Which movie broke ground for women's lib? Check out this week's Ask the Critic question and be sure to post your own

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated October 22, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
An Unmarried Woman: TM & © 20th Century Fox Film Corp./Courtesy Everett Collection

Which movie broke ground for women’s lib?

Which movie broke ground for women’s lib and made you stand up and be proud? — Frank Ponce
Since you’re using the no-bras-and-Ms.-magazine term ”women’s lib,” I’ll go with An Unmarried Woman, Paul Mazursky’s groundbreaking 1978 snapshot of that tumultuous era of personal growth. A magnificent Jill Clayburgh starts out as a dependent, middle-class wife shocked into nausea when her husband informs her that he’s leaving her for someone younger. And by the time we leave her, she has matured into a person who’s stronger, more independent, and (most encouraging for others looking to exit their dollhouses) more sexually selfconfident. It’s hard to underestimate the film’s power when it came out — or to think there was a time not long ago when women didn’t feel such self-determination was within their grasp.

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