Download e-book for kindle: A Great Big Girl Like Me: The Films of Marie Dressler by Victoria Sturtevant

By Victoria Sturtevant

ISBN-10: 0252076222

ISBN-13: 9780252076220

In the 1st book-length learn of Marie Dressler, MGM's so much ecocnomic celeb within the early Nineteen Thirties, Victoria Sturtevant analyzes Dressler's use of her physique to problem Hollywood's criteria for top women. At 5 toes seven inches tall and 200 kilos, Dressler usually performed gruesome ducklings, outdated maids, doting moms, and imperious dowagers. even though, her physique, her fearless physicality, and her athletic slapstick exercises commanded the monitor. Sturtevant translates the meanings of Dressler's physique by way of taking a look at her vaudeville profession, her transgressive illustration of an "unruly" but sexual physique in Emma and Christopher Bean, rules of the physique politic within the movies Politics and Prosperity, and Dressler as a mythic physique in Min and Bill and Tugboat Annie.

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Example text

She recalled, “But there was a joker in the deck. One that none of us had dreamed could be there. The picture was about the Irish, and the Irish didn’t like it. No sooner was it shown in a few test theaters than an avalanche of protest came in. Loyal sons of Erin rose up in their might. They said we were poking fun at them. It did no good to explain that we weren’t. ”11 MGM made several attempts to edit the film to remove the offending material, but studio executives quickly discovered that it was not just a matter of a few scenes.

Although many male comic stars were known for their drunk specialties, most obviously Chaplin and W. C. ” Dressler’s comeback years traced a progression from a drunken scene in the comedy The Callahans and the Murphys, which audiences read as scandalous, crude, and lowbrow, to a drunken scene in the heavy drama Anna Christie, which audiences read as sensitive, heartwarming, and sophisticated. Dressler’s use of her body in these years shifted slightly, and the vehicles in which she appeared shifted tremendously.

10 Dressler was shocked and baffled by the outrage that greeted the picture’s release. She recalled, “But there was a joker in the deck. One that none of us had dreamed could be there. The picture was about the Irish, and the Irish didn’t like it. No sooner was it shown in a few test theaters than an avalanche of protest came in. Loyal sons of Erin rose up in their might. They said we were poking fun at them. It did no good to explain that we weren’t. ”11 MGM made several attempts to edit the film to remove the offending material, but studio executives quickly discovered that it was not just a matter of a few scenes.

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A Great Big Girl Like Me: The Films of Marie Dressler by Victoria Sturtevant


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