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A Great Big Girl Like Me: The Films of Marie Dressler (Women & Film History International) Paperback – May 8, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


“[An] excellent, superbly detailed and illustrated book. . . . Highly recommended.”--Choice

“An eminently good read.”--The Bay Area Reporter

Book Description

In the first book-length study of Marie Dressler, MGM's most profitable movie star in the early 1930s, Victoria Sturtevant analyzes Dressler's use of her body to challenge Hollywood's standards for leading ladies. At five feet seven inches tall and two hundred pounds, Dressler often played ugly ducklings, old maids, doting mothers, and imperious dowagers. However, her body, her fearless physicality, and her athletic slapstick routines commanded the screen. Sturtevant interprets the meanings of Dressler's body by looking at her vaudeville career, her transgressive representation of an "unruly" yet sexual body in Emma and Christopher Bean, ideas of the body politic in the films Politics and Prosperity, and Dressler as a mythic body in Min and Bill and Tugboat Annie.

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Product Details

  • Series: Women & Film History International
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1st Edition edition (May 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252076222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252076220
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,865,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Victoria Sturtevant is an associate professor and director of the Film and Video Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma. She lives in Norman, OK with her husband, Jim Zeigler, their son, and the family dog. She teaches courses on film history, theory, and criticism, including seminars on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, the Hollywood musical, and the Hollywood Blacklist. She is currently hard at work on her next scholarly publication, a book about social class in American film comedies. Her favorite movie is Gold Diggers of 1933, although you shouldn't watch it with her, because she'll insist on singing along to the pig-Latin verse of "We're in the Money" and she's always off-key.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By arlene meehan on February 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Marie Dressler is an American legend. This study of Marie helps us better understand early female film characters of Hollywood. She was not beautiful, but the public loved her. Her lifestyle showed her to be a strong women, who had no interest in raising children. Yes, she gave birth to a daughter. No, it didn't die. I am her great granddaughter.
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