Hollywood Heroines: Women in Film Noir and the Female Gothic Film
The endangered and dangerous female figures of Rebecca, of Jagged Edge and What Lies Beneath have a deserved and enduring fascination. Helen Hanson re-examines these gothic heroines of Hollywood and their meanings, in two of Hollywood's key generic cycles, film noir and the female gothic film. Starting at the beginning, with the origin of these cycles and the ways in which they represented women in the American film industry and culture of the 1940s, she traces their revival in neo-noir and neo-gothic films from the 1980s to the present. She also places the female figures of the femme fatale, female investigator and gothic heroine within the shifting contexts of the film industry and debates in feminist film criticism. Hanson examines a wide range of films from both periods, including Suspicion, Gaslight and Pacific Heights, and gives particular attention to their presentation of female stories, actions and perspectives. She reveals a diversity of female figures, representations and actions in film noir and the female gothic film, and argues that these women are part of a negotiation of female identities, desires and roles across a long historical period. Hollywood Heroines offers us new ways of thinking about classic and contemporary Hollywood heroines, and about the interrelationships of gender and genre.
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Alfred Hitchcock argues audience body Bronfen Brunsdon Carrolls central Chapter characterised Charlotte Brunsdon Chion Cinema cited Contemporary Cowie crime film crime thriller critical cultural death discourses discussion Dragonwyck explore female characters female figures female gothic cycle female gothic film female investigator female protagonists feminine feminism feminist femme fatale fiction film noir film's filmic Gaslight gender Geoffrey George Cukor Gledhill Gorbman gothic fiction gothic mode heroine heroine's identification identity Jane Eyre London male character Manderley marriage masculine Maxim Miranda Modleski Moers movie murder narration narrative Neale neo-gothic neo-gothic films neo-noir neo-noir crime neo-noir thriller Nicholas noir's novel past Paula Phantom Lady popular portrait position post-feminism post-feminist Postfeminism present production Rebecca relation representation Robert Siodmak roles romance Routledge Schatz Screenplay second-wave second-wave feminism sequence sexual shifts social socio-cultural sound story studio style suggests Suspicion Tasker theme tion uncanny viewers wife woman woman's film Women in Film York