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Doing Women's Film HistoryReframing Cinemas, Past and Future$
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Julia Knight and Christine Gledhill

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039683

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039683.001.0001

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Searching for Mary Murillo

Searching for Mary Murillo

Chapter:
(p.78) Chapter 5 Searching for Mary Murillo
Source:
Doing Women's Film History
Author(s):

Luke Mckernan

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252039683.003.0007

In this chapter, the author highlights the value of online newspaper archives and digitized census, family history, and other sources that he consulted in his research about little-known scriptwriter from the silent era, Mary Murillo. He begins with a background on Murillo, a screenwriter in American cinema for ten years, then worked in British films for six or more years, and moved to work in French films at the start of the talkies. The fact that she had almost disappeared from dominant film history narratives says much about how women filmmakers have been allowed to slip out of the history of early film and about the low status of scriptwriters generally. The author traces the journey he took in trying to know more about Murillo, from typing her name into Google and sifting through family history sources, shipping records, databases, census records, newspapers, contemporary movie guides, trade papers, archives, and asking people. In a postscript, he talks about additional information that has emerged about Murillo since he first investigated her in 2009.

Keywords:   online newspaper archives, digitized census, family history, sources, silent era, Mary Murillo, American cinema, film history, women filmmakers, scriptwriters

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