‘Where you from, you sexy thing?’ Popular Music, Space, and Masculinity in The Full Monty

Elena Boschi

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    Abstract

    Questions of class, masculinity, and diversity are a recurrent theme in debates about The Full Monty (1997) but, despite their prominent role in the story, songs are not discussed as a significant element in the film’s representation of white working-class masculinity. In this article, I examine The Full Monty’s soundtrack, showing how the characters’ wounded masculinities are (re)constructed through music and considering the connotative baggage brought into the film by songs, often heard through visible devices which act as a signifier alongside the music. Songs of other non-dominant identities – women, non-white, and queer – enhance The Full Monty’s audiovisually inclusive image, amplifying these identities despite their otherwise problematic representations and serving a temporary reclamation of damaged white working-class masculinity after the dismantling of heavy industry in post-Thatcher Britain. However, despite its aural reimagining of a diverse working-class masculinity, the way women, non-white, and queer characters are represented weakens the musical connections between jobless white men and these non-dominant identities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)516-535
    JournalJournal of British Cinema and Television
    Volume13
    Issue number4
    Early online date21 Sep 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Sep 2016

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