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Molly Haskell

  • [On swingers:] They have gone from Puritanism into promiscuity without passing through sensuality.

    • Molly Haskell,
    • in Village Voice ()
  • But one of the attributes of love, like art, is to bring harmony and order out of the chaos, to introduce meaning and affect where before there was none.

    • Molly Haskell,
    • From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies
    • ()
  • The big lie perpetrated on Western society is the idea of women's inferiority, a lie so deeply ingrained in our social behavior that merely to recognize it is to risk unraveling the entire fabric of civilization.

    • Molly Haskell,
    • From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies
    • ()
  • ... the propaganda arm of the American Dream machine, Hollywood.

    • Molly Haskell,
    • From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies
    • ()
  • American eroticism has always been of a different provenance and complexion than the European variety, an enjoyment both furtive and bland that is closer to a blushing cartoon than a sensual celebration.

    • Molly Haskell,
    • From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies
    • ()
  • There are two cinemas: the films we have actually seen and the memories we have of them.

    • Molly Haskell,
    • in John Robert Colombo, Popcorn in Paradise ()
  • Madness is always fascinating, for it reveals the ungluing we all secretly fear: the mind taking off from the body, the possibility that the magnet that attaches us to a context in the world can lose its grip.

  • As so often happens in marriage, roles that had begun almost playfully, to give line and shape to our lives, had hardened like suits of armor and taken us prisoner.

  • Hospitals, like airports and supermarkets, only pretend to be open nights and weekends.

  • The thought that we are enduring the unendurable is one of the things that keep us going.

  • Being alone and liking it is, for a woman, an act of treachery, an infidelity far more threatening than adultery.

  • Movies both reflect and create social conditions, but their special charm is to offer fantasy clothes as virtual reality, a world where people consume without the tedium of labor. Characters float in a world where the bill never comes due ... and we wonder why we're a debtor nation!

    • Molly Haskell,
    • "Selling of Desire," in Roger Rosenblatt, ed., Consuming Desire ()

Molly Haskell, U.S. film critic, writer

(1939)