The Movies that Made You a Man: Call for Submissions Due 8/6


Which film marked your ascent to manhood—and which ones set you back a few years?

Perhaps it happened when the lone gunslinger sauntered into town, ready to make tombstones of a pack of black-toothed outlaws. Or you could have felt it when the brooding outcast screamed into the night, arms spread wide in anguished exaltation. Maybe it hit you when the office bumbler finally got the courage to make a stand, or when the rasping addict realized he lost everything. Whenever it happened, whatever you saw, the movies may have introduced you to these many kinds of men, or caught a sliver of your own life in the celluloid.

It’s these men, and the countless others that stamp stories onto filmstrips, that constitute many a young man’s first exposure to different kinds of manhood, be they role models or cautionary tales, startling mirrors of your own experiences, or glittering ambitions come to life.

Now, the GMP wants your stories—which film marked your ascent to manhood? Which ones set it back a few years? What archetype did you find yourself relating to—the boy-next door, the teenage rebel, the conflicted father, the lone wolf, the poet, the plucky upstart? Which films helped you understand the men in your own life with more clarity, negative or positive? In short, which ones helped you shape your particular brand of manhood, for better or for worse?

Submissions should be roughly 700-2000 words in length. Final submissions must be submitted by August 6 to be considered for this A&E series. Send your submissions to Lee McKinstry at For further questions and guidelines, email Lee.


Flickr, Creative Commons, Kenneth Lu

About Lee McKinstry

Lee McKinstry is the Good Men Project A&E Editor and proud Cleveland native. Her favorite things include blue whales, early 90s lo-fi, poetry slams and debating gender politics over a root beer. She once came in second in a Slovakian log-throwing contest, and will hopefully sharpen her skills when she returns to Central Europe this fall as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in the Czech Republic. She can be reached for comment at, or on Twitter @LeeMcKinstry.


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