Women Heroes in the Movies Bibliography (Oct 1996)

Query From Stacy A. Cordery stacy@wpoff.monm.edu 28 Oct 1996

One of my colleagues is teaching a movie course and he is looking for women heroes in the U.S. popular films (or popular films about the U.S.) produced before the 1980s. This is his definition of a hero for this purpose: someone who embodies a series of public virtues, such as strength, courage, character, commitment, sacrifice, and the defense of some good, and demonstrates these virtues in public. The only movie he can think of that would come near to this description is "Julia". The distinction he is making is between strong women or good women who usually are strong and/or good in private or for private groups (like their families), and heroes--with the emphasis on public deed. Thanks for any suggestions you might have.


Allen, Karen first "Indiana Jones" movie

Arthur, Jean "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington";

Bergen, Candace "Wind and the Lion"

Bergman, Ingrid "Indiscreet"

Colbert, Claudette "Cleopatra"; "Since You Went Away";

Crawford, Joan "Mildred Pierce"

Darwell, Jane "Grapes of Wrath"

Darcell, Denise "Westward the Women";

Davis, Bette "Storm Center"; "Dark Victory";

Field, Sally "Norma Rae"; "Marie"

Fisher, Carrie "Princess Leia/Starwars"

Fonda, Jane "Coming Home"; "Klute"; "The Dollmaker" (TV); "Cat Ballou";

Garbo, Greta "Queen Christina";

Garland, Judy "Wizard of Oz"

Gish, Lillian "The Wind"; "Way Down East"; "Scarlet Letter";

Griffith, D.W. "The Lonedale Operator:(1911); "The Girl and Her Trust";

Hepburn, Katherine "African Queen"; "Woman of the Year"; "Adam's Rib"; "State of the Union(1945); "Desk Set"; "bringing up Baby"; "Rooster Cogburn"; "Lion in Winter";

Jurado, Katie "One-Eyed Jacks"

Kelly, Grace "To Catch a Thief";

Leigh, Vivian "Gone With the Wind"

Loren, Sophia "Two Women"

MacLaine, Shirley "Two Mules for Sister Sara";

Marsh, May (???) "Judith of Bethulia"

Monroe, Marilyn "River of No Return"

Neal, Patricia "Hud"

Reynolds, Debbie "The Unsinkable Molly Brown";

Rogers, Ginger "The Story of Irene and Vernon Castle";

Ross, Diana "Lady Sings The Blues;

Russell, Rosalind "Mrs. Pollifax"; "Auntie Mame"; a movie about a woman pilot; "Her Girl Friday";

Simmons, Jean "Elmer Gantry"(1960);

Spacek, Sissey "Missing"; "Long Walk Home";

Stanwyck, Barbara Most of her movies

Streep, Meryl "Sophie's Choice"; "Silkwood";

Streisand, Barbra "The Way We Were"

Tyson, Cicely "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman" (TV Movie) 1974

Weaver, Sigourney "Alien" (1979

Other movie suggestions: "Salt of the Earth"; "Tender Comrades" (1943); "So Proudly We Hail"; "Madame Curie"; "Joan of Arc"; "Song of Russia"; "Christopher Strong"; "The Nuns Story"; "Black Narcissus"; "The Birth of a Nation";

"The Avengers" (TV series); "Sister Kenny"; "Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison"; "Foxy Brown"; "Coffy"; "Sheba Baby"; "Margaret Sanger Story" (TV movie); "I Remember Mama";

Book suggestions for further information:

Kendall, Elizabeth The Runaway Bride: Hollywood Romantic Comedy of the 1930s

Return to H-Women Home Page.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]