Barbara Stanwyck's illustrious career began in the 1920s and spanned sixty years. During that period she starred in major films of many genres and worked with some of the most distinguished Hollywood directors. Devoting each chapter to a significant quality of Stanwyck's performances, Andrew Klevan foregrounds crucial scenes from her exemplary films, including Stella Dallas (1937), The Lady Eve (1941), and Double Indemnity (1944). Through the lens of her achievement, Klevan examines the wider concerns of these films while revisiting classic topics from Film Studies - psychoanalysis, medium reflexivity, and the representation of female roles such as the 'sacrificial mother' and the 'femme fatale'. In paying close attention to the various aspects of Barbara Stanwyck's skilfully executed performances, this book enhances familiar understandings and provides fresh illumination.
Andrew Klevan is Lecturer in Films Studies at the University of Oxford, UK. He is author of Disclosure of the Everyday: Undramatic Achievement in Narrative Film and Film Performance: From Achievement to Appreciation. He is the co-editor of The Language and Style of Film Criticism, and is on the editorial boards of MOVIE - A Journal of Film Criticism and Film-Philosophy Journal.