top of page
  • Writer's pictureBarbara Guldner

When women must choose between romance or career; On second thought death is always an option......

Updated: Nov 19, 2018

Dorothy Arzner's Christopher Strong  (1933) and Micheal Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes(1948) are among my two favorite films about the brutal choices a woman must make between romantic love and her life's work. In Christopher StrongKatherine Hepburn's first film with director Dorothy Arzner, Hepburn plays Lady Cynthia Darrington a strong ambitious woman who has set her dreams in motion. She will fly the world and damn it nothing is going to stop her! Love is for chumps, until of course, she locks eyes with Christopher Strong. Why oh why? I root for Lady D to just look away, but of course, it is an RKO picture even if it was made by a really progressive butch lesbian in 1933.

Dorothy Arzner's look at an independent woman's price to pay when she falls in love

What most fascinates me about Christopher Strong is the idea that she almost had her dreams, but women must fall for the fairytale of love. What are we without it? Hollywood has yet to answer that question. The beautifully technicolor drenched The Red Shoes takes this dilemma of love and pushes it even further. We have the young, talented Miss Victoria Page played by Moira Shearer who is being molded by the great Boris Lermantov played by Anton Walbrook, he asks Ms. Page, "Why do you want to dance?" Ms. Page ask, "why do you want to live?", the answer is "I don't know why but I must" and of course that is Ms. Page's answer too. But so much tragedy ensues for these heroines. Dreams really don't come true, for these two women, but at least they had the courage to try.

Trying to find the balance between art, love, and sanity

1 view0 comments
bottom of page