By Jeanine Basinger
During this hugely readable and pleasing booklet, Jeanine Basinger exhibits how the "woman's film" of the 30s, 40s, and 50s despatched a effective combined message to thousands of girl moviegoers. whilst that such motion pictures exhorted ladies to stay to their "proper" realm of guys, marriage, and motherhood, they portrayed -- often with appreciate -- robust girls enjoying out releasing 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 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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Extra info for A Woman's View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930-1960
She had been on her own ever since she left training, nine years ago. " One heroine runs away from home when her mother insists she must make her debut instead of going on an expedition as a geologist. Her passionate determination to live her own life does not keep this New Woman from loving a man, but it makes her rebel from her parents; just as the fiuffill 34 THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE young hero often must leave home to grow up. "You've got more courage than any girl I ever saw. You have what it takes," says the boy who helps her get away ("Have a Good Time, Dear," Ladies' Home Journal, May 1939).
Sensing some secret, he asks if she is in love. "She found it difficult to answer. In love? In love with the good-natured, the beautiful Henry [the flying teacher]? In love with the flashing water and the lift of wings at the instant of freedom, and the vision of the smiling, limitless world? ''' The next morning, Sarah solos. Henry "stepped away, slamming the cabin door shut, and swung the ship about for her. She was alone. There was a heady moment when everything she had learned left her, when she had to adjust herself to be alone, entirely alone in the familiar cabin.
Not long ago, women dreamed and fought for equality, their own place in the world. What happened to their dreams; when did women decide to give up the world and go back home? A geologist brings up a core of mud from the bottom of the ocean and sees layers of sediment as sharp as a razor blade deposited over the years-clues to changes in the geological evolution of the earth so vast that they would go unnoticed during the lifespan of a single man. I sat for many days in the New York Public Library, going back through bound volumes of American women's magazines for the last twenty years.