Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ladyparts

Due to discussions, I wanted to grab some 'Top 100' lists from various arbiters of taste for books, stage, TV and film and do a quick survey of lady writers and lead roles for ladies.

Then I thought fuck it, my readers are clever and knowledgeable, they'll be able to come up with a positive, let's look forward, not backwards list of the popular culture I am looking for.

So, knowledgeable people that read my nattering, lend me your ears and your ideas.

In the following categories of popular culture:

Fiction Prose or Graphic Novels (original)
TV Drama scripts (original)
Film scripts (original)
Stage plays (original)

I am looking for submissions of one, five, ten or fifty characters and authors that in your opinion are:

1. Best lead female character written by a male.
2. Best lead male character written by a female.

For the lists as they expanded after this post, please go to alternative Top 100 and feminist Top 100.

STAGE PLAYS

The eponymous heroine of Shirley Valentine
by Willy Russell [JH]

CLEA in Black Comedy
by Peter Shaffer [GH]

JOSIE in A Moon for the Misbegotten
by Eugene O'Neill [GH]

JOAN OF ARC in Saint Joan
by George Bernard Shaw [GH]

FICTION PROSE OR GRAPHIC NOVELS

RHETT BUTLER in Gone With The Wind
by Margaret Mitchell [JH]

HEATHCLIFF in Wuthering Heights
by Ellis Bell, I mean, Emily Bronte [SR]

The eponymous hero of Harry Potter series
by JK Rowling, I mean, Joanne Rowling [TW]

DEATH in The High Cost of Living series
by Neil Gaiman [TW]

JIM LINTON, WALLY MEADOWS and DAVID LINTON in The Billabong series
by Mary Grant Bruce [AAM]

LORD PETER DEATH BREDON WIMSEY in the series
by Dorothy L Sayer [AAM]

ANGELA in Seven Types of Ambiguity
by Eliot Perlman [GH]

LARISSA in Doctor Zhivago
by Boris Pasternak [GH]

ELIZABETH HUNTER in The Eye of the Storm
by Patrick White [GH]

Honorable mention to Iris Murdoch and Nancy Mitford for their male characters [GH]

FILM SCRIPTS

ELLEN RIPLEY in Aliens
by James Cameron [SR]

SARAH CONNER in Terminator
by James Cameron [SR]

TRACY SAMANTHA LORD in The Philadelphia Story
by Donald Ogden Stewart and Waldo Salt [AAM]

ALICE HYATT in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
by Robert Getchell [GH]

ERICA BENTON in An Unmarried Woman
by Paul Mazursky [GH]

TV DRAMA

BUFFY SUMMERS in Buffy
by Joss Whedon [AH] [the whole world]

ALICIA FLORRICK, KALINDA SHARMA and DIANE LOCKHART in The Good Wife
by Robert King and Michelle King [CM][TW]

JUDITH FITZGERALD and JANE PENHALIGON in Cracker
by Jimmy McGovern [GH]

PHYLLIDA ERSKINE-BROWN and LIZ PROBERT in Rumpole of the Bailey
by John Mortimer [GH]

VERY SPECIAL LADYPARTS

In other news, I am keeping a list also of awesome female characters written by women in the same areas. Submissions welcome, naturally.

STAGE PLAYS

The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl
I enjoyed the portrayal of all the female characters.
I saw this play in Perth, with Brooke Satchwell, Vivienne Garrett, Sarah McNeill and Carol Burns.

FICTION NOVELS

LUCY SNOWE in Villette
by Currier Bell, I mean, Charlotte Bronte

CHRISTABEL LA MOTTE in Possession
by AS Byatt, I mean, Antonia Susan Duffy

ELLEN OLENSKA in The Age of Innocence
by Edith Wharton

FILM SCRIPTS

This is hard because all my favorite movies with female leads are from books or history. From Elisabeth to The Devil Wears Prada.

TV DRAMA

1 comment:

Helena Worth said...

I find the compilation of this list interesting as I've grown up reading/watching characters who are strong, and positive (but humanly flawed) role models of both gender. While I know that my taste/knowledge base is not normal, I still expect it to be.

Sophy from the Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

Norah Linton
Josephine March

Half of the characters written for and/or played by Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis including the films Of Human Bondage, All about Eve, Adam's Rib, Woman of the Year, Stage Door...

Hildy Johnston in His Girl Friday though the role was originally written as male.

Bones (Temperance Brennan and Seeley Booth)
Megan Hunt from Body of Proof.

Would you place Virginia Woolf's Orlando anywhere?

I'm wondering if the reason so many great characters are being found is because we are looking predominantly outside the Canon of Dead White Males.