Details

ISBN-10: 0819562912
ISBN-13: 9780819562913
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publish Date: 06/23/1995
Dimensions: 9.20" L, 6.13" W, 1.48" H

A Woman’s View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930-1960

Paperback

Price: $34.95

Overview

Now, Voyager, Stella Dallas, Leave Her to Heaven, Imitation of Life, Mildred Pierce, Gilda…these are only a few of the hundreds of “women’s films” that poured out of Hollywood during the thirties, forties, and fifties – films that not only delivered on their inherent promise to entertain but also opened a door to the Other, the Something Else, that audiences came to the theater yearning to see and feel, if only for a couple of hours. Films widely disparate in subject, sentiment, and technique, they nonetheless shared one dual purpose: to provide the audience (of women, primarily) with temporary liberation into a screen dream – of romance, sexuality, luxury, suffering, or even wickedness – and then send it home reminded of, reassured by, and resigned to the fact that no matter what else she might do, a woman’s most important job was…to be a woman. Now, with boundless knowledge and infectious enthusiasm, Jeanine Basinger illuminates the various surprising and subversive ways in which women’s films delivered their message. Basinger examines dozens of films, exploring the seemingly intractable contradictions at the convoluted heart of the woman’s genre – among them, the dilemma of the strong and glamorous woman who cedes her power when she feels it threatening her personal happiness, and the self-abnegating woman whose selflessness is not always as “noble” as it appears. Basinger looks at the stars who played these women (Kay Francis, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Rosalind Russell, Susan Hayward, Myrna Loy, and a host of others) and helps us understand the qualities – the right off-screen personae, the right on-screen attitudes, the right faces, the right figures forcarrying the right clothes – that made them personify the woman’s film and equipped them to make believable drama or comedy out of the crackpot plots, the conflicting ideas, and the exaggerations of real behavior that characterize these movies. In each of the films the author discus

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Reviews
"Witty, spirited, [and] satisfyingly comprehensive . . . A Woman's View is bright, lively, jargon-free, densely argued, never ponderous . . . Basinger knows how to nail what she's going after."–Boston Globe

"A book about the 'woman's film, ' and written in clear, intelligible prose, is almost as alluring as the best of the films themselves . . . a book with fascinating detail that stays readable to the end."–Cineaste

"An intelligent, thought-provoking look at a genre too often dismissed as either sheer trash or simply another cultural instrument of female oppression. Basinger possesses–and conveys–a lively appreciation for the complexities of popular culture."–Washington Post Book World

"Witty, spirited, [and] satisfyingly comprehensive . . . A Woman's View is bright, lively, jargon-free, densely argued, never ponderous . . . Basinger knows how to nail what she's going after."–Boston Globe

"Ms. Basinger analyzes Hollywood's view with affectionate wit and verve . . . Her book is a timely reminder that female rebellion didn't start with Thelma and Louise."–New York Times Book Review
More Reviews

Details

ISBN-10: 0819562912
ISBN-13: 9780819562913
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publish Date: 06/23/1995
Dimensions: 9.20" L, 6.13" W, 1.48" H
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