Rock Hudson: acting like a man with John Mercer

Rock Hudson: acting like a man with John Mercer

This event has finished Took place on: Monday, 9th Nov 2020

 Free

Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.

Learn all about Rock Hudson and his performance of masculinity that shaped an ideal of manhood

Tall, dark and handsome, Rock Hudson represented the Hollywood ideal of American manhood during the 1950s and 1960s; an ideal that was to be questioned and ultimately undermined during the years that followed.

Masculinity was always at the heart of Rock Hudson’s star persona and his performances. It is probably true to say that Hudson, more than almost any other actor of his generation, was presented as the epitome of the ‘All American’ heterosexual male; handsome, athletic, impeccably groomed, solid and dependable, a strong deep voice, he was all things that men were expected to aspire to and women (it was assumed) adored.

In this talk we will explore the way in which Rock Hudson performs masculinity in his films and the range of behind-the-screen personnel responsible for the creation and construction of a star’s performance.

Whilst popular he was scarcely regarded as a great actor. Indeed, it has become a popular legend in Hollywood that his early screen test for Twentieth Century Fox was so bad it was subsequently used as an example of how not to act on screen.

The perception that Hudson was, to quote a line from All That Heaven Allows, nothing more than a ‘handsome set of muscles’ dogged him and overshadowed his carefully crafted performances that punctuated a long and successful career.

Hudson’s diagnosis and death from AIDS in 1985 was to subsequently create a new lens through which to understand his status as sex symbol and American ideal.

John Mercer is Professor of Gender and Sexuality at Birmingham City University. He is the author of Rock Hudson, BFI publishing 2015 and of Melodrama: Genre Style Sensibility (with Martin Shingler) Columbia University Press 2004.

In 2016 he provided an audio commentary to the Criterion Collection 4K restoration of Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows with Tamar Jeffers-McDonald of University of Kent.

He is co-editor of the Journal of Gender Studies and with Professor Clarissa Smith runs the Arts and Humanities Research Council research network, Masculinity, Sex and Popular Culture, and associated Routledge book series.


Contact and Booking Details

This event has finished Took place on: Monday, 9th Nov 2020

 Free

Booking details and information at this website.

Reserve tickets at this website

2020-11-09 2020-11-09 Europe/London Rock Hudson: acting like a man with John Mercer Learn all about Rock Hudson and his performance of masculinity that shaped an ideal of manhood https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/calendar/2020/11/09/rock-hudson-acting-like-a-man-with-john-mercer-248449 ,,,

This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.

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