Dorothy Arzner was the exception in Hollywood film history - the one woman who succeeded as a director, in a career that spanned three decades. In Part One, Dorothy Arzner's film career her work as a film editor to her directorial debut, to her departure from Hollywood in 1943 is documented, with particular attention to Arzner's roles as star-maker and woman's director. In Part Two, Mayne analyzes a number of Arzner's films and discusses how feminist preoccupations shape them, from the women's communities central to Dance, Girl, Dance and The Wild Party to critiques of the heterosexual couple in Christopher Strong and Craig's Wife . Part Three treats Arzner's lesbianism and the role that desire between women played in her career, her life, and her films.
JUDITH MAYNE, Professor of French and Women's Studies at Ohio State University, is the author of Cinema and Spectatorship, The Woman at the Keyhole, Kino and the Woman Question: Feminism and Soviet Silent Film, and Private Novels, Public Films.