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Bette Davis Made over in Wartime: The Feminisation of an Androgynous Star in "Now, Voyager" (1942)

Martin Shingler
Film History
Vol. 20, No. 3, Studio Systems (2008), pp. 269-280
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25165481
Page Count: 12
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Abstract

Bette Davis had become a top Hollywood star while playing a series of hard, almost masculine, characters, and projected a similarly androgynous appeal off screen as well. But when the United States entered the Second World War Warner Bros did not emphasize this persona, but instead worked to feminise her screen image. The article describes the reasons for this with special attention to the production and distribution of "Now, Voyager" (1942). Noting the effects of the Office of War Information's discourse on women, it examines connections between the themes of this film and the editorial content of popular women's magazines of the period.

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