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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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Blonde Bombshells

Blonde Bombshells

Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard, and Ginger Rogers

(p.84) 3 Blonde Bombshells
Fast-Talking Dames

Maria DiBattista

Yale University Press

This chapter takes a closer look at the personalities and celebrities that would epitomize and popularize the character of the blonde bombshell, namely: Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard, and Ginger Rogers. It looks at, for example, Nothing Sacred (1937) where Hazel Flagg—played by Lombard—carries the banner for modern American womanhood. The fast-talking dame, in a sense, looks towards democratic society's ideology that boasts of endless opportunities for self-advancement and translates this ideology into modern parlance. She speaks of the language of the times as quick and unforgiving, and at the same time she also expresses the fluid, unstable character of American society during a period of drastic change. The chapter thus analyzes and expounds on the character of the fast-talking dame and sees how this incorporates into the blond bombshell persona, further exploring such a dame in the personas of the characters played by Harlow, Lombard, and Rogers.

Keywords:   blonde bombshell, fast-talking dame, Nothing Sacred, Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard, Ginger Rogers, modern American womanhood

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