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Fast-Talking Dames$
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Maria DiBattista

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300088151

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300088151.001.0001

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Blondes Born Yesterday

(p.324) Conclusion
Fast-Talking Dames

Maria DiBattista

Yale University Press

This chapter concludes the insights exposed by this book regarding the character and influence that fast-talking dames had on American culture and society. It explores, for one, the slowing and dumbing down of the American comic heroine, the demise of the fast-talking dame coming by the early 1950s. It looks at the still snappy but strangely dispirited comedies of the postwar era, where there is a shift in national mood. It looks at, for one, Claudette Colbert's combating of the sexual ideology of the home front in Without Reservations (1946), as well as Bette Davis's eloquent yet self-annulling “confession” in a stalled car as Margo Channing in All About Eve. Here she expresses that the reason for her disgraceful behavior is because she can never be what she wants to be—young and helpless and feminine. Thus, this chapter ends the commemoration of another kind of dialogue, one paced by the give and take of the fast-talking dame making her way into the world.

Keywords:   fast-talking dames, American comic heroine, comedies of the postwar era, Claudette Colbert, Without Reservations, Bette Davis, All About Eve

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