Tuesday 17 May 2011

She Wouldn't Say Yes (1945)

I have a serious soft spot for Rosalind Russell, however her films often fall into the pattern of; successful independent woman, meets man, man persuades her she has no need to be independent, they get married. So I always love the first part of her films but the feminist in me hates her refusal to be on her own, but that's Hollywood, I would like to say it is has changed but I doubt that.

Russell was very much aware of the pattern her roles fell into;
 'In all those types of films I wore a tan suit, a grey suit, a beige suit and then a negligee for the seventh reel near the end when I would admit to my best friend on the telephone that what I really wanted was to become a little housewife.'

However, I do like this film despite it's plot, as Russell is just so charming and her clothing in this film is so glamourous. She plays Dr Susan A. Lane a psychologist, so she is a woman of authority, with some delightful suits in her wardrobe. Do old fashioned beliefs annoy you when you watch films? or do you just take it as part of it's charm?

Why does my hair never look this good?

Gorgeous hat and gloves

Darling leopard print coat for train travel

Dealing with a patient in her nightgown

Fabulous house coat/gown and gorgeous boudoir!

Career women wear white
Beautiful up do for dining

The most beautiful house coat I have seen

Adorable hat and necklace
In her nightgown about to give in to love
(how beautiful is the sparkly number)


  1. It can be a bit hard for me to watch some older films because there's blatant racism, sexism, agism, other isms too I'm sure. I try to see the film for what it's supposed to be though. I was just watching Josephine Baker in Princess Tam Tam and they called her a savage! I know it was normal for that word to be used to describe people of Sub Saharan African origin during that time but my jaw was on the floor!

    But I love the women of that era even more when I can see what they've dealt with as it pertains to their expected roles in films. I get irritated even with modern movies where the girl just chooses to go get married, have kids, be a housewife blah blah blah.. I still think we should watch old films so that we can acknowledge the history..some good, some bad, but it's history all the same. Great question! :)

  2. Oh, I forgot about the clothes...the house coat is sooo pretty..when you have no central heating and cold tile flooring, a nice cozy house coat will keep me warm (and fashionable!)

  3. This looks worth watching for the clothes alone. Also, it depends what mood I'm in - sometimes I just can't stand the racism, sexism, homophobia (which had to be coded, of course) and it makes me not enjoy the film at all. Other times I can kind of put it aside. I wouldn't say it's part of their 'charm' but I think it's important to recognise that there were these issues and that they are evident in the film industry (heck, some of them still are!) and what it was putting out. But we can't change these films. Ignoring the problems with them won't change them either. I think just being aware and being able to discuss them (which is why I liked this question, too) is really important!
    -Andi x

  4. The Retro Natural: Thank you firstly for your thoughtful response! I agree I think it teaches us about the prejudices back then, which unfortunately a lot of them still stand in films and society today. Most mainstream films particularly in Hollywood are so stereotyped to this day, which is unfortunate. I have not seen anything with Josephine Baker in think it's about time. I did study about the whole 'yellow face' aspect in early Hollywood, as I was very interested in Anna May Wong and that was definitely eye opening. But, yes the clothes are gorgeous aren't they!

  5. Andi: Thanks for your well thought out response, I agree I have to be in the right frame of mind to watch some films, as sometimes it's difficult to absorb some rather ridiculous ideals and prejudices (this goes for modern and old films). But like you say it is important to acknowledge the problems that were evident back then. Oh yes and back to being frivolous the clothes, swoon! x

  6. I honestly think it's more humorous to see blatant sexism in older films and magazines. It just boggles my mind at how belittled females existences were 'back in the day'. Look pretty. Make babies. Voila!

  7. Miss Tami Lee: It does definitely boggle the mind, I am glad I was born is this era and not then otherwise I definitely would of been an outcast. But, then again there were of course women who were independent they just did not represent the ideal and therefore never seen on screen. Thanks for your thoughts x