The French Screen Goddess Film Stardom and the Modern Woman in 1930s France

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-02-26
  • Publisher: I. B. Tauris

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Many years before Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, the French cinema produced a host of glamorous female stars designed to rival their Hollywood counterparts. Bathed in soft light, discussed adoringly in fan magazines and shown wearing the latest fashions, these 'cinematic stars' emerged in opposition to France's traditional stage-based stardom, while remaining, through the roles they played and the looks they sported, a distinctly French phenomenon.

This book examines how these stars influenced the narratives and look of their films, contributed to defining the period's new, emancipated femininity, the 'modern woman', and related to the decade's politics, particularly the anti-facist alliance of the 'Front Populaire' during the mid-1930s. It focuses on the three major examples of the period's French screen stardom, Annabella, Danielle Darrieux and Michèle Morgan, while also considering many other key stars, such as Arletty and Viviane Romance, as well as male actors such as Jean Gabin. Key neglected films are considered and true classics of French cinema re-examined, including René Clair's Quatorze juillet, Julien Duvivier's La Bandera and Marcel Carné's Le Quai des Brumes.

Author Biography

Jonathan Driskell is Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at Monash University, Sunway Campus, Malaysia. He is the author of Marcel Carné (2012). Jonathan Driskell is based in Malaysia.

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Illustrations
1. Female Theatrical Stardom in 1930s French Cinema
2. International Stardom in 1930s France
3. From Midinette to Hollywood Star: Annabella
4. A Star of the Popular Front: Danielle Darrieux
5. The Poetry of Poetic Realism: Michèle Morgan
Appendix 1: Actor Popularity Tables
Appendix 2: Film Popularity Table
Appendix 3: Filmographies (1930s)

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