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Alice Guy Blaché
Falling Leaves
Courtesy of the Library of Congress MBRS Division. Photograph by George Willeman
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by Walter Robinson

Sometimes it seems that male chauvinism can most simply be explained as compensation for an undeniable female superiority in all things (save perhaps football). Thus we have Alice Guy Blanché (1873-1968), a cosmopolitan young woman who went to work for film pioneer Léon Gaumont in Paris at age 21, made her own first film in 1896 and proceeded to write scripts, direct and produce films over a 20-year career. After her start in France, she got married (adopting her husband’s surname), moved to the U.S., where she founded her own film studio, Solax, in Fort Lee, N.J. in 1910.