Chapter

Stardom in the 1920s

Phil Powrie and Éric Rebillard

in Pierre Batcheff and Stardom in 1920s French Cinema

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780748621972
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651191 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621972.003.0002
Stardom in the 1920s

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The star system in France emerged around 1910 as theatre and music-hall stars crossed over into film, but only really took off in the 1920s with the establishment of a wide-ranging film press, and the sharp rise in cinema attendance in the mid-1920s. French actors had to contend, then as they do now, with American or American-based stars in particular. None the less, by the end of the decade there was a flourishing star culture comprising both French and non-French names. Pierre Batcheff was one of the leading jeune premiers of his time, foreshadowing the popular heroes of the 1930s while still looking backwards to both the Romantic hero of the nineteenth century, as well as the exotic New World star most keenly represented by Rudolph Valentino. Seen from the vantage point of the mid-1940s, Batcheff might well have seemed a transitional form of masculinity. This chapter looks at Batcheff as a jeune premier, as pin-up, and as a surrealist star and describes fan culture during his time.

Keywords: Pierre Batcheff; Rudolph Valentino; France; star system; fan culture; film press; jeune premiers; masculinity

Chapter.  10322 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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