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Precocious Charms : Stars Performing Girlhood in Classical Hollywood Cinema

ISBN: 9780520274242 | 0520274245
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Univ of California Pr
Pub. Date: 1/15/2013

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In Precocious Charms, Gaylyn Studlar examines how Hollywood defined and constructed female stars as especially young--as juvenated--during its long half century as the most influential and popular media influence on America's cultural imagination. Precocious Charmsis about stars and their films but also about the aesthetic, cultural, discursive, ideological, industrial, and psychological processes that led to the varied construction of juvenated femininity in six female star personas: Mary Pickford, Shirley Temple, Deanna Durbin, Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Jones, and Audrey Hepburn. Child stars are part of this study, but so too are adult actresses who created motion picture masquerades of youthfulness. This study reveals the unexpected intersections between American film and culture, from nineteenth century sentimental art to New Look haute couture fashion, children's literature to the impact of psychoanalysis, Victorian domestic family rituals to radio comedy. To consider juvenated femininity is to look at how classic Hollywood cinema constructed gender and sexuality beyond the general category of "woman," leading to a new understanding of how Hollywood spoke to and created pleasures for its audiences from the 1910s into the 1960s.


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