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Title: The female film star in post war Italy (1948-1960)
Author: Buckley, Reka Christina Vanessa
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2003
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Italian cinema in the postwar years produced a number of actresses such as Silvana Pampanini, Silvana Mangano, Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren who achieved national and, in some cases, international fame. The thesis delineates the original features of an Italian celebrity elite which took shape and established itself between 1948 and 1960. At this time a new Italy was emerging and the country was rapidly moving from a rural to an urban consumer economy. The stars, through their films and their wider lives, helped to illustrate and personalise the changes as well as highlight the conflicts that arose along the road to modernity. The thesis examines the significance of the beauty pageants in the immediate postwar years as a hunting ground for the new faces of Italian cinema. It demonstrates how young actresses came to prominence through the rural genre films which placed great emphasis on the female body. Hollywood productions are shown to have been important in the career pattern of many actresses. The question of glamour is raised and it is argued that a specifically Italian idea of glamour took shape that drew on aristocratic motifs, Hollywood influences and domestic fashion. The refining of the star image both on and off-screen and the public's response to the stars is examined. Finally, the place and role of women in Italian society is analysed and compared to the public and private lives of the stars. It is argued that the overall image of the female stars tended to be conformist, but that it contained enough that was new and controversial to contribute to a re-assessment of the position of women. The work draws on a close analysis of the press of the period, film texts, star biographies and social history sources.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available