Vishnu in Hollywood: The Changing Image of the American Male

Humphrey Bogart and Woody Allen have at least this in common: they both represent figures of the American male as Hollywood projected it over the century of its existence. This study offers an historical overview, a psychological and sociological analysis of the American man reflected on the silver screen by examining the icons that drew millions to the box office from the early days of William S. Hart who first shaped the Western until it was reshaped by the likes of John Wayne, Gary Cooper and James Stewart; the immortal comics from Charlie Chaplin on; the great lovers from Rudolph Valentino, through Charles Boyer and Clark Gable; the demigods who cast their radiance beyond picture houses throughout the world like Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, Marlon Brando, James Dean, and many others whose mesmerizing presence dominated the roles they played.