Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood

Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood

by Mick LaSalle
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0312284314

ISBN-13: 9780312284312

Pub. Date: 09/28/2000

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

In the pre-Code Hollywood era, between 1929 and 1934, women in American cinema took lovers, had babies out of wedlock, got rid of cheating husbands, enjoyed their sexuality, led unapologetic careers, and, in general, acted the way many think women only acted after 1968.

Before then, women on screen had come in two varieties-sweet ingenue or vamp. Then two stars

Overview

In the pre-Code Hollywood era, between 1929 and 1934, women in American cinema took lovers, had babies out of wedlock, got rid of cheating husbands, enjoyed their sexuality, led unapologetic careers, and, in general, acted the way many think women only acted after 1968.

Before then, women on screen had come in two varieties-sweet ingenue or vamp. Then two stars came along: Greta Garbo, who turned the femme fatale into a woman whose capacity for love and sacrifice made all other human emotions seem pale; and Norma Shearer, who succeeded in taking the ingenue to a place she'd never been: the bedroom. In their wake came a deluge of other complicated women-Marlene Dietrich, Jean Harlow, and Mae West, to name a few. Then, in July 1934, the draconian Production Code became the law in Hollywood and these modern women of the screen were banished, not to be seen again until the code was repealed three decades later.

A thorough survey and a tribute to these films, Complicated Women reveals how this was the true Golden Age of women's films.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312284312
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
09/28/2000
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
410,170
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction1
1The Ingenue Gets a Life11
2Like a Virgin32
3I Said, "Yes"54
4Not Too Young and Not Too Nice75
5"I'm in an Orgy, Wallowing"97
6Shopgirls and Sex Vultures118
7Getting Away with Murder142
8The Ghastly Job of Living Together165
9The Censors Strike Back189
10The Great Garbo and Norma Who?214
11Garbo's Granddaughters230
12Norma in the New Millennium241
Epilogue253
AppendixComplicated Women on Television and Video257
Acknowledgments269
Bibliography273
Index281

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