Dynamic Dames

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

Dynamic Dames from Sloan De Forest is a fun compilation of fifty roles that highlight strong and groundbreaking women, both the characters and the actresses.

This is a great looking book as well as being an interesting read. No, there isn't a lot of new information, but then, that isn't the point in a book like this. This does, however, offer some insight on what might make a dynamic character. The obvious choices are here, such as Uma Thurman as The Bride and Gal Gadot as Diana Prince, but there are also the ones that don't jump out as being so dynamic at first glance but make perfect sense when put in context, such as Audrey Hepburn as Sister Luke and Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice. Bringing some of the subtle examples of strength and independence to the fore is a strength of this book.

But what truly makes this a wonderful book is the sheer joy of reading about all these splendid performances as well as a little about each actor. I recently read the Hepburn biography and coupled with the role mentioned above made it even more impactful.

Definitely a great addition to any library of film books. Will I put this next to Bazin or Cavell or any others of that sort? No. But it will have a place because not everything has to be overly analytical (though I do love my books of that type). This is a fun list, one that could be debated and discussed, and one that includes some very astute social commentary, but this is first and foremost a book for fans who enjoy reading about and looking at pictures of classics both old and new.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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Author Sloan De Forest had a tough job in deciding which 50 women to include in this run down of the female stars who have shaped Hollywood, and defined stardom through the history of cinema. Beginning in the era before the Motion Picture Production Code of 1934 , She looks at some of the first ladies of cinema like Clara Bow , Mae Westand Barbara Stanwyck, the so called " bad girls" who were able to misbehave on the screen. She then moves on to look at examples of actresses who have portrayed real life women on screen from Greta Garbo's portrayal of Queen  Christina to Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich  and Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo.. One of the most traditional roles of women in the cinema is as a mother, and here the author takes us from Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce  to Anne Bancroft as Mrs Robinson, and the most bad ass mother of all, Sarah Connor as portrayed by Linda Hamilton in the Terminator series of films. From the 1940's onwards, some of the most glamorous actresses have portrayed the femme fatale, from Hedy Lamarr to Dorothy Dandridge and of course Marlene DIetrich. Since the screwball comedies of the 1940's like His Girl Friday or Adam's Rib to female led projects like Private Benjamin in the 1980's , we have always loved women who make us laugh , and rooted for female characters who are survivors, like the ruthlessly determined Scarlett O Hara of Gone with the Wind to Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in the Alien series of movies or more recently Jennifer Lawrence  as Katniss in the Hunger Games films. In recent years the Super Hero/ Comic book movie has dominated the box office, and with the arrival of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in 2017 there was finally one with a dynamic dame as it's lead. 
This book is ideal for anyone who loves movies, it is perfect to dip into and gorgeous to look at, with it's numerous photographs taken on and off set. It charts the history and evolution of women in the cinema, not just in the roles they played , but also the behind the scenes struggles they faced to be treated fairly. As with any project of this scope,  the individual articles must be brief, but they do provide an introduction to both the actress in question and the roles they played, making it a nice jumping off point from which to read more about those which catch your fancy, or watch the performance that merited their selection. I also appreciated that the author chose a variety of actresses across the decades in the various categories, from the grand dames of the 30's and 40's to the current crop of talented young actresses taking the box office by storm . 
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
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Wonderful book! I love that the author included both older stars along with present day stars. Really good choices too. Very diverse group so anyone can find someone they'd like to know more about. Must have for film buffs.
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher and voluntarily chose to review it.
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Review featured at www.books-n-kisses.com

4.25 Hearts I don’t read a lot of these kinds of books but how could I not read this one? I mean 50 dynamic dames? And they truly are/were. I will be honest and say some of them I wasn’t even sure what I had seen them in or who they were (like directors or writers) but once I started reading their stories I was interested. 

As a fan of the movies like Gone With The Wind, The Way We Were, Pretty Woman and so many more I loved reading the stories of the women of Hollywood. 

This is a GREAT book for any fan of movies but also anyone who wants to be encouraged by the power of women!

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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A fun look at the 50 leading ladies of film who were the top of the heap in making history, when it came to rocking the boat in filmmaking, and changing the face of how it was done back when.  I just love the old school film stars so this was just the thing for me to check out, wandering through the lovely pictures and reading about my old heroines' antics on and off the film stages and locations. It didn’t disappoint either, I found enough things I hadn’t already read elsewhere to please me, so I enjoyed it just fine.

