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Helen Palmer


I hold a BA (Hons) Tourism Studies from Bournemouth University and Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma gained many years ago. I completed a MA in Humanities (Distinction), specialising in British and American Film History from the Open University in 2008.

I am a part-time student as I am a Co-Director of Palmer Squared marketing and audience development consultancy with my twin brother, specialising in the arts, heritage and cultural tourism sectors.

My research interests are in Classical Hollywood Cinema and British Cinema, particularly between 1930s to 1950s, the Musicals genre and the relationship between Broadway and Hollywood, the Star system and the relationship between film and history.

Current research

PhD Thesis: Sexual Repression and the Romantic Ideal in the Dream Ballets of Hollywood Musicals

Supervisor: Dr Ed Gallafent

My thesis examines the role and function of dream ballets and why they were so prominent in the Hollywood Musicals of 1940s and 1950s, especially at the Metro Goldwyn Mayer studios.

Exploring the influence of the dream ballet’s origins in Broadway Theatre and through the development of modern American dance and popular culture: highlighting the importance and significance of key artistic and production personnel in shaping the musicals genre through innovative practices.

One of the main areas of focus is the different perspectives of the male, female and spectator gaze and how this was interpreted in relation to sex and romance in the production code era.

Key texts include: Anchors Aweigh (George Sidney, 1945), Yolanda and the Thief (Vincente Minnelli, 1945), The Pirate (Vincente Minnelli, 1948), Words and Music (Norman Taurog, 1948), The Red Shoes (Michael Powell, 1948), On the Town (Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen, 1949), An American in Paris (Vincente Minnelli, 1951), Singin’ in the Rain (Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen, 1952), The Bandwagon (Vincente Minnelli, 1953), Daddy Long Legs (Jean Negulesco, 1955), Oklahoma! (Fred Zinneman, 1955), Carousel (Henry King, 1956).


Twitter: @palmersquared

Linked In: Helen Palmer

Red Shoes

The Pirate