Jack Nicholson: The Realistic Romantic



This chapter situates Jack Nicholson’s incipient star career as an attempt to appeal to young educated adults and, at the same time, maintain a considerable measure of Hollywood traditions. To an unexamined extent, Nicholson’s performance style and interviews to the press at this time exerted a profound influence over the new movement of films. Nicholson’s stature as an ethnic everyman, anti-hero, and unlikely star was a determinative signifier in his films, his ancillary discourse, and contemporary cinema more generally. Nicholson continued Hoffman’s version of the Rough Rebel star image: not conventionally handsome, careerist, liberal but not radical, and privileging male-male relationships over male-female relationships. However, Nicholson’s style of acting was less immersive and more natural, and his appearance was “rough” without being Jewish, both of which expanded the definition of the Rough Rebel.


Star Actor Star Image Laban Term American Cinema Hollywood Film 
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Copyright information

© Daniel Smith-Rowsey 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sacramento State UniversityUSA

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