What is a “Woman’s Picture?” (1932 Film Feminism)


“To be a “woman’s picture” a film must have characters who are recognisable human beings.”

The following is an opening article from a copy of Film Weekly magazine published on Friday 8th July 1932. Film Weekly was a leading film magazine produced the UK from 1928 – 1939 after which it merged with another film magazine, Picturegoer.


The article in question that I’m excited to share is titled, “What is a “Woman’s Picture?”” and it’s a true feminist article. I remember first reading it on my floor about 6 weeks ago, my smile getting wider and wider with pride as I read the editor-in-chief, Herbert Thompson’s, opening article.


I’ll now give you time to read the article if you want. If you don’t want to, just move onto the next bit of this post to hear my favourite excerpt which also nicely sums up the article’s message.

“Some producers and distributors evidently imagine what women are easily amused by “trash,” provided it is stupidly romantic or sickeningly sentimental. I cannot understand why. Where did they get the idea that women leave their intelligence at home when going to the cinema? If they could edit Film Weekly for a month they would soon discover that women are at least as critical of poor films as men are. Possibly even more critical, because many of them are more regular filmgoers and take a keener interest in what they see”.


Although it would obviously have been better if this article was written by a woman, you have to remember this was still the early 1930s. As a strong feminist myself and lover of cinema it is amazing to see a man giving misogynistic producers, distributors and filmgoers a good earful about how women see films both intelligently and compassionately, something men seemed incapable of doing at the time.

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