The Art of Manhood in Classic Hollywood

Hollywood Men Paul NewmanSince the beginning film has always held some responsibility to project where we are as the human race.

Where we are developmentally, mentally, emotionally, societally, and aspirationally.

You can look to any period in film, and see through the lens of the movie camera what society was striving for, what they thought of themselves, what they were dealing with.

This is my favorite thing about films- that at any moment in time they are a  snapshot of who we are, no matter what- and it doesn’t lie.

When we see through the lens of today’s films and television ( and even music) what do we see? In the past, before the internet, people looked to television and film to help guide them through the next challenge. Much like reading books could help us navigate friendships, learn resourcefulness, and understand death- movies would automatically rise to the occasion to help society get over its next hurdle.

When the breakdown of the American family occurred we saw the Courtship of Eddie’s Father display the first single parent household- so we’d know what to do. When the race riots ran rampant in the 60’s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner put it on the big screen and won two Oscars.

As we all attempt to navigate our somewhat dysfunctional society as of late, it seems we’ve lost some of those teaching films that add to Life’s Instruction Handbook.

A current trial we’re facing centers around Manhood.

Believe me,  I was as shocked as you that this was something that had gone awry.

Seriously folks, at a recent conference where everyone in our state got together to “fix” the state of things( poverty, drugs, dropout rates, jobs)…it all came down to “if only we could remind our young boys about what manhood is.”

One school of thought is that saying Be A Man to a young boy or man is currently considered one of the most damaging things that can be said.

Another is that societal expectation has become too much, and they don’t know how to be men.

Needless to say since the two parent household and family dinners have become somewhat non-existent, perhaps we can look to Classic Hollywood Films to fix this manhood Issue ( It’s clear we can’t look to the shows/films that we have on now to get this job done.)

The 3 P’s of Manhood stem from the primitive, but apparently since we’re all biological animals still holds water.

Protect, Procreate, Provide.

While Classic Hollywood gave us an array of men who filled these roles it’s important to take a look at the films our men haven’t seen that could really help.

Check out the Art of Manliness… and their suggested lineup of Vintage Instructional Films to help our boys become men.

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