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

Basinger, Jeanine

Published by Wesleyan
ISBN 10: 0819562912 / ISBN 13: 9780819562913
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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 Quality New Book from a Full-Time Bookshop in business since 1992!. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: 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.

Review: 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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Title: A Woman’s View - How Hollywood Spoke to ...
Publisher: Wesleyan
Book Condition: BRAND NEW

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