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Dynamic Dames: 50 Leading Ladies Who Made History

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Celebrate 50 of the most empowering and unforgettable female characters ever to grace the screen, as well as the artists who brought them to vibrant life!

From Scarlett O'Hara to Thelma and Louise to Wonder Woman, strong women have not only lit up the screen, they've inspired and fired our imaginations. Some dynamic women are naughty and some are nice, but all of them buck
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Running Press Adult
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Valerity (Val)
A fun look at the 50 leading ladies of film who were the top of the heap in making history, when it came to rocking the boat in filmmaking, and changing the face of how it was done back when.  I just love the old school film stars so this was just the thing for me to check out, wandering through the lovely pictures and reading about my old heroines' antics on and off the film stages and locations. It didn’t disappoint either, I found enough things I hadn’t already read elsewhere to please me, so ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I saw this book on NetGalley I knew I had to pick it up for 2 reasons:
1) It's a book about movies and I can never get tired of reading any material even remotely related to the wonderful world of movies 🎥 ❤️!
2) It covers the 50 most dynamic leading ladies of Hollywood from 1920s to present day who have made an impact by not only being strong, independent ladies in their own right but also playing them on screen as well.

The choices made are great to say the least and I can only wonder how
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book to read for a couple of reasons. The first is that in the #MeToo era, this book is exactly what is needed to promote strong female characters. Dynamic Dames indeed! The second reason is my knowledge on classic films is somewhat lacking. It covers characters and actresses from classic to contemporary films. I learned more about classic movies and can’t wait to start watching them!

The layout is wonderful and I like that you can hop around if you want to read about a particular ac
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an advanced digital copy of this book from and the publisher, Perseus Books, Running Press. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read and review.

A must have for any fan of cinema or history. Interesting profiles of same of the most memorable leading ladies of the silver screen. Beautifully designed with amazing photography.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Very interesting book regarding the women starts of the movies from TCM. Nice pictures and tidbits on the movies also. This would be a nice book for fans of the actresses that are profiled in this book. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the ARC of this book. Although I received the book in this manner, it did not effect my opinion of this book nor my review.
Annette Jordan
Author Sloan De Forest had a tough job in deciding which 50 women to include in this run down of the female stars who have shaped Hollywood, and defined stardom through the history of cinema. Beginning in the era before the Motion Picture Production Code of 1934 , she looks at some of the first ladies of cinema like Clara Bow , Mae Westand Barbara Stanwyck, the so called " bad girls" who were able to misbehave on the screen. She then moves on to look at examples of actresses who have portrayed r ...more
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review featured at

4.25 Hearts I don’t read a lot of these kinds of books but how could I not read this one? I mean 50 dynamic dames? And they truly are/were. I will be honest and say some of them I wasn’t even sure what I had seen them in or who they were (like directors or writers) but once I started reading their stories I was interested.

As a fan of the movies like Gone With The Wind, The Way We Were, Pretty Woman and so many more I loved reading the stories of the wome
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a nicely put together book about leading women in Hollywood. Each entry gives a description of the role that the actress preformed as well as some context as to what made the actress so special. It also included some little known facts. It was a quick but interesting read.
January Gray
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not really into movies and Hollywood, I go through watching binges sometimes, but I loved and enjoyed this book! It was a fun and informative read!
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The must-have feminist film book. Read it, share it with friends. Really enjoyed the writing. Wish the book was a slightly different format. Full details in my written and video reviews below:

Blog review:
YouTube review:

C.J. Bunce
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally published online at

This month, a new book examining what makes a great character also takes an in-depth look at Hollywood and film from the silent picture era to today. It’s Turner Classic Movies/TCM′s latest book on film, Dynamic Dames: 50 Leading Ladies Who Made History. I previously reviewed film historian Sloan De Forest′s Must-See Sci-Fi: 50 Movies That Are Out of This World here at borg, a fun read and a fun list that is more a celebration of pop culture than film scho
J Earl
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dynamic Dames from Sloan De Forest is a fun compilation of fifty roles that highlight strong and groundbreaking women, both the characters and the actresses.

