This engaging critical study moves beyond the image of the brooding, destructive man at odds with employers and his own star status to explore the complexity of Mason's career with an analysis framed through three strands central to understanding stardom: the star persona, industry and power, and screen performance. Thomas balances traditional readings of Mason with an emphasis on his undervalued post-1962 career, off-screen celebrity status, non-film work, comic and vocal performances, and the star's own self-commentary. In doing so, she offers a new perspective on Mason's powerlessness, public image and national identity, contextualizing his career in wider histories of British, American and European transnational filmmaking.
An ideal resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students of film and television studies, this fascinating guide will also appeal to film lovers and anyone interested in Mason's unusual career.
Sarah Thomas is Lecturer in Media and Film at the University of Liverpool, UK. She is the author of Peter Lorre - Face Maker: Constructing Stardom and Performance in Hollywood and Europe (Berghahn, 2012) and co-editor of Cult Film Stardom: Offbeat Attractions and Processes of Cultification (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).