Ladies Or Gentlemen: A Pictorial History of Male Cross-dressing in the Movies
Filipacchi Publishing, 2005 - 408 pages
From Greek drama through vaudeville and modern cinema, nothing in the theatrical experience has ever guaranteed a laugh like a man in a dress. This spectacular pictorial history examines the grand tradition of male cross-dressing in the movies through more than 700 photos, more than half of which are previously unpublished. The screen's greatest stars, from comedians like Buster Keaton and Peter Sellers to "serious" actors like Marlon Brando and Max von Sydow, are pictured in everything from bustiers to ball gowns. Just as in real life, the cinematic motives for cross-dressing are complex, ranging from plot device (I Was a Male War Bride) and social commentary (Tootsie) to the simple sight gags of Laurel and Hardy. The book explores these and myriad other reasons actors are coaxed out of dress suits and into dresses. By turns provocative, serious, and silly, Ladies or Gentlemen is a delightful study of a seldom-explored facet of cinema history.
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