George Cukor is one of the studio era's most famous and admired directors, with many of the American cinema's most beloved classics to his credit, including The Women, Gaslight, Adam's Rib, A Star is Born, and My Fair Lady to his credit. Not himself a scriptwriter, he was particularly adept at choosing which properties to adapt and then managing the adaptation process with verve and effectiveness. What makes for a good adapter, for a talented master of ceremonies who knows where to put everything and everybody (including the camera)? Who knows how to make a property his own even while enhancing the value it has as belonging to someone else? The essays in this volume provide a series of complementary answers to those questions. Though many of his films are celebrated, Cukor has hitherto not received appropriate critical attention. Cukor's interest in the various forms of indoor cinema lacked the generic focus of Ford's westerns and Hitchcock's thrillers. His style was theatricality writ large, a successful transference to the screen of what he had learned from his successful Broadway career, including the outsized, often flamboyant handling of emotionality. Yet Cukor was also a man of the cinema, fascinated by the ever-developing potentials of his adopted medium, as shown by the more than fifty films he directed in a career that endured from the early sound era into the 1970s.
Edinburgh University Press