Paperback / softback
June 23, 1995
9780819562913
English
542
9.25 Inches (US)
6.13 Inches (US)
1.7 Pounds (US)
$34.95 USD, £25.95 GBP
v2.1 Reference

A Woman's View

How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930–1960

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.

About the Author

JEANINE BASINGER is Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies and Curator of Cinema Archives at Wesleyan University. Her most recent book is Silent Stars (1999), and her other books include American Cinema (1994), The "It's a Wonderful Life" Book (1990), and The World War II Combat Film (1986).

Reviews

"Witty, spirited, [and] satisfyingly comprehensive . . . A Woman's View is bright, lively, jargon-free, densely argued, never ponderous . . . Basinger knows how to nail what she's going after."—Boston Globe

"A book about the 'woman's film,' and written in clear, intelligible prose, is almost as alluring as the best of the films themselves . . . a book with fascinating detail that stays readable to the end."—Cineaste

"An intelligent, thought-provoking look at a genre too often dismissed as either sheer trash or simply another cultural instrument of female oppression. Basinger possesses—and conveys—a lively appreciation for the complexities of popular culture."—Washington Post Book World

"Witty, spirited, [and] satisfyingly comprehensive . . . A Woman's View is bright, lively, jargon-free, densely argued, never ponderous . . . Basinger knows how to nail what she's going after."—Boston Globe

"Ms. Basinger analyzes Hollywood's view with affectionate wit and verve . . . Her book is a timely reminder that female rebellion didn't start with Thelma and Louise."—New York Times Book Review

9780819562913 : a-womans-view-basinger
Paperback / softback
542 Pages
$34.95 USD

Other Titles by Jeanine Basinger

Anthony Mann

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Nov 2007 - Wesleyan University Press
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The World War II Combat Film

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Nov 2000 - Wesleyan University Press
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