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The Shocking Miss Pilgrim

The Shocking Miss Pilgrim
March 8, 2020 - 1:00 pm

In person: Q&A with Crissi Avila, Co-President, League of Women Voters of Los Angeles; Virginia Wright Wexman, Professor Emerita of Film Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago and Member of the Board of Directors of the League; Betsy Butler, Executive Director, California Women’s Law Center; Michele Goodwin, Chancellors Professor of Law, UC Irvine; Glenna Matthews, author, The Rise of Public Woman: Women’s Power and Women’s Place in the United States, 1630-1970; Kathleen McHugh, Professor of Film, Television and Digital Media, UCLA.

Women's Rights and American Citizenship

Making an American Citizen  (1912)

Cinema pioneer Alice Guy Blaché uses an immigrant’s assimilation story to crystallize the (no)place of American femininity in citizenship—elevated, disenfranchised and domestic, implicitly white and bourgeois, a key symbolic prop for masculine suffrage. 

DCP, b/w, 16 min. Director: Alice Guy Blaché. 

The Shocking Miss Pilgrim  (1947)

The Shocking Miss Pilgrim, set in 1874, revisits women’s suffrage in relation to employment, femininity and heterosexual romance in the tale of Miss Pilgrim. One of the first trained “typewriters,” joining an all-male workplace, she becomes a suffragist, and falls in love with her boss. Made two years after the end of WWII, the film poses suffrage, employment and women’s ambition as challenges to romantic and personal happiness.

35mm, b/w, 97 min. Director/screenwriter: George Seaton. Cast: Betty Grable, Dick Haymes, Anne Revere.