She Makes Movies

Pioneering movie director's Dorothy Arzner recent death reminds us that still today too few movies are directed or produced by women. It wasn't until 2009 that the first Oscar for Best Director went to a woman! Match the woman with her accomplishment:

____ 1. Probably best known for her stunning Broadway production of The Lion King.
____ 2. In 2009, the first woman to receive an Academy Award for Best Director.
____ 3. An actress turned director and producer, her movie Awakenings was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar in 1991.
____ 4. The winner of two Oscars, she wrote more than 100 scripts.
____ 5. A pioneering director who co-founded her film company in 1949.

A. Frances Marion
B. Ida Lupino
C. Penny Marshall
D. Julie Taymor
E. Kathryn Bigelow

A screenwriter whose career started as a journalist and an artist, Frances Marion wrote more than 100 scripts. Befriending actress Mary Pickford, Marion directed her first film in 1921. Marion achieved greater success as a screenwriter than as a director, winning two Oscars -- one for The Big House and one for The Champ. The latest remake of The Champ, based on her script, was in 1979 starring Jon Voight, Faye Dunaway, and Rich Schroder. Later, Marion taught screenwriting at the university level.

At a time when good roles for women actors were hard to come by and many actresses completed for the roles that were available, Ida Lupino decided that she would direct movies. Pioneering director Lupino co-founded a film company named Emerald Productions. In 1949, she finished directing a movie that she co-wrote, Not Wanted. After writing, directing and producing films in the 1950s, she worked in television, directing episodes in more than 100 shows including The Untouchables, Mission Impossible and The Fugitive.

Penny Marshall made a name for herself as Laverne in the television situation comedy Laverne and Shirley. Turning her hand to directing and producing in 1985, she became the first female director to have a film that grossed $100 million at the box office (Big). She then became the first female director with two movies that grossed over $100 million at the box office with A League of Her Own. Her film Awakenings was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar in 1991, but did not receive the award.

Probably best known for her Broadway production of The Lion King, Julie Taymor has directed feature films, directed Broadway plays, and developed puppets and masks for productions. The Lion King received eleven Tony Award nominations and won two awards -- for Best Director and Costume Designer. Her films include Frida and Across the Universe.

The first woman to receive an Academy Award for Best Director, Kathryn Bigelow has directed short and long films. The 2009 Best Director award was for her work on The Hurt Locker which also won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Bigelow was inspired by her father, who liked to draw cartoons but did not pursue his dream of being a cartoonist. She did follow her dream, studying art, but then intentionally changing her focus to film - to be able to influence more people. Bigelow has worked in television as well as in film.

Learn about more she-roes and celebrate amazing women. These women who make movies are profiled in the book Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. We enjoy the fruits of their hard work and benefit from their significant contributions to our arts and culture.

(Answers 1-D, 2-E, 3-C, 4-A, 5-B )