film meme» eight female characters [4/8]: Jerry Bernard Martin
"There’s something in the way she looked at you that made me want to kill her."
There were some great actresses in pre-code films. Actresses got to personify the promiscuity of the typical “male stereotype,” and turn it into many complex characters that were also successful and strong-willed. To me, it was so refreshing to find women get to be as comfortable in their sexuality as a man in the world. Even so, the women were so much more than that. It was inspiring to observe these powerful and strong characters, who just happened to be women.
One of the best examples is Jerry from “The Divorcee” (1930). She marries Ted, and everything’s just great. Then, Jerry finds out that Ted has been having an affair. He tells her it “didn’t mean anything” and to forgive him. They continue their marriage and try to work things out. Well, when Ted goes out of town, Jerry cheats on him. Ted gets home, and when he finds out, he wants a divorce immediately. **Double Standard Alert** Norma Shearer is astounding as Jerry. She delivers some serious “you-go-girl” monologues. [x]
Grand Hotel. People come——people go, nothing ever happens.
Grand Hotel, (dir. Edmund Goulding), 1932.
Mary Pickford in Coquette, 1929
I have to think of myself. I’ve gone through a lot to get those things. My life has been bitter and hard. I’m not like other women.
Baby Face (1933)
Anita Page in a publicity shot for MGM’s first musical The Broadway Melody, 1929
Claudette Colbert and Maurice Chevalier in The Smiling Lieutenant, 1931
Ruby Keeler in Footlight Parade, 1933.
Bebe Daniels in Love Comes Along, 1930.