Tainted Goddesses

Cinzia Romani, Author, D. Teal, Editor, Bob Connolly, Translator Da Capo Press $19.95 (182p) ISBN 978-0-9627613-1-7
This strange book, an Italian import, veers wildly between serious analysis of the Nazi-era German film industry and gushing fan magazine profiles of 18 of the period's female stars. Romani opens with a lengthy and intelligent essay on the Nazi takeover of filmmaking after 1933 and its transformation, under Joseph Goebbels's hands-on leadership, into an ``Aryan'' propaganda machine in which even light entertainment was considered ``strategically important.'' Noting that ``the phenomenon of the star system in the Third Reich achieved almost Hollywoodian proportions,'' Romani points out that only a small percentage of the films made under the Nazis were overt propaganda. Each of the actresses under discussion is represented by a short biography, complete credits and synopses for a couple of key films, including irritatingly redundant excerpts from mostly contemporary reviews. The opening essay suffers from a ghastly translation that either reproduces or amplifies a convoluted sentence structure. The book is handsomely produced and illustrated, but the subject matter and its treatment make it of marginal interest to an American audience. 160 black-and-white photos. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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