“‘The Mystery Woman of Hollywood’: Greta Garbo, Feminism, and Stardom” analyzes feminism as manifested in Greta Garbo's life and career. It focuses on her European background; the media discourse on her; feminism in her films and in the United States in the 1920s; and Garbo's rebellion against Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg, the heads of her studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). It also deals with her dress reform stance, her masculine femininity, the nature of her fans (especially the “Garbomaniacs”), and her friendships with the screenwriters Salka Viertel and Mercedes de Acosta. It concludes with an analysis of the 1933 film Queen Christina, characterizing it as the culmination of Garbo's feminism.
“The Mystery Woman of Hollywood”: Greta Garbo, Feminism, and Stardom
Lois Banner is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Southern California. She is a past president of the Conference Group in Women's History, American Historical Association; the American Studies Association; and the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association. She is the author of many books and articles on the history of women and gender, including American Beauty (Knopf, 1984) and her best-selling Marilyn Monroe: The Passion and the Paradox (Bloomsbury, 2012). She is working on a book titled Greta Garbo and the Creation of Ideal Beauty.
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Lois Banner; “The Mystery Woman of Hollywood”: Greta Garbo, Feminism, and Stardom. Feminist Media Histories 1 October 2016; 2 (4): 84–115. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2016.2.4.84
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