Hardback
August 28, 1997
9780813120362
English
336
photos
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.65 Pounds (US)
$60.00 USD
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
April 23, 2014
9780813145716
9780813120362
English
336
photos
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
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v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
April 23, 2014
9780813145723
9780813120362
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9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$60.00 USD, £25.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Marie Dressler

The Unlikeliest Star

" She was homely, overweight, and over the hill, but there was a time when Marie Dressler outdrew such cinema sex symbols as Garbo, Dietrich, and Harlow. To movie audiences suffering the hardships of the Great Depression, she was Everywoman, and in the early 1930s her charming mixture of pathos and comedy packed movie theaters everywhere. In the early days of the century, Dressler was constantly in the headlines. She took up the cause of the "ponies" in the chorus lines, earning them better pay and benefits. She played in productions organized to raise money for the women's suffrage movement. And during World War I she claimed she sold more liberty bonds than any other individual in the United States. Dressler was an astute observer of public mood and taste. When she was lucky enough to find work in the newly minted Hollywood talkies, she grabbed the brass ring with fierce enthusiasm, even making three films in the year before her death, when she was so sick she had to rest between scenes on a sofa just out of camera range. The two-hundred-pound actress's remarkable stage presence captivated audiences even though her roles were not Hollywood beauties. She played tough, practical characters such as the old wharf rat in Anna Christie (1930), the waterfront innkeeper in Min and Bill (1931)—for which she won the Academy Award for best actress—the aging housekeeper in Emma (1932), and the title role in Tugboat Annie (1933). She spoke honestly to her audiences, and troubled people in the comforting darkness of the Depression-era movie theaters embraced her as one of themselves.

Reviews

"Restores its subject to her rightful place as one of the major entertainers on stage and screen from the late 1800s through the early 1930s."—Classic Images

"Lee succeeds in presenting a thoroughly enjoyable biography, one that brings into focus a picture of one of the most popular stars of early American cinema. . . . a long overdue contribution to the history of movie greats."—Film and History

"In the late '20s Dressler lived one of the greatest Hollywood comeback stories, becoming the 'queen of homespun humor'. . . . By 1932 she had become one of the most popular performers in America."—Kirkus Reviews

"We need not expect a more definitive biography of Marie Dressler."—Letters in Canada

"Drawing largely on Dressler's unpublished memoirs and a recently discovered manuscript be her personal assistant, Lee has also contributed her own research and brings to life a resilient woman with a unique talent."—Past Times Newsletter

"Manages to walk that near impossible line between gossip and scholarship."—Publishers Weekly

"Lee brings Dressler to life as a ebullient, bombastic, outrageous, but loveable woman."—Quill & Quire, Canada

"For decades, the world has been waiting for a thorough biography of the great Marie Dressler. Betty Lee rises to the challenge by illuminating the life and times of this most beloved actress."—Silents Majority

9780813120362 : marie-dressler-lee
Hardback
336 Pages
$60.00 USD
9780813145716 : marie-dressler-lee
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336 Pages
$60.00 USD
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Electronic book text
336 Pages
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