Comic Venus : Women and Comedy in American Silent Film, Hardback Book

Comic Venus : Women and Comedy in American Silent Film Hardback

Part of the Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series series


Examines the social and historical significance of women's contributions to American silent Film comedy. For many people the term ""silent comedy"" conjures up images of Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp, Buster Keaton's Stoneface, or Harold Lloyd hanging precariously from the side of a skyscraper.

Even people who have never seen a silent film can recognize these comedians at a glance.

But what about the female comedians? Gale Henry, Louise Fazenda, Colleen Moore, Constance Talmadge-these and numerous others were wildly popular during the silent fi lm era, appearing in countless motion pictures and earning top salaries, and yet their names have been almost entirely forgotten.

As a consequence, recovering their history is all the more compelling given that they laid the foundation for generations of funny women, from Lucille Ball to Carol Burnett to Tina Fey.

These women constitute an essential and neglected sector of film history, reflecting a turning point in women's social and political history.

Their talent and brave spirit continues to be felt today, and Comic Venus: Women and Comedy in American Silent Film seeks to provide a better understanding of women's experiences in the early twentieth century and to better understand and appreciate the unruly and boundary-breaking women who have followed. The diversity and breadth of archival materials explored in Comic Venus illuminate the social and historical period of comediennes and silent film.

It is the first book to explore the overlooked contributions made by comediennes in American silent fi lm.

Those with an interest in fi lm and representations of femininity in comedy will be fascinated by the analytical connections and thoroughly researched histories of these women and their groundbreaking movements in comedy and stage.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 304 pages, 68 Black and White Images
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Films, cinema
  • ISBN: 9780814345290



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