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Whatever happened to fast-talking dames? She was enchanted and emboldened by these Hollywood dames; they were confident, smart and witty. Maria DiBattista laments the fact that there are few fast-talking dames in current films, calling today's female characters "bumbling, inarticulate, cutesy comic heroines.

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A showing of the movie "Blonde Venus" in one of her classes prompted a student to ask, "Which one is Cary Grant? And they never disappoint me, no matter how many times I see them. The fast-talking dame is independent, but she knows how to work with people.

Princeton - weekly bulletin 11/19/01 - whatever happened to fast-talking dames?

DiBattista laments the fact that, in her view, there are almost no hollywiod dames in today's films. And she has the fast-talking dame sense of knowing what she wants and going after it.

Even with the book finished, DiBattista finds herself dropping onto the couch if Myrna Loy or Jean Arthur appear on the television screen. The sense is that sex appeal really has to be divorced from eloquence, that wit is reserved for banter with other women.

The dame goes after the man she wants, and the men are glad that she did. She's forthright and even cunning, and, like a lot of fast-talking dames, she'll learn the limits of her resolve without renouncing it. A professor of English and comparative literature at Princeton, she eventually decided that she should write a book about these sharp-tongued comic heroines.

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She works easily in a male environment, she does well under pressure, and you have the feeling that she's a complete woman. Whatever happened to fast-talking dames? I wanted to know why I miss them so much when I go to the movies now and what they taught me when I was growing up.

Maria DiBattista laments the fact that there are few fast-talking dames in current films, calling today's female characters "bumbling, inarticulate, cutesy comic heroines. As the press secretary for the president, her work is with words, and she's very witty. She was enchanted and emboldened by these Hollywood dames; they were confident, smart and witty. looming

You don't want to be a lady, you want to be a dame. She isn't afraid of it and she makes it her own, giving the movie a linguistic vitality.

The book was published in May by Yale University Press. Miranda played by Cynthia Nixon, top, rightwho is supposedly the least attractive of all of them, is wtited most fun to listen to; she always has the zingers -- and I remember one episode in which a man sees her as instantly attractive, and of course the minute she starts talking he's immediately turned off. Julia Roberts below, right in "Erin Brockovich": She's too derisive, too bitter and too much wifted a loner.

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Take actress Carole Lombard's portrayal of an heiress who aggressively pursues the man she loves in "My Man Godfrey. Current movies are full of "bumbling, inarticulate, cutesy comic heroines who, even if they are given the role of a professional, are never believable for an instant," such fun Cameron Diaz portraying an orthopedic surgeon in "There's Something About Mary. I just love looking at them and hearing them for. Lame The hollywood lead actresses in "Sex and the City": This is touted as one of our wittiest shows, but the wit doesn't have the social and emotional reach of the comedies of the '30s and '40s.

Setting her VCR to tape movies that were being shown at 3 in the morning became a ritual. As for the dialogue looking the wits, you feel there's a kind of leering quality to it which the fast-talking women didn't have.