George Cukor was a prolific studio director, famously winning the Academy Award for Best Director for My Fair Lady (1964). Prior to its release, Cukor had already been well established as a director of Hollywood’s early sound era, collaborating with the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Rosalind Russell, Norma Shearer, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, and many popular stars of the day.
Over time, he earned himself the nickname of a “woman’s director,” known for helping elicit the strongest performances from some of Hollywood’s most talented–and occasionally most difficult–actresses. In fact, Cukor himself was fired from Gone with the Wind (1939) for giving Vivien Leigh more screen time than Clark Gable.
What Price Hollywood?: Gender and Sex in the Films of George Cukor by Elyce Rae Helford explores Cukor’s intent to examine gender and sexuality on-screen throughout his films. Helford employs a variety of theoretical lenses to study how Cukor’s films, both well-known and not, portray Hollywood masculinity and gender through camp, drag, and other genres. Helford’s work offers both biographical and critical analysis of Cukor and his films, offering an interesting perspective on a noteworthy director.
What Price Hollywood?: Gender and Sex in the Films of George Cukor is available for purchase via the University Press of Kentucky.