Canadian Women Film Directors Database
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Nell Shipman

Also known as: Helen Foster Barham
Countries: Canada / United States
Born: 1892
Died: 1970

Films directed by Nell Shipman

Quotes about Nell Shipman

"Certainly for [Nell] Shipman, in her films as well as in her own life, creative achievement, economic independence, social mobility, and sexual equality were central to the vision of contemporary womanhood that underlies all her narratives and portrayals of women and male-female relationships."
-- Kay Armatage (source)

"I would argue that with [Nell] Shipman's work the narrative trajectory culminating in the inevitable heterosexual coupling that closes the story is less compelling or memorable than the scenes of the solitary woman braving the wilderness."
-- Kay Armatage (source)

"In most of her films, Nell Shipman played the leading role, always of the heroic stamp. [...] Her Amazonian beauty, the easeful presence of her body (cross-hatched with equal parts of hysteria, display, strength, and bravery), her great sense of moral justice, and the instinctive connection with animals and nature: these are the signs of her essential femininity, and simultaneously the source of the heroism which allows her to resist conventional narrative inscriptions of the woman protagonist as victimized and rescued."
-- Kay Armatage (source)

"Embedded within [Nell] Shipman's narrative [The Silent Screen & My Talking Heart] [...] are the movies that created her even as she was scripting and acting in them; she became 'the Girl from God's Country' due to casting and marketing pressures and an internalized identification with her screen image. Embedded within [Sharon] Pollock's play [Moving Pictures] are events and passages from Shipman's autobiography, but the Nell Shipman figure in the play is much more than the woman Shipman herself portrays because Pollock creates a multiple self-portrait of a woman artist looking back on her life to understand its meaning and value."
-- Sherrill Grace (source)

"The elements of the active heroine, closeness to nature and animals, and the inadequate male, were aspects manifest in [Nell] Shipman's own life. She did all her own stunts, some of them spectacular and dangerous. She yearned for the wild northwest of Canada and the United States whenever she was away from it. She owned her own zoo and championed animals all her life -- Brownie the bear and Laddie the dog in her films were her own pets. In an extraordinary and ironic incident, she even saved Bert Van Tuyle's life when, delirious from gangrene in his foot, he tried to dog sled twenty miles from the movie quarters into town."
-- Janice Kaye (source)

"Nell [Shipman] was a true independent, creating an image of women vastly different from the usual onscreen delicate flower. She had tremendous creative control. She presented a view of nature and of women that was dismissed by the Hollywood powers. She ran an independent production company when the big studios were gaining power, and this was her downfall."
-- Linda Kupecek (source)

For QUOTES about a specific film by Nell Shipman, please see:   Trail of the Arrow    Something New    A Bear, a Boy, and a Dog    The Girl from God's Country    The Grub-Stake    The Trail of the North Wind   

Notes about Nell Shipman

(sources)

Bibliography for Nell Shipman

Section 1: Publications by Nell Shipman

Section 2: Publications about Nell Shipman

Books

Book Chapters

Brief Sections of Books

Journal Articles

Newspaper or Magazine Articles

Documentaries

Dissertations

Plays about Nell Shipman

Web Sites

Section 3: Publications about the Films of Nell Shipman

Trail of the Arrow (1920)

Brief Sections of Books

Something New (1920)

Brief Sections of Books

Journal Articles

Newspaper or Magazine Articles

A Bear, a Boy, and a Dog (1921)  (also known as: "Saturday Off")

Brief Sections of Books

The Girl from God's Country (1921)

Brief Sections of Books

The Grub-Stake (1922)  (also known as: "The Golden Yukon", "The Romance of Lost Valley")

Brief Sections of Books

The Trail of the North Wind (1923)

Brief Sections of Books

The Light on Lookout (1923)

Brief Sections of Books

White Water (1924)

Brief Sections of Books

Wolf's Brush (1924)

Newspaper or Magazine Articles

Archival Collections

These archival institutions have holdings related to Nell Shipman or her films:


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