The late George Cukor is one of the most respected film directors in Hollywood history, helming such hits as “Little Women” (1933), “The Women” (1939), “The Philadelphia Story” (1940) and “My Fair Lady” (1964), but there were subtexts in many of his films that even his most ardent fans might not have detected.
MTSU English professor Dr. Elyce Helford has researched the Jewish ambivalence in the Jewish director’s 1947 film “A Double Life” and the gender-bending roles in three other Cukor movies, including 1935’s “Sylvia Scarlett.” Helford recently sat down for an interview on “MTSU On the Record” with Gina Logue to talk about her insights on Cukor, who was Hollywood’s only “out” gay studio director. Helford said she understands not everyone will agree with her deep-reading thesis of Cukor films, nor perhaps her views on gender issues, but she welcomes the criticism. After all, she says, that is what she does when she studies gender in film.
For more on Helford and her work, visit www.mtsu.edu/english/Profiles/helford.php.