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Community Blog / Movies & Shakers, Part 4 There’s No Business Like She Business

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This installment focuses on female entrepreneurs depicted in English-speaking narrative feature films which include crime thrillers, family dramas, sweeping epics, and romantic comedies (some of which were previously cited in Part 1).
 
20. Bloodline (1979) 
Audrey Hepburn finds herself running a cosmetics business as well as running for her life in this jet-set thriller. Although the story sags, the film features an all-star international cast including Omar Shariff, Romy Scheider, and Irene Pappas.
 
 
19. Johnny Guitar (1954)
Back in the Old West, an ambitious saloon owner (Joan Crawford) has aspirations to build her own town, however a lynch mob led by another tough cookie (Mercedes McCambridge) proves to be an obstacle.
 
 
 
 
18. For Pete’s Sake (1974)
Henrietta (Barbra Streisand) finds all sorts of odd jobs and danger as she tries to earn extra money so her husband Pete (Michael Sarrazin) can invest in the market.
 
 
 
17-15. Julie & Julia (2009); It’s Complicated (2009); The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

In these recent romantic comedies, Meryl Streep achieves the onscreen entrepreneurial trifecta by playing women who built empires in the cooking and fashion industries while sporting various hairstyles.
 
 
 
14. Baby Boom (1987)
 
13. Lucy Gallant (1955)
After being left at the alter, Ms. Gallant (Jane Wyman) moves to Texas and starts a line of clothing which affords her big designs on big business.
 
 
 
12. The Main Event (1979)
See #14 on Movies & Shakers (Part 1) 20 Comedies About Startups
 
11. Down with Love (2003)
Set in 1962, this throwback to the Doris Day/Rock Hudson comedies shows how an advice columnist (Renee Zellweger) finds the motivation to become a world sensation by writing a bestselling book—just to win the attention of  fellow journalist (Ewan McGregor).
 
 
 
10. Erin Brockovich (2000)
Julia Roberts took home a ton of prizes (including Oscar’s Best Actress) for her portrayal of a single-mom who loses her job before winning the big case. Note: The real Erin Brockovich makes a cameo as a waitress in the film. 
 
 
9. Two Weeks Notice (2002)
Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant star in this comedy that tackles serious philosophical issues in the workplace, ie: is it better to sell out and make money or earn less by making the world a better place?
 

 

8. Sunshine Cleaning (2008)
It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it is probably the motto for Rose (Amy Adams) and Norah (Emily Blunt) who start a biohazard removal, crime scene clean-up service to earn extra money and self respect. 
 

 
7. Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion (1997)
See #1 on Movies & Shakers (Part 1) 20 Comedies About Startups

6. Cold Mountain (2003)
Anthony Minghella lends his cinematic touch to Charles Frazier’s story of a woman in the late 1800s (Nicole Kidman) who inherits a farm and learns how to make it a success with the help of her female neighbor (Renee Zellweger). Note: This sounds a lot like the next entry.
 
 
5.  Far From the Madding Crowd (1967)
John Schlesinger lends his cinematic touch to Thomas Hardy’s story of a woman in the late 1800s (Julie Christie) who inherits a farm and learns how to make it a success with the help of her male neighbor (Alan Bates). Note: An updated version of this novel starring Carey Mulligan is due out in 2014.
 
 
4. Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
Sissy Spacek won an Oscar for her portrayal of living legend Loretta Lynn who rose from rags to riches by writing and recording her own music and branding herself  as the First Lady of Country Music.
 

3. Mildred Pierce (1945)
When a loving mother is deserted by her husband, she makes desserts—and winds up creating a franchise of restaurants that deliver lot of dough, despite some relative heartburn. Joan Crawford received an Academy Award for playing the title role in this film noir directed byCasablanca’s Michael Curtiz.
 
 
 
 
2.-1. Places in the Heart (1984) and Gone with the Wind (1939)
In these period pieces, the fate of the family farm depends on the resourcefulness of a southern belle who has never picked cotton before. But in both cases, the hardworking heroine (played by Sally Field and Vivien Leigh  respectively) rises to the challenge and becomes a success onscreen with a thriving crop as well as scoring big off screen as each received one of their two Best Actress Oscars. Yes, Sally, we like you. We really really like you.
 
 


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