Research

GeneTierney

Gene Tierney in Laura (1944)

I research and write about Hollywood cinema from the studio and post-World War II eras. More specifically, my interests lie in classical film genres and aesthetics, and their relationship to the culture of modernity during the middle of the twentieth century, focusing on cases of stardom and performance, authorship, and representation. As author and co-editor, respectively, I have published two books on director Nicholas Ray: American Stranger (SUNY Press, 2017) and, with Steven Rybin, Lonely Places, Dangerous Ground (SUNY Press, 2014). Currently, I am writing a book under the tentative title, Out of a Misty Dream: Gene Tierney, Female Stardom, and Hollywood’s Homefront. Promoted as “the most beautiful woman in movie history,” Gene Tierney starred in films such as Laura (1944), Leave Her to Heaven (1945), and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), but also became one of the first stars to battle mental illness publicly. This project examines her star-making at Twentieth Century-Fox during World War II and the immediate years that followed, while seeking to understand an alternative history of war effort and postwar trauma that defined and regulated her image across the roles of pin-up model and working-woman, war bride, maternal domestic, and female psychiatric subject.