Hollywood Heroines: The Most Influential Women in Film History

Greenwood. Dec. 2018. 407p. ed. by ed. by Laura L.S. Bauer. photos. index. ISBN 9781440836480. $94; ebk. ISBN 9781440836497. REF
Bauer (coeditor, All Things Dickinson: An Encyclopedia of Emily Dickinson’s World) fills a gap in the history of women in film by embracing their contributions as costume designers, animators, makeup and hair stylists, production designers, stuntwomen, and more. In the introduction, Bauer acknowledges that “not all women have the same life experiences” and notes that though the focus here is on women, gender identity isn’t binary. Aware that the phrase most influential is subjective, the editor chose award-winning, talented, persistent women, taking into account their impact on future generations as well as their historical significance. Given that gender inequality is an issue with which the entertainment industry is grappling, this timely book intends to enhance the visibility of women, with each section beginning with an introduction to a professional role (actress, casting director, etc.), followed by alphabetically arranged entries that end with recommended further reading. Many sections also include an interview with an individual working in her field. An appendix offers additional names of interest.
VERDICT For general readers as well as scholars in film and/or gender studies looking for biographical information about women in film history.
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