Dorothy Arzner

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 461


Mayne, Judith. Directed by Dorothy Arzner. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 209 p.

Biographical and critical overview of Arzner's life and career, focusing on the relationship between her lifestyle, her films, and her image as a lesbian.


Coleman, John. "Eva's Secret." New Statesman and Society 99, No. 2570 (20 June 1980): 943-44.

Reviews a number of films, including a revival of Christopher Strong, of which he says that "time has pushed this to a pinnacle of camp."

Doty, Alexander. "Whose Text Is It Anyway?: Queer Cultures, Queer Auteurs, and Queer Authorship." Quarterly Review of Film and Video 15, No. 1 (1993): 41-54.

Analyzes the work of George Cukor and Arzner in relation to gay and lesbian culture.

Haskell, Molly. From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1974, 388 p.

Surveys the depiction of women in film from the early twentieth century through the early 1970s. Haskell comments briefly on several of Arzner's films, including Christopher Strong, Craig's Wife, and Dance, Girl, Dance.

――――――. "Women Directors: Toppling the Male Mystique." American Film 1, No. 8 (June 1976): 18-23.

Remarks on several female directors, including Arzner, whose films, Haskell argues, "focus on subversively demanding heroines who speak their minds, pursue careers, and find satisfaction in … female friendships."

Heck-Rabi, Louise. "Dorothy Arzner: An Image of Independence." In Women Filmmakers: A Critical Reception, pp. 72-93. Scarecrow Press: 1984.

Survey of Arzner's works and career.

Johnston, Claire, ed. The Work of Dorothy Arzner. London: British Film Institute, 1975, 34 p.

Contains two essays on Arzner, an interview, and a filmography.

McBride, Joseph. "'Hey, a Broad Is Gonna Direct!' Opened Dorothy Arzner's Career." Variety 277 (5 February 1975): 7, 32.

Covers a tribute to Arzner sponsored by the Directors Guild of America. The article contains numerous comments on Arzner's career from notables in the film industry.

Petro, Patrice. "Feminism and Film History." Camera Obscura, No. 22 (January 1990): 8-28.

Examines numerous approaches to film history and critiques several works on feminist film history. Petro uses Arzner's Christopher Strong and Dance, Girl, Dance as examples in her discussion.

Rosen, Marjorie. "Epilogue: Feminist Footholds in Filmmaking." In Popcorn Venus: Women, Movies & the American Dream, pp. 367-80. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1973.

Briefly summarizes Arzner's career as a director and popular reaction to it.

Shrage, Laurie. "Feminist Film Aesthetics: A Contextual Approach." In Aesthetics in Feminist Perspective, edited by Hilde Hein and Carolyn Korsmeyer, pp. 139-49. Indiana University Press, 1993.

Focuses on the depiction of marriage and the treatment of mistresses in Christopher Strong.

Slide, Anthony. "Dorothy Arzner." In Early Women Directors, pp. 92-101. New York: Da Capo Press, 1984.

Remarks on the three silent films that Arzner directed: Fashions for Women, Ten Modern Commandments, and Get Your Man.

Smith, Sharon. "In the Thirties: Dorothy Arzner." In Women Who Make Movies, pp. 19-24. New York: Hopkinson and Blake, 1975.

Briefly summarizes Arzner's career.

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