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Dorothy Arzner
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Filmmaker
    (January 3, 1897-October 1, 1979)
    Born in San Francisco, California
    Directed 'Ten Modern Commandments' (1927), 'Get Your Man' (1927), 'The Wild Party' (1929), 'Sarah and Son' (1930), 'Honor Among Lovers' (1931), 'Christopher Strong' (1933), 'The Bride Wore Red' (1937), 'Dance, Girl, Dance' (1940) and 'First Comes Courage' (1943)
    She was a pre-med major before dropping out of college.
    She usually wore men's suits and ties.
    She never explained why she stopped directing feature films after 1943.
    Asked which of her films was her favorite, she replied, 'I was always so critical of my own work that I could hardly consider any one a favorite. I always find too many flaws.'
    She drove an ambulance during WWI.
    She started as a stenographer at Paramount Pictures, and worked her way up to continuity girl, scenarist, screenwriter, editor and finally director.
    She was the first film editor, of either gender, to get a screen credit.
    In order to allow star Clara Bow freedom of movement on the set of 'The Wild Party,' she had a microphone attached to a fishing pole, creating the boom mike.
    She was the first (and for a long time only) female member of the Directors Guild of America.
    She taught screenwriting and directing at UCLA film school.
    After years of obscurity, her films were rediscovered by feminist critics in the 1970s.

Credit: C. Fishel


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