Visions of the Maid: Joan of Arc in American Film and Culture

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University of Virginia Press, 2001 - Performing Arts - 279 pages

Representations of Joan of Arc have been used in the United States for the past two hundred years, appearing in advertising, cartoons, popular song, art, criticism, and propaganda. The presence of the fifteenth-century French heroine in the cinema is particularly intriguing in relation to the role of women during wartime. Robin Blaetz argues that a mythic Joan of Arc was used during the First World War to cast a medieval glow over an unpopular war, but that she only appeared after the Second World War to encourage women to abandon their wartime jobs and return to the home.

In Visions of the Maid, Blaetz examines three pivotal films—Cecil B. DeMille's 1916 Joan the Woman, Victor Fleming's 1948 Joan of Arc, and Otto Preminger's 1957 Saint Joan—as well as addressing a broad array of popular culture references and every other film about the heroine made or distributed in the United States. Blaetz is particularly concerned with issues of gender and the ways in which Joan of Arc's androgyny, virginity, and sacrificial victimhood were evoked in relation to the evolving roles of women during war throughout the twentieth century.

 

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Contents

Illustrations
16
Militants 1913
32
Joan of Arc in America 19111920
33
Joan of Arc Saved France Women of America Save Your
47
Joan of Arc haunts the imagination of a French soldier
63
The Demise of Joan of Arc
65
Jules BastienLepage Joan of Arc 1879
77
Joan of Arc between the Wars
81
Between Us Girls Joan of Paris
95
1942
112
The Miracle of the Bells
118
Fred MacMurray and Alida Valli in The Miracle of the Bells
132
Hedy Lamarr in The Story
140
957
161
The Vietnam War and Afterward 369
169
vii
267

Joan of Arc in a wax museum in House of Wax 1953
92

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About the author (2001)

Robin Blaetz is Visiting Associate Professor in the Film Studies Program at Mount Holyoke College.

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