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Dorothy Arzner - Interviews

Dorothy Arzner


Edited by Martin F. Norden
Series: Conversations with Filmmakers Series

Hardcover : 9781496848253, 272 pages, January 2024
Paperback : 9781496848260, 272 pages, January 2024

Insights into the career of one of Golden Age Hollywood's first and most prolific female directors who was best known for The Bride Wore Red


Through dozens of interviews, a detailed chronology and filmography, and a selection of Dorothy Arzner’s own writings—including her unfinished autobiography—Dorothy Arzner: Interviews offers major insights into and an in-depth examination of the life and career of one of the few women to direct films during Hollywood’s Golden Age. A key figure in Hollywood for decades, she directed more studio films than any other woman in history. Her movies often focused on courageous women who must make difficult decisions to remain true to themselves—women not unlike Arzner herself, who once said that “all we can ever do in our work is write our own biography.”

Dorothy Arzner (1897–1979) began her film career in 1919 as a script typist for the Famous Players-Lasky company, which later became Paramount Pictures. She quickly rose through the ranks to become a script supervisor, screenwriter, and editor before directing her first film, Fashions for Women, in 1927. After the release of her final Hollywood film, First Comes Courage, in 1943, Arzner changed directions in her professional life. She made several training films for the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps during World War II and directed many television commercials for Pepsi-Cola in the 1950s. She concluded her career by serving as a filmmaking instructor at the Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts and UCLA, where she helped launch the first wave of college-trained moviemakers.