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Ida Lupino

            Ida Lupino's body of work explores a realistic scope of human emotion both in the lives of men and women. Her movies Hard, Fast and Beautiful and The Bigamist are no exceptions. Rather than focusing on gender issues, Lupino chooses to investigate the delicate balance that common people walk between decent and outrageous morals. As a female director in an otherwise male-dominated 1950s Hollywood, perhaps Lupino's most arduous task was to make her films stand out from the classic Hollywood mode and her ambiguity and subject matter both aid in achieving this goal. Feminist critics can easily have ignored Ida Lupino's films because while controversial, they are not conducive to feminist modes of representation.
             Ida Lupino first came into Hollywood at age fifteen as an actress but did not have much success outside of acting in "B- pictures. Instead, she turned to other horizons behind the scenes and even created her own production company titled "The Filmmakers- who produced their films with the aid of RKO studios. Over a period of five years in the early 1950s, Lupino wrote and directed six feature length films, which still makes her one of the most prolific female directors in the Hollywood system today. Because of her traditional femininity that she brought to the set, her director's chair read "Mother of Us All- but in contrast, her controversial subject matter such as rape, bigamy, fatal disease, among others placed a unique mark on cinema that might suggest her to be "one of the boys."" "Some of these topics alone, and the naturalistic style of her films "even if they have an occasional upbeat ending "are enough to make Lupino something of an anomaly in the 1950s- and an investigation of Lupino's characters help determine why feminist critics may not have given her body of work a closer look.
             A large focus in Hard, Fast, and Beautiful is placed on the character Millie, who is arguably the film's antagonist because she constantly acts against the rigid moral framework of Hollywood cinema.

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