Week 2 – Ryan Beggs

In the film All About Eve several subtle themes are touched upon in various ways. With the introduction of the Hay Codes, a set of moral guidelines established for Hollywood from 1930 to 1968, any LGBTQ topic or character had to be buried within layers of a character. This is seen within the character Eve, in All About Eve. The layers of Eve, at the surface, reveal a humble actress willing to learn about the acting craft, however as her character develops the audience begins to notice Eve in a more obsessive and intrusive light. Eve’s character differentiates herself from other lesbians “represented” in the Hay Code Hollywood at the time, because her character was able to take on classical feminine traits, this was a tactical layer of her character that disguised any lesbian attitudes as a form of jealousy or a desire to be successful, rather than the romantic alternative. While Hollywood was being regulated it was still “an institution that ‘educated’ far more girls” than girls’ schools and women’s colleges ever would (White 2). This is interesting because it highlights the fact that there really was no ideal representation of homosexuals in academia as well as the cinema, yet the cinema is where women received the most information however subtle it may have been.

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