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Essays

Iris Barry

Sitton, Robert

After her success as a film critic, novelist, and co-founder of the London Film Society in 1925, Iris Barry’s career took a major downturn in the fall of 1930. She ran afoul of her employer, Lord Rothermere, publisher of the Daily Mail, when she panned the Elinor Glyn film Knowing Men (1930). Although Glyn was well-known as a romantic novelist and screenwriter, Barry found her film to have been made on “an abysmally low level” (qtd. in Sitton 2014, 145). Rothermere took Glyn to dinner on opening night and, without consulting Barry, promised her a favorable review. The next day Iris received a check for the balance of her contract: “No questions. No excuses. No job” (Sitton 145). Native product had long been under siege at the box office by American competitors and Iris also suspected she had proven less a fan of British films than Rothermere expected.

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Academic Units
Film
Libraries
Series
Women Film Pioneers Project
Published Here
October 15, 2019