Christina Rice

Författare till My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Volume 8

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Verk av Christina Rice

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Volume 8 (2015) — Författare — 22 exemplar
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Volume 10 (2016) — Författare — 21 exemplar
My Little Pony: Friends Forever Volume 3 (2014) — Författare — 20 exemplar
My Little Pony: Friends Forever Volume 5 (2015) — Författare — 14 exemplar
My Little Pony: Friends Forever Volume 8 (2017) — Författare — 9 exemplar

Associerade verk

Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750 (2014) — Författare — 62 exemplar
Femme Magnifique: 50 Magnificent Women who Changed the World (2018) — Bidragsgivare — 52 exemplar
My Little Pony: Fiendship is Magic (2015) — Kompositör — 19 exemplar
My Little Pony: Friends Forever Volume 6 (2016) — Bidragsgivare — 17 exemplar
My Little Pony: Friends Forever Volume 7 (2016) — Bidragsgivare — 7 exemplar


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Rating: 4.5* of five

The Publisher Says: By the early 1950s, Jane Russell (1921–2011) should have been forgotten. Her career was launched in what is arguably the most notorious advertising campaign in cinema history, which invited filmgoers to see Howard Hughes's The Outlaw (1943) and to "tussle with Russell." Throughout the 1940s, she was nicknamed the "motionless picture actress" and had only three films in theaters. With such an inauspicious, slow start, most aspiring actresses would have given up or faded away. Instead, Russell carved out a place for herself in Hollywood and became a memorable and enduring star.

In Mean... Moody... Magnificent!, Christina Rice offers the first biography of the actress and activist perhaps best known for her role in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). Despite the fact that her movie career was stalled for nearly a decade, Russell's filmography is respectable. She worked with some of Hollywood's most talented directors—including Howard Hawks, Raoul Walsh, Nicholas Ray, and Josef von Sternberg—and held her own alongside costars such as Marilyn Monroe, Robert Mitchum, Clark Gable, Vincent Price, and Bob Hope. She also learned how to fight back against Howard Hughes, her boss for over thirty-five years, and his marketing campaigns that exploited her physical appearance.

Beyond the screen, Rice reveals Russell as a complex and confident woman. She explores the star's years as a spokeswoman for Playtex as well as her deep faith and secondary vocation as a Christian vocalist. Rice also discusses Russell's work in creating and leading the WAIF foundation, which helped unite tens of thousands of orphaned children with adoptive parents. This stunning first biography offers a fresh perspective on a star whose legacy endures not simply because she forged a notable film career, but because she effectively used her celebrity to benefit others.


My Review
: Old Hollywood was an unfriendly place for women in general, buxom beauties in particular. Jane Russell was a very early example of what happens when a very targeted publicity campaign succeeds at one aim and damn near torpedoes a career in the process.

The very young girl Miss Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell
What makes a star? It's a question that most people really don't think much about. In today's world, it's less mysterious than it ever has been. The earlier one goes, the more the alchemy was being codified and made into chemistry...and Jane Russell was a kind of case in point of that moment of change.

Two examples of the advertising stills responsible for the actress being dismissed for a decade as a figure with a face, not a talent
Getting the world to pay attention to a newcomer in any industry is a giant challenge in every era. What Howard Hughes got into his head was to show Russell in the way he, and most men, saw her and women in general...sex objects. He gave her an entirely unfounded image as a sex kitten. It was something the religious, conservative Russell was unhappy to have lumbered on her. That is, until she leaned into it later in life, with her hugely successful Playtex 18-Hour Cross-Your-Heart bra campaigns that funded her old age! Making lemonade from bitter early-life lemons indeed.

In her entire film career, she made fewer than two dozen films, and was famous for only one: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) in which she was decidedly less emphasized than Marilyn Monroe.

It was never her film, no matter what; the roles she played were pretty blah, if I'm at all honest; no one would remember her if not for her role in The Paleface starring Bob Hope:

...which she said saved her career, and which led to a lifelong friendship with the powerful and string-pulling Hope.

Honestly, the reason I cared to read the book, and recommend it to y'all, is simple: Russell the woman was more interesting than Russell the actress. After an abortion, illegal in those days so always unsafe to have, left her unable to bear children, she settled down with one wonderful husband, a football player then famous, and adopted three children. Her struggles to complete international adoptions led her to found Waif, a non-profit that helped people get international adoptions recognized in the US. She was actually pro-life, though unfortunately to me also anti-abortion; she focused her sincere christian belief into making it possible for people to bring otherwise parentless children into their homes to make families. That's walking the pro-life talk.

She married for the last of three times (one divorce, one death) to a real-estate developer whose projects she influenced, while re-starting a glamorous career in nightclubs:

And the image lived into the 2000s!

Her undistinguished Hollywood career, followed by her success as a nightclub entertainer for decades, her tenacity and uncompromising refusal to either quit or be dismissed by the many men who belittled, tried to control, and even ruin her is inspiring.

Film fans, students of fame and its many costs, glamourhounds...plus the feminists who need to see how someone not possessed of a liberal viewpoint could still make a powerful career...are among your giftees this #Booksgiving? Here's a book for them. Maybe you, too, don't front! You'll glom a few pages before wrapping.
… (mer)
richardderus | 2 andra recensioner | Dec 14, 2023 |
This book is a MyLittlePony series book about Ponyville Mysteries. The MyLittlePony gang goes on adventure to solve the mystery. The pictures enhance the story. Good for ages 7 and up.
anniejones_ | Feb 1, 2023 |
Mean, Moody, and Magnificent! Jane Russell and the Marketing of a Hollywood Legend by Christina Rice is a 2021 University Press of Kentucky publication.

As a small child, I remember- believe it or not- seeing Jane Russell's television ads for Playtex ‘Cross my Heart’ bras. Of course, I didn’t really know who she was, and it wasn’t until I was older, and saw a few of her films, that I made the connection- and understood why she made such an ironic spokesperson for Playtex.

This book, if you really pay attention to the title, is focused on how Russell became famous- which was through the marketing of her breasts… by Howard Hughes.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a biography, and it covers all of Jane’s life from childhood to her death. But a great deal of time is spent talking about her entrapment by Hughes and his obsession with Russell’s chest.

Russell’s first movie was ‘The Outlaw’ which due to one thing or another was not released for some years, making it necessary to keep Jane in the spotlight until it finally reached theatres- which required a lot of ‘marketing.’

Jane went on to make many more movies, but with a few exceptions, the roles were mediocre.

Jane’s personal life was also tumultuous, and she was notorious for her constant contradictions. Jane said one thing- but did another. She was vocally ‘conservative’ and deeply religious- but didn’t really walk the walk.

She struck me as being a tough woman most of the time. She never shied away from controversy- and I found the story of how she adopted her children to be stunning.

I did like how she often shrugged off critics and continued to do things just because she liked doing them- even if the reviews were less than stellar.

I didn’t know anything at all about Jane Russell when I started this book, so this was very interesting reading for me. I’m not sure, at the end of the day, how I feel about Jane Russell- but the title of this book is apt, I think.

The author did a good job with the material, stayed neutral, most of the time, but did point out Jane’s inconsistencies- just in case we didn’t make that connection for ourselves.

Overall, though, this is a solid biography, which also includes some nice photos.

4 stars
… (mer)
gpangel | 2 andra recensioner | Feb 16, 2022 |


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