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Male stardom in 1960s British cinema

Spicer, Andrew



The chapter analyses eight stars – Alan Bates, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Tom Courtenay, Albert Finney, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole and Terence Stamp – all of whom were the product of the post-war changes (including the 1944 Education Act) that offered increased opportunities for working-class children and who transformed the image of masculinity in British films as well as being successful internationally. They were a truculent, obstreperous, iconoclastic ‘group’, which refused to conform to the accepted conventions on and off screen. The chapter explores their training, values, breakthrough roles and attitudes to stardom, emphasising differences as well as commonalities. Overall, it argues that not only did they reconfigure British cinema but acted as standard bearers for the changes that were transforming British society.


Spicer, A. (2020). Male stardom in 1960s British cinema. In Sixties British Cinema Reconsidered. , (11-28). Edinburgh University

Acceptance Date Jun 1, 2019
Publication Date Apr 15, 2020
Deposit Date May 22, 2020
Pages 11-28
Book Title Sixties British Cinema Reconsidered
Chapter Number 1
ISBN 978-1-4744-4388-3
Keywords 1960s, masculinity, stardom, British Cinema
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Lead chapter