Girls on Film

Each of us likely has movies, books, or songs that we find special–I know I do. Moreover, I find that some of my favorite movies resound with me in different ways during different moments of my life. They offer me an escape, a new perspective, a sense of nostalgia, or even teach me something new.

Alicia Malone’s Girls on Film: Lessons from a Life of Watching Women in Movies beautifully explores some of her life’s most memorable moments with various films illuminating the way. Drawing inspiration from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Mad Love (1935), Woman of the Year (1942), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), and more, Malone examines various portrayals of women across cinema, media, and culture.

Through her engaging prose, she discusses life lessons encountered throughout numerous films, in addition to examining hidden messages, women’s history in film, as well as thoughtful discussions of movie stereotypes.

Overall, I find Malone’s work and focus on portrayals of women to be fascinating. Above all, I find it quite personal, as I also look to relate to different characters throughout films, particularly women. Classic and contemporary films function as an intriguing time capsule, showcasing different historical periods, values, interpretations, fashions, and so much more. Like the movies, I think I also evolve as a person over time, certainly learning lessons along life’s journey, through the many people I meet and the art forms that bring me joy.

Empowering the female perspective and paying close attention to depictions of women in films certainly captures my interest. Moreover, this book is certainly strengthened through Malone’s seamless ability to connect on-screen portrayals and her thoughts about them to her personal moments and memories.

True to the movies, Malone’s journey through films and her life continues on, leading her to end this book with a bit of a cliffhanger. While she is a “recording in progress,”–and so am I!–I also look forward to reading more about her research, lessons, and experiences in her future output.


Girls on Film: Lessons from a Life of Watching Women in Movies is available for purchase via Mango Publishing.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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2 Responses to Girls on Film

  1. charlesdavis says:

    Didn’t know about this book. Thanks for drawing my attention to it with your great review.

  2. I started reading this earlier this week, and am really enjoying it! It’s already made me look at Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with fresh eyes, and I look forward to seeing what Alicia has to say about the other films in the book!

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