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Lois Weber, Progressive Cinema, and the Fate of "The Work-a-Day Girl" in Shoes

Lois Weber, Progressive Cinema, and the Fate of "The Work-a-Day Girl" in Shoes Copyright © 2004 by Camera Obscura Camera Obscura 56, Volume 19, Number 2 Published by Duke University Press 141 • Camera Obscura audience, speaking to it in a “voiceless language” capable of engaging some of the era’s key social problems. “I’ll tell you what I’d like to be,” she said, “and that is, the editorial page of the Universal Company. My close study of the editorial page has taught me that it speaks with stentorian tones and that its effect is far reaching upon thousands of readers. I feel that like them, I can, in this motion picture field, also deliver a message to the world in the plays we have in contemplation that will receive a ready and cheerful response from the better element of the big general public.”3 Consistent with this aim, Shoes tackled one of the progressive era’s most pronounced social phenomena — the influx of young, single women into the paid labor force. The film focuses on Eva Meyer (Mary MacLaren), a five-and-dime store clerk whose meager $5-a-week salary must support her mother and father, along with three younger sisters, supplemented only by the limited income her mother earns by taking in laundry. Her http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Camera Obscura Duke University Press

Lois Weber, Progressive Cinema, and the Fate of "The Work-a-Day Girl" in Shoes

Camera Obscura , Volume 19 (2 56) – Jan 1, 2004

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2004 by Camera Obscura
ISSN
1529-1510
eISSN
1529-1510
DOI
10.1215/02705346-19-2_56-141
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Copyright © 2004 by Camera Obscura Camera Obscura 56, Volume 19, Number 2 Published by Duke University Press 141 • Camera Obscura audience, speaking to it in a “voiceless language” capable of engaging some of the era’s key social problems. “I’ll tell you what I’d like to be,” she said, “and that is, the editorial page of the Universal Company. My close study of the editorial page has taught me that it speaks with stentorian tones and that its effect is far reaching upon thousands of readers. I feel that like them, I can, in this motion picture field, also deliver a message to the world in the plays we have in contemplation that will receive a ready and cheerful response from the better element of the big general public.”3 Consistent with this aim, Shoes tackled one of the progressive era’s most pronounced social phenomena — the influx of young, single women into the paid labor force. The film focuses on Eva Meyer (Mary MacLaren), a five-and-dime store clerk whose meager $5-a-week salary must support her mother and father, along with three younger sisters, supplemented only by the limited income her mother earns by taking in laundry. Her

Journal

Camera ObscuraDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2004

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