UPDATE: Jo has posted the Saturday roster with direct links here. I have posted the Sunday roster here. Enjoy!
I’m back in the blogathon saddle and I am joined by the talented Jo of The Last Drive In. This time around, we are going to be celebrating the wonderful women of classic cinema, both real and fictional. The event will be held on August 15 & 16, 2015.
The idea for this event came to me when I looked at the search keywords that brought people to my site. With the exception of queries about specific actresses, every woman-related search query was for a woman in peril, in pain or scantily dressed.
Silent movies are particularly targeted thanks to the ridiculous myth of the “iconic” woman tied to the train tracks. (I see your “tied to the tracks” nonsense and raise you one sawmill.)
In fact, silent movies were rich with films written, directed, produced by and starring women. And the heroines of silent film often displayed guts and wit that allowed them to rescue themselves and/or their boyfriends.
This event is also going to be about the brave, brash women of the talkies. Dames, dolls, WACs and outlaws, sound films are full of intriguing women on the screen, not to mention working behind the scenes.
Now classic and silent films did sometimes rely on the damsel in distress trope (just as entertainment today does) but we’re here to talk about the women who kicked down stereotypes, took the reigns and generally got the job done.
For clarification, this doesn’t mean that we only want action heroines. Oh no. We want bold, brave, smart women who made their mark in all walks of life. Your topic can be about a woman who does this:
A few tips
What can I write about?
You have two options. Either you can write about an empowered film character or you can write about an empowered woman in the film industry (performers, producers, directors, designers, screenwriters, etc. Feel free to use your imagination.)
Is there a date range?
Yes. Any film you cover must have been released in or before 1970. Any real-life woman you cover must have started her career on or before 1960.
What do you mean by empowered?
Actually, it’s what you mean by empowered. This is all about our participants and their views. What qualities do you admire about independent and capable women? Choose a character or real-life woman who fits these qualities and you’re good to go!
Any other rules?
In order to encourage variety, we are asking for no exact duplicates. This means that if someone claims, say, Katharine Hepburn’s biography, you are still free to cover her films or characters that she played.
Also, NO LENI RIEFENSTAHL. Obviously.
I’m in! What do I do?
Tell one of us your topic, grab a banner and you’re good to go. Please let us know if you have a date preference. Otherwise, we will divide the posts equally between us and let our participants know which hostess they belong to. Then write your fabulous post, send us a link at or before the event and you’re done.
I want to join but I don’t have a topic yet.
No problem. If you need a recommendation, contact either one of us for suggestions. We will add you to the roster once you make your choice.
What about TV shows?
Feel free to select any TV show, actress or behind-the-scenes worker within the date range.
Before the event:
When claiming your topic, please let us know the name and URL (web address) of your blog. Sometimes usernames and blog names do not match or social media accounts are linked to an old blog or one that covers a different topic. We can’t link to you if we don’t know where to find you.
Please be considerate of fellow bloggers. In a “no duplicates” event, it can be frustrating for fellow participants if a popular topic is snapped up and then cancelled at the last minute. (But don’t feel bad if you have to cancel, we really and truly understand that real life has a way of interfering with hobbies.)
During the event:
Blogathons can be chaotic so we ask that our participants please send us links to their posts via comment, email or social media. If you leave us word that you have posted (and include the URL) then you are making our lives 100% easier. Thanks!
Yer all peaches! Peaches, I tell ya!
Movies Silently| Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Milton Sills: How Miss Lulu Bett Struck a Blow for the New Woman
The Last Drive In | Hedy Lamar: From Ecstasy to Frequency- A Beautiful Life
Cinematic Catharsis | Helen Benson (Patricia Neal) in The Day the Earth Stood Still
Silver Screenings | Alice Guy
The Joy & Agony of Movies | Sue Ann (Tuesday Weld) in Pretty Poison
Wide Screen World | Gloria Swanson
Hear Me Talk of Sin | Pola Negri
Speakeasy | Cobra Woman (1944) and a piece on Leigh Brackett’s screenwriting
Sister Celluloid | Margaret Dumont
Nitrate Diva | Blue Jeans (1917)
Tales of the Easily Distracted | Charade (1963)
Critica Retro | Tess Harding (Katharine Hepburn) in Woman of the Year
The Hitless Wonder | Lady Jane Ainsley (Frieda Inescort) in The Return of the Vampire
The Motion Pictures | Ida Lupino
Now Voyaging | Westward the Women (1951)
Aperture Reviews | Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katharine Hepburn) in A Lion in Winter
Let’s Go to the Movies | Mae West
Moon in Gemini | Vance Jeffords (Barbara Stanwyck) in The Furies
bnoirdetour | Edie Johnson (Linda Darnell) in No Way Out
Love Letters to Old Hollywood | Nicole Chang (Shirley MacLaine) in Gambit
Serendipitous Anachronisms | Zira (Kim Hunter) in Planet of the Apes
Old Hollywood Films | Rachel Cooper (Lillian Gish) in Night of the Hunter
shadowsandsatin | Blondie Johnson (1933)
Once Upon a Screen | The Lady Eve and Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman
CineMaven’s Essays from the Couch | Carol Richman (Ella Raines) in Phantom Lady
ClassicBecky’s Brain Food | Night Nurse (1931)
Big V Riot Squad | The Exploits of Pearl (Pearl White)
A Person in the Dark | Italian Silent Screen Vamps: Lyda Borelli, Pina Menichelli & Francesca Bertini
Goregirl’s Dungeon | Anna Karina in the films of Jean-Luc Godard
Mind of LeVine | Carole Lombard
Century Film Project | Mabel Normand
Nitrate Glow | Hilda of Horus: Prince of the Sun
In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood | Bette Davis
MovieFanFare | Olive Thomas in The Flapper
Caftan Woman | The Making of an Anti-Damsel: Deborah Kerr as Cathy Wilson in Perfect Strangers (1945)
Margaret Perry | Katharine Hepburn as Anti-Damsel
Sacred Celluloid | The Vampire Lovers (1970)
Girls Do Film | June Mathis
Silent-ology | Unsung Ladies of Keystone: Polly Moran, Minta Durfee and Louise Fazenda
That Classic Movie Life | Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) in Now, Voyager
Classic Reel Girl | Alison Drake (Ruth Chatterton) in Female
Defiant Success | Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity
Vitaphone Dreamer | Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers in Stage Door
The Wonderful World of Cinema | Lola Delaney (Shirley Booth) in Come Back Little Sheba
Phyllis Loves Classic Movies | Frances Marion
Carole & Co. | Carole Lombard as producer and feminist
Karavansara | Emma Peel in The Avengers
Heather Drain | Marni Castle as Big Shim in She Mob
wolffian classic movies digest | Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce
Smitten Kitten Vintage | Clara Bow, Mary Pickford and Bette Davis as Margo in All About Eve
Silents, Please! | Asta Nielsen
Outspoken and Freckled | Mary Pickford in Sparrows (1926)
Mother Time Musings | Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress
Film Dirt | Phyllis Gordon in The Werewolf (1913)
Ross’s ramblings | Theda Bara
Superfluous Film Commentary | Gene Tierney in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir