Cover image for The runaway bride : Hollywood romantic comedy of the 1930's
The runaway bride : Hollywood romantic comedy of the 1930's
Kendall, Elizabeth.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf, 1990.
Physical Description:
285 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PN1995.9.C55 K38 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



Written with erudition, insight, and enthusiasm, Runaway Bride is a brilliant mix of film and social history that renews our vision and broadens our understanding of some of the best-loved movies ever made, and the complex, Depression-influenced circumstances from which they were born. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Author of Where She Danced [BKL Jl 1 79], Kendall once again places insightful performance-art history in a perceptive social context. Here she focuses on the knowing, scornful, and witty heroines of Depression-era movies. She examines the romantic comedies directed by Frank Capra, George Stevens, Gregory La Cava, Leo McCarey, and Preston Sturges and starring Barbara Stanwyck, Claudette Colbert, Myrna Loy, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Carole Lombard, and Irene Dunne. These leading ladies delighted audiences with their "easy emotional authority" and "vibrant strength of character." For the first time, male directors collaborated with women, trying to imagine life from their point of view and injecting respect into the formula of romance. Sex roles were shaken up, with men admitting vulnerability and women exhibiting confidence and assertiveness. Kendall recaps the careers of the major players and scrutinizes various pertinent films revealing their psychic heart and artistry. A book as brisk and satisfying as its subject, guaranteed to delight movie lovers. Notes; to be indexed. --Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Depression-era romantic film comedies starring Jean Arthur, Claudette Colbert, Irene Dunne, Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Myrna Loy, Ginger Rogers and Barbara Stanwyck are enthrallingly appraised here by social historian Kendall ( Where She Danced ). The formula for these movies--lightly making a virtue of personality traits usually thought of as feminine, a moral subtlety, an unashamed belief in the validity of emotions--was originated not at the big Hollywood studios, but by directors on the margins of the indsutry: Frank Capra, Gregory La Cava, Leo McCarey, George Stevens and Preston Sturges. Their genuine interest in women, and in romance imagined from a woman's point of view, resulted in It Happened One Night , Mr. Deeds Goes to Town , My Man Godfrey , Stage Door , The Lady Eve and other film classics perceptively described and analyzed in this enjoyable book. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Kendall's 1990 volume examines the screwball comedies that flourished during the 1930s as a means of countering the harsh realities of the Great Depression. Many of those films featured women either married or betrothed who revolt against the men in their lives, with their stories at the core of such hits as It Happened One Night, The Awful Truth, and other Hollywood gold. The text is supported by numerous monochrome portraits of the stars and some behind-the-scenes shots. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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