CO-SPONSORED EVENT | Film Series: We Can Do It! Trailblazing Women of Hollywood’s Golden Age: His Girl Friday

March 4, 2024 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Michigan Theater Screening Room, 603 E Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, MI


Film Series: We Can Do It! Trailblazing Women of Hollywood’s Golden Age

CEW+ is sponsoring a series of classic films at the Michigan Theater by some of Hollywood’s most influential women. This series aims to feature women who broke down barriers to diversity and equity in early Hollywood, clearing the path for those who followed.

Join us after the film for a panel discussion on the impact and influences of these trailblazing women.

During Hollywood’s Golden Age of Film female actors, directors, and production staff had to fight against mainstream traditional gender roles while working within the studio system. Women in Hollywood had to tread carefully to be able to advocate for their rights while avoiding being branded “difficult”, a moniker that could end a career. While often imperfect, each movie in this series has something interesting to say about gender, race, and sexuality.

His Girl Friday (1940) 1hr 32 min

The film “His Girl Friday” is a screwball comedy, a genre that often lets women characters move outside of the traditional gender roles of the 1930s and 40s. The reporters, ex-husband (Cary Grant) and ex-wife (Rosalind Russell), team up for one more story before Russell’s character marries another man and leaves the professional world. Throughout the film, both reporters are serious about their work, even as Russell’s character struggles to decide between a life of domesticity, or staying on her career path. 

Rosalind Russell was one of the few actresses of her time to portray women in professional roles such as judges, reporters, and psychiatrists. Russell was an advocate for her own career, fighting back against the Hollywood studio system when they tried to typecast her in stereotypical wife or mother roles.

Full Film Series Schedule:

  • His Girl Friday (1940) – Starring Rosalind Russell – Monday, March 4th
  • Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) – Dir. Dorothy Arzner, starring Lucille Ball – Monday, March 11th
  • Adam’s Rib (1949) – Starring Katherine Hepburn – Monday, March 18th
  • All About Eve (1950) – Starring Bette Davis/Anne Baxter/Marilyn Monroe – Monday, April 1st
  • The Hitch-Hiker (1953) – Dir. Ida Lupino – Monday, April 8th
  • Carmen Jones (1954) – Starring Dorothy Dandridge – Monday, April 15th
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1956) – Starring Liz Taylor – Monday, April 22nd