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Dorothy Arzner, “Hollywood’s Only Woman Director”

[K] From the trailer for The Bride Wore Red (starring Joan Crawford): A rare ‘moving image’ of one of our favorite Vintage Butches, director Dorothy Arzner.

(Source: youtube.com)

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Interview with Dorothy Arzner


[K] As you might already know, I have a soft spot for Hollywood’s only major female director during its classic era: Dorothy Arzner. Her films often centered on unconventional female characters, their relationship to each other, as well as their way of dealing with the world at large. In addition to a talent for choosing intersting plots, Arzner - trained as an editor, and known for shooting one of the most spectacular scenes in Rudolp Valentino’s film career - knew a thing or two about how to make the best use of cinema’s conventions, techniques and tricks.

        Dorothy Arzner

        Hey, Handsome…. Dorothy Arzner on the set.

The above-linked interview - originally published in Cinema (U.S.) in 1974 - is up to today the by far the most comprehensive interview with this exceptional figure in film history, and now for the first time digitally available thanks to AgnesFilms.

Excerpt of Special Interest (read: to this blog. Because, come on, for film buffs the whole interview would be of special interst) to wet your appetite for more:

You were at Paramount at the same time as Marlene Dietrich and Mae West. Did you ever wish to make a movie with either of them?
Yes, I always wanted to make a picture with Marlene. There was a wonderful script called Stepdaughters of War. … It was to be a big antiwar picture showing the tragedies of war and how war makes women hard and masculine.

OMG - Imagine the awesomeness of Dorothy Arzner working with Marlene Dietrich! Knowing what Arzner did with Katharine Hepburn in Christopher Strong, I’m inclined to believe, this collaboration could have been among my all-time favorite films.

Don’t you hate it, when history gets in the way of your taste in films?

Anyway, enjoy the interview!

Filed under dorothy arzner old hollywood lgbtq queer history Marlene Dietrich Katharine Hepburn merle oberon afuckingmazing