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Delinquents, Savages, and Lovers

An Introduction to the Cinema of Boyhood

Jeffery P. Dennis

Introduces this special issue’s theme of “Boys and Cinema,” discussing the emergence of a specific, international cinema of boyhood in the early 1960s, and five main themes established within it by the late 1960s.

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"I Want My Boy Back!"

Substitute Sons and Damsels in Distress

Jeffery P. Dennis

Three recent mass media texts are analyzed in which the object of rescue for a male hero is a teenage boy rather than the traditional damsel in distress. These rescues and their aftermaths display considerable slippage between custodial and romantic conventions, blurring the image of the hero as father and the hero as lover. It is argued that their function is to evoke the possibility of same-sex desire while safely pretending that same-sex desire does not exist.