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What Price Hollywood?Gender and Sex in the Films of George Cukor$
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Elyce Rae Helford

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813179292

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813179292.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 22 May 2022

Race, Nation, and Gendered Noir Anxiety

Race, Nation, and Gendered Noir Anxiety

(p.134) 8 Race, Nation, and Gendered Noir Anxiety
What Price Hollywood?

Elyce Rae Helford

University Press of Kentucky

Through a more intersectional, film studies approach, this chapter interrogates Cukor’s wartime and postwar handling of film noir style and content in four films: A Woman’s Face (1941), Keeper of the Flame (1942), Gaslight (1944), and A Double Life (1947). Through focus on subjects from fascism to blackface, the chapter explores the intersection of gender, race, and national anxiety central to World War II–era Hollywood aesthetics. Joan Crawford’s Anna goes from scarred criminal to feminine object of affection; and Ronald Colman (in an Oscar-winning performance) plays Anthony John, who devolves from acclaimed actor to vengeful murderer. Katharine Hepburn plays a mysterious recluse who labors to cover her dead husband’s fascist ambitions. And Ingrid Bergman finds her character gaslighted by her devious, avaricious husband.

Keywords:   film noir, World War II, race, blackface, gaslighting, Othello

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