It’s chock full of the old time actresses like Clara Bow, Norma Shearer, Barbara Stanwick, and Greta Garbo and there are plenty of newer ones that younger people will recognize too, such as Meryl Streep, Keira Knightley, Julia Roberts, and Salma Hayek and all of the generations in between. There’s good information about the ladies and their films that’s entertaining to read as you go through. It makes you realize how far acting has come from the times long before silent films to now. These Dynamic Dames are certainly worth spending a bit of time with each one.  This would be for the fans of Hollywood or actors.  The advance electronic copy was provided by NetGalley, author Sloan De Forest, and the publisher.
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Dynamic Dames is amazing! I loved the history of the movies and the female characters in them. I also loved this history of the real life people portrayed in the biopic movies. I loved the spirit of the book, showing girls and women they are amazing and powerful and they can be whoever they want to be they just have to work for it. 

I wished more women and movie could be featured, but I know it wasn't possible.  With more and more movies about powerful, strong women coming out maybe there will be more books like this in the future.
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When I saw this book on NetGalley I knew I had to pick it up for 2 reasons: 
1) It's a book about movies and I can never get tired of reading any material even remotely related to the wonderful world of movies!
2) It covers the 50 most dynamic leading ladies of Hollywood from 1920s to present day who have made an impact by not only being strong, independent ladies in their own right but also playing them on screen as well. 

The choices made are great to say the least and I can only wonder how difficult it must have been for the author to manage to narrow down her selection to these 50 ladies from so many choices that Hollywood has presented over the years. 

My thanks to #NetGalley, the publisher and author for the ARC.
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This book was fantastic! I learned so much about actresses and Hollywood! This book even inspired me to want to possibly watch some of the films mentioned in this book or look more  into the actresses who are highlighted in this book. The only issue I had was there were times when it was hard to tell if the book was talking about the actress or character. I also felt like some of the stories were not as Interesting as others! But overall it was an excellent book I’m going to recccomend to all my friends.
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I received an advanced digital copy of this book from Netgalley.com and the publisher, Perseus Books, Running Press. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read and review.

A must have for any fan of cinema or history. Interesting profiles of same of the most memorable leading ladies of the silver screen. Beautifully designed with amazing photography.
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I was hoping for a bit more. I would’ve appreciated a bit more background information about each woman but as a fan of classic film I think this is still a must read.  Especially in today’s world, any history and insight that can only add to the many arguments we’ve been having, in totally here for.
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I chose this book to read for a couple of reasons.  The first is that in the #MeToo era, this book is exactly what is needed to promote strong female characters.  Dynamic Dames indeed!  The second reason is my knowledge on classic films is somewhat lacking.  It covers characters and actresses from classic to contemporary films.  I learned more about classic movies and can’t wait to start watching them!

The layout is wonderful and I like that you can hop around if you want to read about a particular actress or character.  I also like the chapter titles, with the exception of Fatal Females because I prefer the French “Femmes Fatales”, which evokes more of a classic feeling for me.  The writing is concise, fun and flows well.  I like that the individual articles are short, but my favourite part was the little tidbit at the end with extra information that didn’t necessarily fit into the flow of the section.  If your favourite actress or character wasn’t in the book, be sure to check the list of “More Dynamic Dames” at the end.  If want to find out more about some of your favourite actresses, there is a bibliography following this section.

I read this on my Kobo and then looked at the photos on my computer.  The photos look ok on the kobo, but they really stood out on my screen.

I know that this book hasn’t been published yet, but I’ve already suggested this book to my sister as I think that both she and her daughters would enjoy it.
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Very interesting book regarding the women starts of the movies from TCM. Nice pictures and tidbits on the movies also. This would be a nice book for fans of the actresses that are profiled in this book. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the ARC of this book. Although I received the book in this manner, it did not effect my opinion of this book nor my review.
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This book gives us no new knowledge about the stars themselves or their iconic roles.... nothing we haven't read before.  So buy this book only if you want to see a compilation of photos of beautiful women with a short summary of their roles,
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This book was really interesting. I enjoyed reading about famous women from all different eras and some of their strongest roles. Some women included are Mae West, Joan Crawford, Susan Sarandon, Grace Kelly, and Emma Watson. Each woman has a brief overview of a given role and some of the things they accomplished. There are images of the women in their roles and on set, which is a really nice touch. I thought everything was well-written and it was a pleasure to read about so many wonderful actresses.
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