Thelma & Louise and Women in Hollywood


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About the Book

The entertainment industry is all too much a man’s world, with Hollywood at its macho center. Thelma & Louise made film history with a female screenwriter, two female leads and a controversial, female-empowered storyline. The film is well worth studying for its impact on Hollywood and, in a broader sense, its reflection of women’s role in society.
This book examines the cultural impact of Thelma & Louise, not only upon its release in 1991 but throughout the years since. The book begins with a look at the role of women in media and the underrepresentation of women in the film industry, on and off screen. Next comes a thorough examination of Thelma & Louise’s public reception: the controversy it generated, the reviews it received, and the many ways it is referenced in popular culture. Case studies from newspapers across the United States, focusing on reviews and op-ed pieces in The Salt Lake Tribune, The Washington Post, The Boston Herald, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution and others, show how the film’s reception differed from region to region. The final chapter provides current female employment statistics for the film industry and offers insight into the present role of women in film.

About the Author(s)

English instructor Gina Fournier lives in Evart, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Gina Fournier
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 432
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2313-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

Introduction: Why Isolate Women?      5


1. The Primary Insult      9

2. Woolf Passes the Pen to Khouri      23

3. The Bloody Truth about Women in Hollywood Films      33

4. The Remarkable Thelma and Louise      48


5. The Great Debate      59

6. Rape Downgraded to a “Minor Plot Point”: The Nation Reacts to Two Women Characters      85

7. Second Wave      106

8. Deep Impact      123

9. The Thelma & Louise-ing of American Culture      140

10. Thelma and Louise Reunite—In Jail      158


11. Middle of the Road—Dayton: The Dayton Daily News      169

12. Detroit: The Detroit Free Press      178

13. Chicago: The Chicago Tribune      189

14. Salt Lake City: The Salt Lake Tribune      205

15. Southern Exposure—Atlanta: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution      214

16. Coast to Coast—Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post      230

17. Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Times      249

18. The Hub—Boston: The Boston Globe      285

19. The East vs. the Heartland: The Boston Herald and The Kansas City Star      325

20. Conclusion: Too Many Bogus Years      350

Epilogue      381

Cast and Credits      385

Chapter Notes      387

Bibliography      407

Index      411