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Hollywood Catwalk: Exploring Costume and Transformation in American Film

Jeffers McDonald, Tamar E. L. (2010) Hollywood Catwalk: Exploring Costume and Transformation in American Film. International Library of Cultural Studies . I B Tauris, London, 256 pp. ISBN 978-1-84885-040-8. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:31619)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)


Even now, forty years after Doris Day's last film and twenty since her last regular television appearances, the star's name retains currency: she is often invoked as shorthand for a kind of sexuality now felt outmoded, with virginity firmly maintained until marriage. Although this assumption is widespread, close attention to the facts of Day's own life challenges it, and the majority of her film roles also prove otherwise, with Day most frequently portraying a woman of maturely sexual desires. This book investigates why the rigid view of Day's maintained virginity should have arisen and become so fixed to the star, one of the most popular in American cinema during the 1950s and 1960s. Despite this popularity, and the longevity of Day's career, work on the star is curiously meagre. Correcting this oversight, the project also questions it, suggesting the dearth of critical material results from the passé sexual rectitude Day seemingly evokes.

Taking a twofold approach, the book both closely examines Day's film roles and performances, and explores material from other popular media for the source of the virgin myth. Day featured continuously in public discourse, and media stories were often devoted to her personal life: it was widely known that she had been married three times and had a son. Why then did the pejorative label, "the forty year old virgin" arise, and why has it stuck so tenaciously to Day, even now? Investigating a range of sources in order to discover why this maturely sexual star has become indelibly associated with maintained virginity, the book first analyses Day's characters and performances across her thirty-eight films in detail. After this close look within the films and Day's subsequent TV work, the project focuses on contemporary popular culture contexts. Using a variety of sources, including newspaper stories, articles from film, fan and lifestyle magazines, reviews and gossip, the developments in Day's screen "persona" are charted, highlighting the changes in public perception, as aided and abetted by the media.

Item Type: Book
Projects: [UNSPECIFIED] Doris Day: Exploring the myth of the 40 year old virgin
Uncontrolled keywords: Doris Day; stardom; Hollywood; film fan magazines; media representations; film performance; acting; reputation; virginity
Subjects: N Visual Arts
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts > Film
Depositing User: Tamar Jeffers McDonald
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2012 10:21 UTC
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2020 04:04 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Jeffers McDonald, Tamar E. L.:
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