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About Christina Lane
Christina Lane is is the author of Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock (Chicago Review Press).
She has written several books, including Feminist Hollywood: From Born in Flames to Point Break and Magnolia, as well as articles on classical Hollywood stars, film history, and contemporary women directors.
An associate professor of film studies and chair of the cinematic arts department at the University of Miami, she makes frequent speaking appearances and has provided commentary to such media outlets as NPR, the AirMail, and the Daily Mail.
She is a member of the Women Film Critics Circle.
Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock is the first biography of one of the most influential women of Hollywood’s golden era, the woman who, working behind the scenes, shaped the screen style of Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense. More can be found at authorchristinalane.com.
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In 1933, Joan Harrison was a twenty-six-year-old former salesgirl with a dream of escaping both her stodgy London suburb and the dreadful prospect of settling down with one of the local boys. A few short years later, she was Alfred Hitchcock's confidante and one of the Oscar-nominated screenwriters of his first American film, Rebecca. Harrison had quickly grown from being the worst secretary Hitchcock ever had to one of his closest collaborators, critically shaping his brand as the "Master of Suspense."
Harrison went on to produce numerous Hollywood features before becoming a television pioneer as the producer of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. A respected powerhouse, she acquired a singular reputation for running amazingly smooth productions— and defying anyone who posed an obstacle. She built most of her films and series from the ground up. She waged rough-and-tumble battles against executives and censors, and even helped to break the Hollywood blacklist. She teamed up with many of the most respected, well-known directors, writers, and actors of the twentieth century. And she did it all on her own terms.
Author Christina Lane shows how this stylish, stunning woman became Hollywood's most powerful female writer-producer—one whom history has since overlooked.
- Magnolia is one of those films students know and love. From the over-the-top performances by male and female leads to the "ripped from the pages of the Old Testament" conclusion, it is a cult favorite in American cinema
- This is the first book to examine the diverse themes, performances, and influences on this polarizing film, encouraging students to look beyond the film's style in order to fully engage with questions about its substance
- Lane develops a careful analysis of the film, its director, as well as the contemporary context in which it was produced - exploring topics including the role of the auteur, what constitutes cinema / media literacy in the digital age, the politics of postmodernism, and the film's critique of the mass media - in order to challenge students to ask themselves why they are so riveted by this controversial and unusual film