Wednesday 1 June 2011

Bunch of Cults No.2

Previous in this series can be found here

Robert Aldrich’s Emperor of the North Pole. 30’s America. Lee Marvin is A-No.1, the baddest hobo riding the rails. Ernest Borgnine is Shack, a vicious bastard, the railwayman whose train ain't never been rode for free. 

The Hook
Ever seen a man fight off three attackers with a live chicken? Ever seen a man pick up another man while he’s sat in a chair? Men! Real men! A wager. A hammer. An axe. A fight to the death on a moving locomotive.

Basic storytelling. Man against man. Could have been too simplistic. Wasn’t.

Live up to the Hype?
A reteaming of director and star of The Dirty Dozen. What do you think?

A solid B-movie of the kind they don’t make any more. Conflict in the purest form. The guy hitching a ride for free, The Man not wanting to give away nothing. Could easily have been a metaphor for illegal downloading on the internet. Shows you, a good story is timeless.

What this movie really made me think about is whatever happened to men? I mean real men. They used to look like this:

And now they look like this:

Really ladies? Really? This is what you want? A girl with a five o'clock shadow.

Some point after TV and advertising happened, it all became about selling to the woman of the house, the one who did the shopping. A pretty face to convince them to buy more washing powder. 

Oh, so shallow... 

Is it any wonder the world is full of ineffectual poppinjays too busy shopping for the right scarf to go with their designer sunglasses?

Oh, so superficial...

You could have had:

But you insisted on:

Well, I hope you're happy.

What do you think happened to men? Like how we turned out?


Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Women like their men hairless and with six pac abs these days. They also like them blond with blue eyes. It's as much a status symbol as anything and they use their boyfriends to make each other jealous rather than to have someone love them.

McKenzie McCann said...

I've often wondered about that too. I think it has something to do with the fact we don't need as many big, burly men chopping down trees and hunting for our dinner. Women aren't looking for Mr. Bread Winner anymore. I guess the result of this is feminine guys taking over the planet.

Brent Wescott said...

I rarely watch old movies like this. But you've made me curious.

I don't quite see what makes Pitt and Depp girly men. Maybe it's the pics you chose. I guess I've seen them in much more effeminate guises.

I also wanted to say I couldn't read your previous Cult post because I'm in the middle of Room myself right now and didn't want any spoilers.

And lastly here, I offer you an award. Come on by to see.

blankenship.louise said...

Defining a "real man" on appearance is just as insulting as defining a "real woman" on appearance.

Tastes change. They change with the times and they change as you age. Why is that a problem?

mooderino said...

@Michael - finally, someone even more cynical than me. I hear you, brother.

@McKenzie - I'm thinking men who moisturise buy moisturiser, and moisturiser-makers like that.

@Brent - I of course chose pics to shore up my end of the argument and hopefully provoke some contentious debate. I wonder if it will work?

@L - it's a problem when every magazine, movie and TV show tells young women they have to be a size zero or be considered unattractive, don't you think? There's taste and then there's manipulation in search of a profit. Worked on women for the last gazillion years, but only recently has the full firepower of the cosmetic-industrial complex been turned on the male of the species. Interesting development, no?

Ben said...

Whatever I will try, I will end up looking more like Borgnine and Marvin than Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp...which is somewhat comforting. There are some grittier actors today though. Sean Penn and Gerard Butler (not counting 300 here) for example. They are not Clint Eastwood but they are a sign that we didn't completely give up on manhood.

Steve Abernathy said...

Haven't seen this flick but will. Aldrich's ATTACK is one of my favorites. Don't mess with Lee Marvin.

mooderino said...

@Ben - not that I think we're aiming for the wrong ideal, it's more that there never used to be an ideal, just judging people by their actions.

@Steve - Agreed. Marvin in Point Blank also awesome.

Twitter me with any Lee Marvin movie recommendations: @mooderino

Christa Desir said...

I don't know about this-- I'll have to consider it. I don't read or buy these magazines but I know the images are out there, I do go grocery shopping. I guess I dont buy into them bc they aren't my reality. I don't look like JLo, and my husband's a big bald black man so I had to let go of a lot of notions of "real men" and "real women" long ago.

Unknown said...

He, he. This post made me giggle. I'm more about what's in a man's heart than how he shaves or how many cans are in his six pack. :) As for stereotypes and role-models, woman have it pretty bad too. Media sucks!

Thanks for stopping by today. :)


mooderino said...

@Christa - it's amazing how black men's view of women has taken a completely separate route, due mainly, I would say, to being ignored by advertisers.

@Melissa - glad to raise a smile. Not always sure people realise I'm joking.

Margo Berendsen said...

Oh, I LIKE Melissa's comment. Second the motion! I like all kinds of men in my movies. Marlon Brando in the Godfather. Ed Harris and Colin Farrill in the Way Back. Denzel Washington in ANYTHING.

Ciara said...

This is funny cause my hubby and I were just talking about this. I like my men to be MEN. I love them strong and rugged and no wimpy boys for me. Looks might turn my head, but personality and intelligence turns my mind. I'll take a smart, well read, strong man any day. But that's just me. :)

Carrie said...

Nice use of poppinjay :)

I'm staying out of the real men debate but I am intrigued by the chicken...

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