Friday, 9 September 2016

The Face of Women in the Cinema of Raoul Walsh

The title of this post is inspired by the article "The Place of Woman in the Cinema of Raoul Walsh," published in 1974 by Claire Johnston and Pam Cook. I read it first long ago at university and had an idea of using it for my "Theory readings" series. But re-reading it now I realised that there is not much to say about it, it is not particularly interesting, other than to suggest that the title of it is rather misleading. A more accurate title would be "A Marxist/structuralist/Lacanian reading of The Revolt of Mamie Stover" and it is filled with juicy sentences like this one: "The Other, as the locus of the Law (e.g., the law of the prohibition of incest), as the Word (i.e., the signifier as unit of the code) is the 'Name-of-the-Father' around which the Symbolic order is constructed."

So instead I just want to celebrate a few of the women from Walsh's films.

 Virginia Mayo (with Joel McCrea) in Colorado Territory (1949).

 Marlene Dietrich in Manpower (1941).

 Jayne Mansfield in The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958).

Jane Russell and Agnes Moorehead in The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956).

Olivia de Havilland in They Died With Their Boots On (1941).

Shelley Winters in Saskatchewan (1954), here with Alan Ladd and Jay Silverheels.

Ida Lupino in They Drive By Night (1940).

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