Sports Heroines on Film: A Critical Study of Cinematic Women Athletes, Coaches and Owners

Paperback / softback
Sports films are a popular genre. In some ways they are akin to highlight reels, depicting the emotional climax of wins and losses, aggression and dominance. They also epitomize the kind of propaganda of male dominant culture, packaged for entertainment purposes. It's hard to find females in leading roles as athletes, coaches and owners in sports film story lines. With an abundance of male-focused stories, Hollywood continues to reinforce the association of athleticism with masculinity. Portrayals of women in prominent roles indicate social attitudes and values and - when looked at over time - also show what influence the women's movement has had on cinematic representation and social understandings. This discussion of sports film heroines begins with National Velvet (1944) and ends with Secretariat (2010). By examining such portrayals this volume analyzes whether these story lines do or do not empower women as characters and role models, while offering alternative cinematic choices that reflect the true and ever-growing history of women in sports.