought them very close, and the ways in which they completely revolutionized the male ideal in this country and across the world, giving rise to Elvis Presley and dozens of copy cat juvenile delinquents and rebels. Rebel Males explores the professional careers of Dean, Brando, and Clift in order to appraise the images of sexuality, individualism, and masculinity they evoke.