Study Guide

The Artist Identity

Identity

PEPPY: The name's Miller. Peppy Miller!

Vodka Martini. Shaken, not stirred. When Peppy announces her name to an elderly extra on set, she's actually answering the question that's all over the papers: Who's That Girl?

An enormous poster outside Kinograph Studios features an image of George Valentin in the upcoming flick The Mythic City.

Both George's celebrity and Hollywood are presented as larger-than-life at the beginning of the movie.

WOMAN AT THEATRE: He's so cute (gesturing to Jack).

GEORGE: If only he could talk.

Sometimes our protagonist has a hard time knowing where Jack ends and George begins.

GEORGE: If you want to be an actress, you need to have something the others don't.

Little does he know Peppy has a lot more than a beauty spot to help her stand out. Specifically, her willingness to use her voice and embrace talkies.

DORIS: I'm unhappy, George.

GEORGE: So are millions of us.

George has a hard time seeing his emotions as singular and belonging to him. Is it possible he even sees himself as many different people?

GEORGE: Look what's become of you…You've been stupid! You've been proud!

SHADOW: [Walks off the screen]

GEORGE: Get back here, you loser!

Thems fighting words. Welcome to round one of George vs. George. As it turns out, George is his own worst critic, and it takes a face-off with his shadow to help him understand this.

BYSTANDER AFTER THE FIRE: Oh my god! That's George Valentin!

He's still got a recognizable mug, even in dire straits. And the fans he thought had deserted him didn't go anywhere after all. They still see him as a huge celebrity.

NEWSPAPER HEADLINE: Who Doesn't Know That Girl in L.A.?

Peppy's come full circle from "Who's That Girl?" So much so that the press is even shaming those who don't consider her a household name. How's that for publicity?

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