Fast-Talking Dames / Edition 1

Fast-Talking Dames / Edition 1

by Maria DiBattista
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0300099037

ISBN-13: 9780300099034

Pub. Date: 03/01/2003

Publisher: Yale University Press

"There is nothing like a dame," proclaims the song from South Pacific. Certainly there is nothing like the fast-talking dame of screen comedies in the 1930s and '40s. In this engaging book, film scholar and movie buff Maria DiBattista celebrates the fast-talking dame as an American original. Coming of age during the Depression, the dame--a woman of lively wit and

Overview

"There is nothing like a dame," proclaims the song from South Pacific. Certainly there is nothing like the fast-talking dame of screen comedies in the 1930s and '40s. In this engaging book, film scholar and movie buff Maria DiBattista celebrates the fast-talking dame as an American original. Coming of age during the Depression, the dame--a woman of lively wit and brash speech-epitomized a new style of self-reliant, articulate womanhood. Dames were quick on the uptake and hardly ever downbeat. They seemed to know what to say and when to say it. In their fast and breezy talk seemed to lie the secret of happiness, but also the key to reality. DiBattista offers vivid portraits of the grandest dames of the era, including Katharine Hepburn, Irene Dunne, Rosalind Russell, Barbara Stanwyck, and others, and discusses the great films that showcased their compelling way with words-and with men.
With their snappy repartee and vivid colloquialisms, these fast-talkers were verbal muses at a time when Americans were reinventing both language and the political institutions of democratic culture. As they taught their laconic male counterparts (most notably those appealing but tongue-tied American icons, Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, and James Stewart) the power and pleasures of speech, they also reimagined the relationship between the sexes.
In such films as Bringing Up Baby, The Awful Truth, and The Lady Eve, the fast-talking dame captivated moviegoers of her time. For audiences today, DiBattista observes, the sassy heroine still has much to say.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300099034
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/01/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Prefaceix
Acknowledgmentsxv
Part 1A Gomic History of Dames
1Fast-Talking Dames4
2Female Pygmalions36
Part 2Hot Heiresses and Working Girls
3Blonde Bombshells: Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard, and Ginger Rogers84
4My Favorite Brunettes: Myrna Loy, Jean Arthur, and Claudette Colbert132
Part 3The Grande Dames
5Missing Links: Bringing Up Baby174
6The Lady-Dame: Irene Dunne and The Awful Truth202
7Garbo's Laugh236
8Female Rampant: His Girl Friday268
9The Lady Eve and the Female Con298
Conclusion: Blondes Born Yesterday324
Notes341
Index359

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