About the Book

From The Lady Eve, to The Big Valley, Barbara Stanwyck played parts that showcased her multidimensional talents but also illustrated the limits imposed on women in film and television. Catherine Russell’s A to Z consideration of the iconic actress analyzes twenty-six facets of Stanwyck and the America of her times. Russell examines Stanwyck’s work onscreen against the backdrop of costuming and other aspects of filmmaking. But she also views the actress’s off-screen performance within the Hollywood networks that made her an industry favorite and longtime cornerstone of the entertainment community. Russell’s montage approach coalesces into an engrossing portrait of a singular artist whose intelligence and savvy placed her center-stage in the production of her films and in the debates around women, femininity, and motherhood that roiled mid-century America.

Original and rich, The Cinema of Barbara Stanwyck is an essential and entertaining reexamination of an enduring Hollywood star.

Published by University of Illinois Press


New City Lit Review

New Books in Film Podcast

Cineaste Review

Popmatters Review