By Jeanine Basinger
During this hugely readable and interesting e-book, Jeanine Basinger indicates how the "woman's movie" of the 30s, 40s, and 50s despatched a effective combined message to thousands of lady moviegoers. while that such movies exhorted girls to stay to their "proper" realm of fellows, marriage, and motherhood, they portrayed -- often with enjoy -- powerful girls enjoying out freeing fantasies of energy, 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, advised the area off for limiting them, even gave their childrens away." Basinger examines dozens of movies -- no matter if melodrama, screwball comedy, musical, movie noir, western, or biopic -- to make a persuasive case that the woman's movie was once 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 and her behavior are a constant topic of conversation. Since she does not give herself totally to her husbandor even, it is hinted, at allhe discusses this with his brother: "She is like the western wind. When Page 31 I reach for her, she's gone. She is mine and yet not mine. " When the men in the family advise him to beat her, his mother warns him that men must be sure that they are able to beat their wives before they try it. " Jade can read, which gives her power over her husband, who cannot, and which singles her out in the world she lives in.
The gushing of the southern belle is the flowery talk of the academic. These things clearly mark Ladies of the Jury as a woman's film, because all the characters are defined by their attitude toward the woman's role or by their relationship to women. In the end, the hero of the film, by process of elimination, is a woman, Edna May Oliver. She is the strong central woman of the film, a problem solver, and also the motivator of the action. This more or less proves that Ladies of the Jury is a woman's film.
Although the film begins with Alan Ladd, an American who sells oil to the Japanese army, and his sidekick, William Bendix, Young makes a dramatic entrance. On a dark and rainy night outside an isolated village, she calls off a horde of Chinese peasants who are besieging Ladd and Bendix in their truck. Then she commandeers the vehicle herself. " she barks at Ladd, who meekly slides aside while she climbs in and takes the wheel, steering cautiously but competently forward, getting them out of the mess they're in.
A Woman's View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930-1960 (1993, 1995) by Jeanine Basinger