Women in Movies Essay

Women in Movies Essay

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Women in Movies

Since the 1940’s, movies have predominately portrayed women as sex symbols. Beginning in the 1940’s and continuing though the 1980’s, women did not have major roles in movies. When they did have a leading role the women was either pretreated as unintelligent and beautiful, or as conniving and beautiful: But she was always beautiful. Before the 1990’s, men alone, wrote and directed all the movies, and the movies were written for men. In comparison, movies of the 90’s are not only written and directed by women, but leading roles are also held by older and unattractive women. In this paper I will show the variations and growth of women’s roles in movies from the 1940’s though the 1990’s.

In the 1940’s women did not have predominate roles in movies. In the few movies that were based around women, the woman’s character was written by a man, and the woman was portrayed as a sex symbol. In the movie Double Indemnity, a woman named Phillis is plotting to have her husband killed because she wants to collect his life insurance and be freed from an unhappy marriage. She uses her sexuality and good looks to convince Walter Neff to help her in her scheme. In this movie, Phillis is a beautiful, sexy, conniving killer.In the end, however, because she does not have the heart to kill her husband, the audience is supposed to redeem her conniving image.

In the 1940’s movie Gilda, the women has two different stereotypes. The first stereotype is a beautiful sex goddess. She is so beautiful that any man would love to be with her. The second stereotype parterres her as a scorned women. After a past relationship with a man named Johnny has left her angry, she reacts by trying to make him jealous by having affairs with other men. Through out the movie Gilda marries Johnny ‘s boss and then cheats on him a few times. Even though Gilda does all of this by the end of the movie Johnny forgives her and once again turns the women’s life into something meaningful. These two movies party two women who act very much alike. They both use their sexuality to get men to give them what they want.

In the 1950’s women are either sex goddess or homemakers, but they are both looking for husbands. In the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the women are blonde, beautiful, and voluptuous. They are so beautiful that when they walk into a room the men dr...


... middle of paper ...


...end of the movie the fall in love. This movie portrays a woman having a horrible life until a man comes along and gives it meaning.

The latter 1990’s have brought many wonderful movies to theaters worldwide. More movies now are about women and their lives. The movie G.I. Jane is about a women who goes through navy seals training. She is picked out of many women to go through this training. She is chosen because she is pretty and feminine. She proves herself by successfully completing her training and becoming a navy seal. Although she is a strong woman and she is not supposed to be a sex symbol, she is still shown throughout the movie with little clothing. The movies are different from movies in the 1940’s because women are taking different roles than that of the homemaker or the slut. Now men find women who are strong physically and mentally.

Women’s roles in movies have changed dramatically throughout the years. In the 1940’s women’s characters were stereotyped as sex objects. In the 1990’s women’s characters are stereotyped to be strong individuals. I am glad that women’s characters are now portrayed as they truly are, and not how men think they should be.

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Women in Movies Essay

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