I’ll be back? The Deconstruction of the 1980s and the 1990s Hard Body Movies


  • Moshe Machlev Florida Atlantic University




hard bodies, action heroes, cultural influences, male masquerade, deconstruction


The following essay discusses the cultural factors that inspired the “hard body” movies of the 1980’s and 1990’s, but it also describes the changes that occurred, later on, that contributed to the deconstruction of those movies. The hard body movies were characterized by having a reoccurring set of actors (Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Van Damme) and themes (facing adversaries in a forceful manner), and some of the factors that influenced this portrayal were the Reagan Revolution and a revaluation of the Vietnam war. However, a change in political ideology, and a reassessment of America’s place in the world, inspired the deconstruction of those movies, and newer movies brought with them a new message, of what could be considered a soft body.


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How to Cite

Machlev, M. (2021). I’ll be back? The Deconstruction of the 1980s and the 1990s Hard Body Movies. CINEJ Cinema Journal, 9(1), 456–491. https://doi.org/10.5195/cinej.2021.369