Stuart N. Clarke stuart.n.clarke at btinternet.com
Thu Jul 20 06:51:31 EDT 2017

Back in the 1970s, a test went the rounds:

A young woman and her father were injured in a car accident, and the daughter had to have an operation.  When she was wheeled into the operating room, the surgeon looked at her and said: “I can’t operate on her – she’s my daughter!”  Who was the surgeon?

People literally – really! – couldn’t answer that question, even when told that it was not a trick question.

Hard though that may be to believe nowadays, I suggest also thinking (well, wondering) about these 2 films:

(1) “Mildred Pierce” (1945);

(2) “The Red Shoes” (1948).

AT THE TIME, to what extent did audiences see that (1) warned against strong successful women?  (I particularly like the last scene, as Mildred, reconciled with her husband, comes out of the magnificent police station (or Justice building) in the early morning, and you see a woman (or are there 2?) on her knees with a bucket, cleaning the steps.)

AT THE TIME, to what extent did audiences of (2) blame Marius Goring for the tragedy?  (Or should we see the actual ballet within the film, “The Red Shoes”, as a warning, once again, for the woman who wanted to make a career for herself?)



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