Two by Dorothy Arzner

Two by Dorothy Arzner

3 Episodes

The only woman to work as a director within the studio system of 1930s Hollywood, Dorothy Arzner was a trailblazer whose fascinating, often subversive films were the product of a sophisticated, queer, protofeminist sensibility that managed to assert itself in spite of the limitations of commercial moviemaking. Both made during the early 1930s at Paramount, where Arzner worked first as an editor before establishing herself as a director during the silent era, these pre-Code gems are two of her finest and most neglected films: WORKING GIRLS, a witty and complex tale of female ambition set in a women’s boarding house, and MERRILY WE GO TO HELL, an alcohol-soaked portrait of an open marriage on a downward spiral.

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Two by Dorothy Arzner
  • Working Girls

    Episode 1

    Directed by Dorothy Arzner • 1931 • United States
    Starring Judith Wood, Dorothy Hall, Charles “Buddy” Rogers

    Dorothy Arzner offers a snappily entertaining, socially perceptive look at female solidarity in this Depression-era tale of young women striving to succeed in their careers and in love. N...

  • Merrily We Go to Hell

    Episode 2

    Directed by Dorothy Arzner • 1932 • United States
    Starring Sylvia Sidney, Fredric March, Adrianne Allen

    One of director Dorothy Arzner’s most fascinatingly subversive portraits of marital dysfunction stars Sylvia Sidney as a wealthy socialite who falls in love with an alcoholic writer (Fredric M...

  • Dorothy Arzner: Longing for Women

    Episode 3

    By the time director Katja Raganelli arrived in California to make a film about Dorothy Arzner in 1980, Arzner had passed away in a car accident. Nonetheless, Raganelli visited Arzner’s desert home and retraced the pioneering filmmaker’s career in LONGING FOR WOMEN, using Arzner’s trove of photog...