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Famous Like Me > Director > A > Dorothy Arzner

Profile of Dorothy Arzner on Famous Like Me

Name: Dorothy Arzner  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 3rd January 1897
Place of Birth: San Francisco, California, USA
Profession: Director
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Dorothy Arzner, born on January 3, 1897 in San Francisco, California, was a pioneering director during the "Golden Age" of Hollywood, a period in which there were few if any other women directors. She began her Hollywood career as a script writer and editor, and eventually was promoted to directing.

However, Arzner faced significant hurdles to fully capitalizing on her skills and talents. In addition to being a woman, she was a lesbian who was unwilling or unable to disguise her sexuality (Joan Crawford once quipped, "I think all my directors fell in love with me; I know Dorothy Arzner did!"), which made it additionally difficult for Arzner to succeed. Nonetheless, she frequently worked with first-rate actors and often was one to help a talent become a star, such as with Sylvia Sidney whom Arzner directed in Merrily We Go to Hell, and whose talent and mettle she recognized under Sidney's frail appearance, although Sidney could be difficult to work with, a fact Sidney herself acknowledged late in life blaming it on her early movie fame which she was not ready to handle.

Dorothy Arzner died on October 1, 1979 at the age of 82 in La Quinta, California.

Movies she directed (with well-known stars listed parenthetically) include:

  • First Comes Courage (1943)
  • Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)
  • The Bride Wore Red (1937) (Joan Crawford)
  • The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937) (uncredited) (Joan Crawford)
  • Craig's Wife (1936) (Rosalind Russell)
  • Nana (1934) aka Lady of the Boulevards (UK)
  • Christopher Strong (1933) (Katharine Hepburn)
  • Merrily We Go to Hell (1932) ... aka Merrily We Go to ____ (UK)
  • Working Girls (1931)
  • Honor Among Lovers (1931) (Claudette Colbert)
  • Anybody's Woman (1930)
  • Paramount on Parade (1930)
  • Sarah and Son (1930)
  • The Wild Party (1929) (Clara Bow)
  • Manhattan Cocktail (1928)
  • Get Your Man (1927) (Clara Bow)
  • Ten Modern Commandments (1927)
  • Fashions for Women (1927)
  • Blood and Sand (1922) (additional footage) (uncredited)

Further reading

  • Claire Johnston (Editor), The work of Dorothy Arzner : towards a feminist cinema, London : British Film Institute, 1975
  • Judith Mayne, "Directed by Dorothy Arzner", Indiana University Press 1994

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Dorothy Arzner