Action Figures. Men, Action Films, and Contemporary Adventure Narratives. Mark Gallagher

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1 Action Figures Men, Action Films, and Contemporary Adventure Narratives by Mark Gallagher

2 ACTION FIGURES Mark Gallagher, Softcover reprint of the hardcover 1st edition All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. First published in 2006 by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y and Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England RG21 6XS Companies and representatives throughout the world. PALGRAVE MACMILLAN is the global academic imprint of the Palgrave Macmillan division of St. Martin s Press, LLC and of Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. Macmillan is a registered trademark in the United States, United Kingdom and other countries. Palgrave is a registered trademark in the European Union and other countries. ISBN ISBN (ebook) DOI / Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Gallagher, Mark, 1968 Action figures: men, action films, and contemporary adventure narratives / by Mark Gallagher. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Adventure films United States History and criticism. 2. Men in motion pictures. 3. Masculinity in motion pictures. 4. Heroes in motion pictures. I. Title. PN A3G dc A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Design by Newgen Imaging Systems (P) Ltd., Chennai, India. First edition: January

3 For Elaine Roth

4 This page intentionally left blank

5 Contents Acknowledgments vi Introduction: Popular Representations of Active Masculinity since the Late 1960s 1 1. Armchair Thrills and the New Adventurer I Married Rambo : Action, Spectacle, and Melodrama Omega Men: Late 1960s and Early 1970s Action Heroes Airport Fiction: The Men of Mass-Market Literature Restaging Heroic Masculinity: Jackie Chan and the Hong Kong Action Film 159 Conclusion: The Future of Active Masculinity 193 Notes 209 Select Bibliography 223 Index 227

6 Acknowledgments I am fortunate and grateful to have had many scholars, friends, and family to help me refine my understanding of late-twentieth-century active masculinity. Kathleen Karlyn consistently challenged me to perform the most rigorous, professional scholarship, and her extensive commentary on my work has left a permanent, positive imprint on my writing and thinking. I am particularly indebted as well to the following scholars, all of whom offered extensive support and criticism: at the University of Oregon, Julia Lesage and Janet Wasko; at the University of California- Berkeley, Ian Duncan; at Oklahoma State University, Leonard and Linda Leff, Edward Jones, and Jeff Walker; at Georgia State University, Jack Boozer and Niklas Vollmer; and at the University of Missouri, Bill Kerwin, Andy Hoberek, and Brad Prager. Thanks also to all those who read and provided valuable feedback on manuscript chapters, including Jean Amato, Susannah Beck, Tom Billings, Andy Deck, Kevin Gallagher, Anne Gallagher Billings, Michael Pebworth, Erich Reed, and Michele Ricci. I owe thanks also to Tom Atkins, Karen Eng, Aron Golden, Todd Henry, Adam Kitzes, Mark Meritt, Nate and Mark Nichols, Meredith Webb, Lea Williams, Peter Witkow, and Dan Wojcik for their roles in my professional and personal development. Portions of some chapters were previously published in different forms. An earlier version of chapter 2 appeared as I Married Rambo : Spectacle and Melodrama in the Hollywood Action Film in Mythologies of Violence in Postmodern Media, ed. Christopher Sharrett (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1999). Earlier versions of chapter 5 appeared as Masculinity in Translation: Jackie Chan s Transcultural Star Text, in Velvet Light Trap 39 (Spring 1997); and also as Rumble in the USA: Jackie Chan in Translation, in Film Stars: Hollywood and Beyond, ed. Andy Willis (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2004). Thanks to the editors for their permission to include this material. Thanks also to the anonymous reviewers who provided valuable comments on this manuscript. Most of all, thanks to Elaine Roth, who has spent years cultivating and critiquing my own somewhat active masculinity and without whose love and patience this work would not have been possible. I dedicate this book to her.

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