Screen Goddesses 23 June 2022: Arena on BBC Four

Storyville "On the Morning You Wake (to the End of the World)" 5 July 2022: Tuesday on BBC Four 11

Documentary about the early female movie stars: Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe – immortal goddesses made by Hollywood to reign over the silver screen.

With the beginnings of Hollywood, the star system was born with an archetypal bad girl – the vampish Theda Bara – and the good girl – the blazingly sincere Lillian Gish. From the 1920s, vivacious Clara Bow and seductive siren Louise Brooks are most remembered, but none made the impact of Marlene Dietrich, an icon of mystery, or Greta Garbo, with her perfect features and gloomy introspection.

From the power of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis to the seductiveness of Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner, Hollywood studios produced their own brand of beautiful, sassy and confident women. But it wasn’t to last. The era drew to a close with the supreme fame of Elizabeth Taylor and the tragic death of Marilyn Monroe.

Narrated by Elizabeth McGovern.



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This show is broadcast on BBC Two, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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