Sunday, June 21, 2015

Matrimony Month: Adam’s Rib: Tracy, Hepburn, and the Politics of the Code

The 40s brought on a significant cultural shift in America.    The 20’s and 30’s were, within reason, something of a freewheeling period for cinema.  Unfortunately, Hollywood underwent a combination of a series of major scandals and severe pushback from the moral majority.  Thus began the  Production Code era, in which good guys were very good, bad guys were very bad, and a certain sense of morality was upheld by force, fiction be damned.

In the middle of all of this, at the very height of the production code, Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy teamed up to deliver a series of movies that both questioned and confirmed the odd morality of the era.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Matrimony Month: It: Or The Surprising Modernism of Betty Lou Spence

“Sweet Santa Claus, give me him!”  With those immortal words, Betty Lou Spence burst to life and onto screens worldwide in the first romantic movie of the modern era, ‘It’.

And shockingly modern it was.  While Mary Pickford was still playing children and Lillian Gish was terminally wreathed in a halo of curls and lace, Clara Bow stepped onscreen and showed the world what sex appeal was – and gave girls a plan for modern marriage-seeking that was fresh and new for the era.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Brides are Busting Out All Over: A Two-Month Tribute to Brides, Those Who Ran Away and Those Who Stayed An Introduction

This month on that Bouvier Girl we’ll be examining marriage in its varied forms – via examination of three disparate but linkable films in which gals want to (or don’t want to ) be married and their cultural impact.

The films examined will be:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Women Behind The Men Month: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

The Women Behind the Men month concludes with the bestselling The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain.

It is, by all accounts, not easy to deal with the prima-donna ego and keep your own sense of self alive.  Imagine what it was like being married to Ernest Hemingway, the loudest, most braggadocious ego in the room, machismo personified.  Hadley Richardson managed to do that and more, thriving under their marital bonds, becoming an able helpmeet who managed to get Hemingway’s work sold and inspire his heroine in “The Sun also Rises” to boot, winning a dedication from him and thus literary immortality.     She was his wife in those first glorious Paris days, and they hobnobbed with various luminaries until Hadley made the cardinal mistake of losing one of Hemingway’s suitcases at a train station – the one filled with his manuscripts.  Hemingway felt emasculated, their trust was broken, he sought companionship elsewhere, and Hadley and his son Bumby moved away, watching him create his own myth wholecloth, part truly believed macho blandishment, part cover for the vulnerable man whose whole life was dogged by death.  But Hemingway never stopped loving Hadley and Hadley, even as she found comfort in a more sedate marriage with another man, never forgot Ernest.