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academy awards-jon stewart–gay cowboys

Hosted by Jon Stewart, the 2005 Academy Awards featured a montage of scenes from old Western films. Through Stewart’s introductory comments and the use of selective editing, the show presented these classic cowboy films as containing overtly homoerotic themes. The montage itself was inspired by Brokeback Mountain, an Oscar-nominated film from that year that told the story of two male cowboys who fall in love.


Do you believe many old cowboy films are intentionally homoerotic or is the montage more of a re-appropriation of meanings? What are the implications of this conclusion?

Western films are often seen as the pinnacle of masculinity. Does their potential homoeroticism complicate this image?

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