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

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9780819562913: A Woman's View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930-1960

In this highly readable and entertaining book, Jeanine Basinger shows how the "woman's film" of the 30s, 40s, and 50s sent a potent mixed message to millions of female moviegoers. At the same time that such films exhorted women to stick to their "proper" realm of men, marriage, and motherhood, they portrayed -- usually with relish -- strong women playing out liberating fantasies of power, romance, sexuality, luxury, even wickedness.

Never mind that the celluloid personas of Bette Davis, Myrna Loy, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, or Rita Hayworth see their folly and return to their man or lament his loss in the last five minutes of the picture; for the first eighty-five minutes the audience watched as these characters "wore great clothes, sat on great furniture, loved bad men, had lots of sex, told the world off for restricting them, even gave their children away."

Basinger examines dozens of films -- whether melodrama, screwball comedy, musical, film noir, western, or biopic -- to make a persuasive case that the woman's film was a rich, complicated, and subversive genre that recognized and addressed, if covertly, the problems of women.

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When film experts talk about the "woman's picture," a Hollywood genre that flourished in the '30s, '40s, and '50s, they often squabble over whether these films were liberating or constraining. Jeanine Basinger argues that they were both at the same time. She maintains that they freed their female protagonists to break social bonds while also punishing any women who seemed too free and feisty. This lively and exceedingly thorough book covers every major aspect of this fascinating film genre, including the roles female stars were expected to play, the fabulous clothes they wore, the social behaviors they were condemned to adopt, the ways they responded to and were treated by men, and the ideals of femininity Hollywood producers tried to impress upon their audiences. --Raphael Shargel

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6 1/8 x 9 1/4 trim. 46 illus. LC 95-17136

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Book Description University Press of New England, United States, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Large type / large print edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780819562913

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Published by University Press of New England, United States (1995)
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Book Description University Press of New England, United States, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Large type / large print edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780819562913

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Book Description Wesleyan. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Softcover - A lively portrayal of Hollywood's contradictory message of conformity and riotous freedom in films about women's lives and loves. A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Veteran Owned Bookshop in business since 1992!. Bookseller Inventory # 2563161

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. In this highly readable and entertaining book, Jeanine Basinger shows how the "woman's film" of the 30s, 40s, and 50s sent a potent mixed message to millions of female movie.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 542 pages. 0.762. Bookseller Inventory # 9780819562913

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