Compare and Contrast the Representation of Masculinity of John Wayne’s Rio Bravo (1959) and Die Hard (1988).
Thus, Rio Bravo attributes symbolic power to John Wayne and his representation of hegemonic masculinity. His dominant height has been referred to phallic symbolism in gender theory. The establishing shot of the morning sunrise frames the western landscape and centres on a tall cactus protruding upwards which dominates the frame. The frame then dissolves into John Wayne transferring the phallic symbol of the cactus. Maxine Sheets-Johnstone (2000:191) in Feminist Phenomenology argues that heroic male figures such John Wayne cannot expose their bodies as it disassembles the representation of phallic power. Phallic power can only exist when it is hidden as male genitalia cannot represent the expectations conveyed such symbolism.
Western stars are often celebrated for their attractiveness – ‘clear eyes, strong chins, handsome faces and stout frames’ (Mitchell, 1996). However, in Rio Bravo John Wayne has predominantly rugged features – blunt large nose,