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Film/Video
ILLUMINATING THE SILVER SCREEN:DOLORES DEL RIO

JANUARY 16-30, 2002

UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, ALL SCREENINGS ARE $6 ($4 WALKER MEMBERS) AND TAKE PLACE IN THE WALKER AUDITORIUM.

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A star was born when Mexican beauty Dolores del Rio moved to Hollywood in 1925 and made her breakthrough performance in Raoul Walsh's What Price Glory? (1926). She was molded as a starlet of varied roles and optimum glamour; as with Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich, Hollywood capitalized on del Rio's exotic origins to construct a mysterious aura around her beauty. She made the transition from silent films to the talkies gracefully, although her slight accent--that of an aristocratic Mexican class--identified her as a foreign, if refined, siren. Photoplay magazine voted her "the most perfect feminine figure in Hollywood" in 1933, the year that she introduced the two-piece bathing suit in Flying Down to Rio.

Although fair-skinned and of European descent, del Rio never escaped her typecasting as a dark enchantress during the heyday of Westerns and foreign adventure/musicals set in generically south-of-the-border locales. After a scandalous affair with Orson Welles (who left her for Rita Hayworth), del Rio returned to Mexico in 1942 and embarked on a distinguished career in the film industry there, becoming the first lady of Mexican cinema and only occasionally accepting roles for Hollywood productions.

Del Rio's persona and career provide a fascinating example of the ways in which Hollywood fetishized and stereotyped feminine and racially marked stars. Her credits span decades and genres--she worked with such varied artists as King Vidor on Bird of Paradise (1932) and Elvis Presley on Flaming Star (1960)--but the faint glow that lingers from her stardom of yesteryear (her costars, including Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Henry Fonda, and Al Jolson, eclipsed her glittering marquée name) is a testament to the tenuous state of celebrity and the international economics at work in the movie industry. .


WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16
THE TRAIL OF '98                           
FRIDAY, JANUARY 18
THE FUGITIVE                                     
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23
EVANGELINE                          
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24
LECTURE: THE INVENTION OF DOLORES DEL RIO
FRIDAY, JANUARY 25
MARIA CANDELARIA                      
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30
FLYING DOWN TO RIO





SPECIAL THANKS TO BILL ROBENS AND R. P. MAY (WARNER BROS.), ROB STONE (UCLA FILM AND TELEVISION ARCHIVE), BRIAN CLAUSSEN (SWANK) AND BRYAN COFFEY (MOMA CIRCULATING FILM DEPARTMENT) FOR THEIR SUPPORT AND FOR PROVIDING THE PRINTS.