Many years before Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, the French cinema produced a host of glamorous female stars designed to rival their Hollywood counterparts. Bathed in soft light, discussed adoringly in fan magazines and shown wearing the latest fashions, these 'cinematic stars' emerged in opposition to France's traditional stage-based stardom, while remaining, through the roles they played and the looks they sported, a distinctly French phenomenon. This book examines how these stars influenced the narratives and look of their films, contributed to defining the period's new, emancipated femininity, the 'modern woman', and related to the decade's politics, particularly the anti-facist alliance of the 'Front Populaire' during the mid-1930s. It focuses on the three major examples of the period's French screen stardom, Annabella, Danielle Darrieux and Michele Morgan, while also considering many other key stars, such as Arletty and Viviane Romance, as well as male actors such as Jean Gabin. Key neglected films are considered and true classics of French cinema re-examined, including Rene Clair's Quatorze juillet, Julien Duvivier's La Bandera and Marcel Carne's Le Quai des Brumes.
French Screen Goddess
Film Stardom and the Modern Woman in 1930s France