Ageing Masculinity in the Films of James Mason

  • Adrian Garvey


Garvey uses the late career of James Mason to consider how questions of stardom, performance, and gender are inflected by ageing. Establishing the actor’s core screen persona as that of the ‘perverse patriarch’, he examines how this is deployed and modified in later films such as North by Northwest, against the ageless charisma of Cary Grant, and Lolita, where Mason is used to embody the exhausted values of an old Europe. Garvey shows how the actor’s combative image, both on- and off-screen, mellows from the 1960s onwards, and his performance style recedes towards minimalism. Mason’s acclaimed final roles, in Doctor Fischer of Geneva and The Shooting Party, are analysed as exemplars of his late career style.


Ageing Masculinity Screen Image International Career Late Career Performance Style 
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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Garvey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of History, Queen MaryUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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