The 2017 summer movie slate might just be the least testosterone-addled in cinema history. Between the faux female-empowerment of Wonder Woman and Atomic Blonde, the enforced multiculturalism of The Fate of the Furious and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and the syrupy juvenilia of the tertiary Cars and Despicable Me installments, there hardly seems to be anything showing at the local multiplex catered towards the refined, adult sensibilities of male viewers. Indeed, outside of Dunkirk, I can’t think of a single movie coming out during the Memorial Day to Labor Day box office bonanza that’s catered towards the traditional, masculine, movie-going masses.
With such scant options at the nearest neighborhood cineplex, now is a most opportune time to revisit some of the greatest, XY-chromosome-centric celluloid classics of yesteryear. Instead of exposing your children to an effete, effeminate Spider-Man, Tom Cruise’s feigned attempts at displaying heteronormativity or identity politics-driven drivel like Detroit and The Dark Tower, why not treat them—and yourselves—to these manly movie masterpieces instead?
Thunder Road (1958)
You’ll never see a movie like Thunder Road again. Robert Mitchum’s cult classic is one of the greatest pro-masculinity movies ever, depicting a rugged individualist moonshiner fighting for his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness against corrupt and crooked federal agents.
Devoid of nudity, vulgarities, graphic violence and on-the-nose progressive politics, Thunder Road simply tells the tale of a conflicted man following his conscience and standing up for his morals without demanding the audience agree lockstep with his own virtues. It’s one of the best action movies and character dramas of the 20th century and an absolute masterpiece of libertarian/classical liberalism cinema; you owe it to yourself to see it at least once.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
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