Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

This research was made possible by funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. First, I’d like to thank Mark Jancovich, who has been a part of this project from its inception and has provided invaluable guidance, motivation, and support. Yvonne Tasker, Peter Stanfield, and Peter Kramer have also provided indispensable advice...

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Introduction

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pp. 13-22

We begin with a warning. The unholy sights and bloodcurdling chills you will encounter in Phantom Ladies are neither pleasurable nor suitable for refined, feminine tastes. Any unescorted women should turn back now before it is too late. Those who believe they can take it are advised to bring along a group of like-minded female...

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1. Rebecca Meets The Wolf Man at RKO

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pp. 23-66

In her article “Gold in Them Chills,” Barbara Berch identifies an emergent cycle of horror films placing women in their central roles. She proposes that the novel characterization and stylistic traits of RKO’s Cat People (1942), I Walked with a Zombie (1943), and The Seventh Victim (1943) have opened up a new market...

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2. Series, Sequels, and Double Bills

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pp. 67-101

In her article “Shebas of Shudders,” Dee Lowrance rejoiced that “the screen now offers a great variety in horror queens.” Pointing to the evidence of both the Lewton films discussed in the previous chapter and a number of the Universal films discussed below—including Weird Woman, Son of Dracula...

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3. A-­Class Monsters

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pp. 102-144

Due to the waning popularity of war films, the critic Fred Stanley explains, “Hollywood, temporarily at least, has all but shelved martial projects” in favor of this cycle of A-class horror productions. The RKO, Universal, and Columbia female monster films discussed previously would be positioned somewhere between routine...

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4. From Whatdunit to Whodunit

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pp. 145-171

The New York Herald Tribune’s disappointment at The Spider Woman Strikes Back’s undercutting of generic expectations exposes the ubiquity of the female monster by 1946, but also her postwar secularization. As Rick Altman explains, “Once a genre is recognized and practised throughout the industry...

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Conclusion

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pp. 172-176

Shifting the analytic focus from movie genres to film cycles, Phantom Ladies has demonstrated how the conflicting and shifting demands of industries and audiences might be resituated within their wider cultural contexts. In his growing body of research into the relationship between the serial production of movies...

Notes

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pp. 177-218

Index

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pp. 219-223

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About the Author

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pp. 224-224

Tim Snelson is a lecturer in media history at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. His research addresses the relationship among media, cultural, and social history, focusing particularly on popular film and television cycles, trends, and genres; cultural histories of cinemagoing; gender and popular media...