Friday, February 09, 2007

It's All About Me Part II

gina asks:

So, to ask a question about you ;-) . . . do we get to know what your pitch is about?

And who is your favorite classic female movie star? I couldn't possibly guess after that six-foot picture. :-) (I like Bette myself, and my best friend is crazy about her.)

As far as the pitch, I can only say it's a comedy/fantasy. It's very high concept but impossible to pull off. But the high concept gets me on the lot. And I don't want to give it away because then people may recognize it and no longer let me on the lot.

As far as my classic favorite female movie star, I would have to say Bette Davis. She just made a lot of truly remarkable. Judy Garland is a close second. But I also love Barbara Stanwyck, Ginger Rogers, Katherine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo, and Joan Crawford. I also love Cyd Charisse and Ava Gardner but for different and more salacious reasons.

I was watching a documentary about Stanwyck the other day and some bubblehead said Stanwyck was ahead of her time because she played strong female roles during the studio system days when woman weren't allowed to be strong on film.... What a load of crap.

At no time in the history of film did women have it better than during the reign of the studios in the 30's, 40's, and 50's. Women made more films, had better roles, had more starring roles, and actually made money equal to their male counterparts.

Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn, Stanwyck, Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, and Garbo were HUGE stars in their day -- above the title stars -- who starred in their own pictures two to three times a year. And they always played very strong women. They were all Julia Roberts and Meryl Streeps. Now we only have Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep and they often share top billing and make only a single picture a year.

Most of the other women stars today are relegated to romantic comedies, sex-pot roles, and women in jeopardy thrillers and horror films. Yes, there are exceptions, but they are exceptions whereas in the big studio days huge "A" prestige pictures with strong female starring roles came out on a monthly basis.

Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of things wrong with the old studio system, but that they produced a constant stream of great women's pictures that pale in comparison to today is just a fact.


Blogger Gina said...

AMEN! You don't know it, but you've just hit on a pet peeve of mine. :-) I'm sooo sick of the standard line that women in movies had it so bad in those days. They had it GREAT!

I think I saw the same Stanwyck documentary (I like her too), and another one about how the poor women were so oppressed once the Production Code came in and they weren't allowed to play floozies anymore. Piffle. Women's roles got STRONGER during those post-floozy years, as anyone could see if they had half an eye. They actually got to play women who used something besides their, er, assets to get ahead. I'm generalizing all over the place here, but you probably know what I mean. I got so mad over that one documentary that I wrote an article about it -- but that was years ago, so it would take some serious digging to find it again.

Plus I think I just gave you the gist of it, anyway. :-)


1:05 PM  

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