All posts tagged: women in film

Bette Davis: Commodifying the Feminine

Hollywood has always been a business, and for most studios in the early 20th century their main profit drivers were the men and women who brought films to life on screen: the actor. In the days of early silent films, actors were largely anonymous thanks to the scattered system of film distribution that was in place at the nascence of film as a media industry. Once audiences began to recognize actors in different roles from film to film, studios began to realize that the recognition of stars by audiences could be used to market films to audiences. Thus, star images became one of the most useful and effective tools studios could use to market their products. By the time Bette Davis came to prominence at Warner Bros., the studio already had a system in place for the promotion and maintenance of their own stars through star images and star personas.[1] Star images tended to follow a set trajectory depending on whether or not the actor was male or female; in the studios’ eyes, it was …

Aimee Ginez is a graduating senior and Cinema Studies major.