This is a great looking book as well as being an interesting read. No, there isn't a lot of new information, but then, that isn't the point in a book like this. This does, however, offer some insight on what might make a dynamic character. The obvious choices are here, such as Uma Thurman as The Bride and Gal Gadot as Diana Prince, but there
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fun book about 50 leading ladies of the silver screen. From Clara Bow to Gal Gadot and everyone in between, the author looks at the movies that broke these ladies out from the pack and their impact on subsequent generations of women in film. She admits that 50 was a difficult choice because there are so many to choose from, so there is a listing of other women at the end of the book. Even that, though, isn't an exhaustive list.

The book is divided into 8 thematic sections: Pre-Code Bad Girls, Re
Alexandra the Great
Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara- Naturally
Uma Thurman as The Bride
Gal Gadot as Diana Prince- I wish they would have went with Wonder Woman instead of Diana
Grace Kelly as Lisa Freemont
Myrna Loy as Nora Charles
Barbara Stanwyck- They gave her Baby Face but I really wish they would have put her in the Femmes Fatales section as Phyllis Dietrichson
Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia
Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins- Hold up, it actually works: "She follows nobody's rules except her own. She refuses to explain
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's as the title says: DYNAMIC DAMES 50 Leading Ladies Who Made History

There are 8 parts to the book:
1. Pre-Code Bad Girls
2. Reel Role Models
3. Big Bad Mamas
4. Fatal Femmes
5. Ladies Who Laugh
6. Women Of Mystery
7. Strong Survivors
8. Superheroines

It begins with Clara Bow (1926) & ends with Gal Gadot (2017). "It stars profiled in their most revolutionary roles." Some of my favorites (such as Dorothy Dandridge, Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Josephine Baker etc) are listed.

The stories a
Am Y
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Some of the names we'd expect to see are there (Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, etc etc) but many others were missing and some perhaps didn't deserve to be there (one-hit wonders, anyone?). The problem is that this book spans too long an era (from the days of black-&-white film to present day) for just 50 ladies to be featured. And the focus of each decade or period in history is vastly different (e.g. women went from having virtually no rights and being expected to stay home a ...more
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wonderful book! I love that the author included both older stars along with present day stars. Really good choices too. Very diverse group so anyone can find someone they'd like to know more about. Must have for film buffs.
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher and voluntarily chose to review it.
Library Queen
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was really fun! Of course I didn't like every leading lady that the book covered, but I liked enough of them and even got some movie suggestions. If you like classic movies, this is a must read.
Willie Gore
Jun 16, 2020 rated it liked it
I thought it was a very interesting book. I wish it had more African American actresses in it. There were more than one African American leading ladies who made history than Dorthy Dandrige.
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Really fun and informational. A great book for the actress or female film buff in your life. Definitely makes me want to see some of the films I haven’t seen.
Deborah Sowery-Quinn
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun to read of the various strong women in film over the past almost 100 years.
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautiful coffee table book with a good mix of classic and modern films represented. I liked the choice of organizing them into categories rather than just chronological order, it gave it an interesting energy.
Joseph Hillyard
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, film
Solid read but somehow doesn't include Rita Moreno's performance as Anita in West Side Story.
Melissa Smith
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was excellent and had good pictures .
Anastasia Watson
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Sloan De Forest is a writer, actor, and film historian who has written about film for Sony, Time Warner Cable, the Mary Pickford Foundation, and Bright Lights Film Journal. She has contributed essays to the books Natalie Wood: Reflections on a Legendary Life and Grace Kelly: Hollywood Dream Girl. She lives in Hollywood—mentally, spiritually, and geographically.

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“Dynamic Dames share an X-factor: they transcend the narrow confines of their gender role, whether by taking small steps or revolutionary strides.” 0 likes
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