Girls on Film Alicia Malone - On the Bedside Table

Girls on Film Lessons from a Life of Watching Movies by Alicia Malone is a journey many a female film scholar, critic, fan can identify with. It is, in varying forms, a journey we all have made. In this volume Alicia Malone thoughtfully examines the sometime uncomfortable roles and stereotypes of women in film and of women talking about film.

Malone takes us on her own personal journey as a burgeoning film fan, a shy and introverted girl and how she discovered classic Hollywood cinema and also discovered her own self. She evokes the magic of discovery in the first chapter Girls on Film examining and weaving in her own love of horses with that of Velvet Brown in National Velvet. A film, I have no doubt with which many a girl can identify as something meaningful from their own youth. From that same chapter, I think of mine, which was the 1948 The Secret Garden starring Margaret O'Brien as Mary Lennox, both a book and film which awakened in me a love of cinema-lit for girls.  

In the ensuing chapters you get not only Malone's memoir and life lessons (sprinkled with humor, too) there is a celebration of women and the power of cinema. Her analysis of the films is thoughtful and her own self-analysis is revealing and relatable. As she grew, so did her own critical eye and she identified hidden messages that were presented in films, performers and practices of the past, not always pleasant.

That Malone went from a shy girl who loved horses to an author, critic and host on Turner Classic Movies is a journey that is to be celebrated. She's found her own voice and it is a happy thing she has share it with all of us. 

A breezy read, this book is recommended. 


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