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cover for Dolores del Río
Dolores del Río
Beauty in Light and Shade

Linda B. Hall


2013

376 pp.
36 illustrations.
ISBN: 9780804784078
Cloth $30.00
ISBN: 9780804786218
E-book $30.00

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"Hall bases her work on a close study of del Río's personal papers, contemporary publications about her, and del Río's filmography . . . Hall provides historical context to help readers make sense of the opportunities and constraints that del Río faced. Hall gives a nuanced account of how del Río's personal and professional lives meshed, explaining how she navigated the transition from fading Hollywood stardom in the late 1930s to her remarkable comeback as a leading figure in the golden age of Mexican cinema in the 1940s and 1950s."—Lisa Jarvinen, Journal of American History

"Linda Hall provides a wonderfully written and compelling biography of one of the most famous and beautiful women of the twentieth century: actress Dolores del Río."—Cynthia E. Milton, The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Latin American History

"Hall has created a well-researched, readable biography of a major international star, first in Hollywood, then, later, in her native Mexico . . . Highly recommended."—J.M. Welsh, Choice

"Dolores del Río is an important work that finally offers us an insight into one of the most compelling stars of the early to mid-twentieth century. It fills a tremendous void in the literature of film history and film studies as well as Latin American/Chicana(o) studies."—Jill Watts, California State University San Marcos

Dolores del Río's enormously successful career in Hollywood, in Mexico, and internationally illuminates issues of race, ethnicity, and gender through the lenses of beauty and celebrity. She and her husband left Mexico in 1925, as both their well-to-do families suffered from the economic downturn that followed the Mexican Revolution. Far from being stigmatized as a woman of color, this Mexican star was acknowledged as the epitome of beauty in the Hollywood of the 1920s and early 1930s. While she insisted upon her ethnicity, she was nevertheless coded white by the film industry and its fans, and she appeared for more than a decade as a romantic lead opposite white actors. Returning to Mexico in the early 1940s, she brought enthusiasm and prestige to the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, becoming one of the great divas of Mexican film. With struggle and perseverance, she overcame the influence of men in both countries who hoped to dominate her, ultimately controlling her own life professionally and personally.

Linda B. Hall is Distinguished Professor of History and Regents Professor at the University of New Mexico.




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