Feminist Icon or Damsel in Distress? – 100 years on from ‘Teddy at the Throttle’

The Mack Sennett comedy ‘Teddy at the Throttle’ became a centenary picture this year and one hundred years on from its original release the image of Gloria Swanson tied to the railroad tracks is still a silent-era cliché etched into collective memory; but even by 1917 a young Miss Swanson was already making a name for herself, but not for being a ‘damsel’. In a year that saw the beginnings of the Russian Revolution and Woodrow Wilson’s declaration of war on Germany something else of great importance was beginning to unfold in the United States...

Advertisements

Beyond ‘Sunset’ – Who is Gloria Swanson?

...Miss Swanson stands before us now, not the ageing Norma Desmond, but the Mesopotamian goddess of 'Male and Female' forced to yield willingly to a strident Babylonian king named Hollywood or face being eaten alive by the ravenous Lions of Ishtar. She removed her hand from the outstretched one of a male dominated world and marched willingly toward the black gate of uncertainty and the world sank its teeth into her...