By Jeanine Basinger
During this hugely readable and enjoyable ebook, Jeanine Basinger exhibits how the "woman's movie" of the 30s, 40s, and 50s despatched a powerful combined message to thousands of girl moviegoers. while that such movies exhorted ladies to stay to their "proper" realm of guys, marriage, and motherhood, they portrayed -- frequently with enjoy -- powerful girls enjoying out releasing fantasies of strength, romance, sexuality, luxurious, even wickedness.Never brain that the celluloid personas of Bette Davis, Myrna Loy, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, or Rita Hayworth see their folly and go back to their guy or lament his loss within the final 5 mins of the image; for the 1st eighty-five mins the viewers watched as those characters "wore nice outfits, sat on nice furnishings, enjoyed undesirable males, had plenty of intercourse, instructed the area off for proscribing them, even gave their kids away." Basinger examines dozens of flicks -- no matter if melodrama, screwball comedy, musical, movie noir, western, or biopic -- to make a persuasive case that the woman's movie used to be a wealthy, advanced, and subversive style that well-known and addressed, if covertly, the issues of girls.
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Additional info for A Woman's View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930-1960 (1993, 1995)
Jade (Hepburn) is a feminist, although the term is never used. This is established at the opening of the film when it is discovered that she is not at home doing women's work, the way she should be. ) She is, instead, in the village at a political rally. Furthermore, she even dares to speak up, standing bravely, asking sharp questions and expressing her sentiments clearly. This shocks everyone, including her husband, who arrives to drag her home. ("You're not where a woman should be . . ") Jade and her behavior are a constant topic of conversation.
The war has made her aggressive behavior acceptable, because in wartime, anything goes. Besides, she's not next door; she's over there somewhere in China. In the love story, Young, who has at first not worried about how she looks or what she wears, starts putting lipstick on in the truck. " Young's lipstick is a metaphor for her acceptance of Ladd, and the two are soon wrapped in a tight clinch, locked lipstick to lip and vowing Page 29 eternal love. Young tells Ladd that "whenever men are in danger [women] are lighting candles even brighter than the stars.
There appear to be no real contradictions, and yet, as one watches the films carefully, one can see how clearly it is suggested that it is women who understand things and who must make all the decisions. This is particularly true in Mrs. Parkington, in which women are shown to be manipulating everything behind men's backs. The suggestion that women should be loving and dutiful, putting their men first, is undercut by the idea that women should be in charge of things. Mrs. Parkington has Greer Garson speak openly to her husband, saying that she is ashamed to be his wife.