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Uninvited Classical Hollywood Cinema and Lesbian Representability cover
  • ISBN: 9780253336415
  • ISBN10: 0253336414

Uninvited Classical Hollywood Cinema and Lesbian Representability

by Patricia White

  • List Price: $39.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Indiana Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 11/01/1999
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White (Swarthmore College) seeks traces of lesbian desire and difference in the films of the classic era. Since the Production Code forbade even the slightest hint of sexual deviancy, White must engage in a great deal of what she calls retrospectatorship, with somewhat mixed results. She begins by discussing the Code itself; moves on to a discussion of star personae (e.g., Davis, Hepburn, Dietrich, Garbo), the gothic/horror film and maternal melodrama, overt lesbian overtones among supporting players such as McDaniel, Waters, Fitter, McCambridge, and--especially--Moorehead; and closes with a chapter on retrospectatorship. She draws on all of the major figures in feminist film theory, if only to chastise them for ignoring the lesbian spectator. Since White covers much of the same ground that Mary Ann Doane does in The Desire to Desire: The Woman's Films of the 1940s (CH, Oct'87), she is particularly concerned with correcting Doane's omissions. White writes with considerable flair, and her arguments are always interesting, if not always fully convincing. A useful addition to studies of spectatorship in and of the classic era. Upper--division undergraduates through professionals.W. A. Vincent, Michigan State University, Choice, July 2000
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