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Top 10 Feminist Films of the Midcentury

Classic Hollywood cinema is rarely cited for its equitable portrayal of women; nevertheless, a smattering of films from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s contain feminist themes and feature strong female leads. Actresses like Katherine Hepburn and Joan Crawford, celebrated for their wit, professional ambition, and intrepid sexuality, challenged many of the sexist expectations of their time. Thus, while gendered roles may have afflicted much of midcentury America, hints of feminism’s second wave managed to seep into its films–an advisory for the political storm to come.┬áIt would not be the first time, however, that feminist themes made a splash on the big screen.