8.0/10
10,106
163 user 60 critic

The Women (1939)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 1 September 1939 (USA)
A study of the lives and romantic entanglements of various interconnected women.

Director:

Writers:

(from the play by) (as Clare Boothe), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Affluent Millicent and Oliver Jordan throw a dinner for a handful of wealthy and/or well-born acquaintances, each of whom has much to reveal.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Marie Dressler, John Barrymore, Wallace Beery
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott
Grand Hotel I (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A group of very different individuals staying at a luxurious hotel in Berlin deal with each of their respective dramas.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford
The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A female blackmailer with a disfiguring facial scar meets a plastic surgeon who offers her the possibility of looking like a normal woman.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Joan Crawford, Melvyn Douglas, Conrad Veidt
Auntie Mame (1958)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An orphan goes to live with his free-spirited aunt. Conflict ensues when the executor of his father's estate objects to the aunt's lifestyle.

Director: Morton DaCosta
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Forrest Tucker, Coral Browne
Possessed (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After being found wandering the streets of Los Angeles, a severely catatonic woman tells a doctor the complex story of how she wound up there.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Joan Crawford, Van Heflin, Raymond Massey
Dark Victory (1939)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young socialite is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and must decide whether or not she'll meet her final days with dignity.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the twentieth century.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright
Libeled Lady (1936)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A newspaper man, his jilted fiancée, and his lawyer hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth, before a high-society woman can sue for libel.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy
Humoresque (1946)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A classical musician from the slums is sidetracked by his love for a wealthy, neurotic socialite.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Joan Crawford, John Garfield, Oscar Levant
Possessed (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Ambitious factory Girl Marion Martin meets a handsome well-to-do, but he's interested in her as a mistress, not a wife.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Wallace Ford
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Phyllis Povah ...
...
...
Lucile Watson ...
...
...
Pat
...
Muriel Hutchison ...
Jane
...
Florence Nash ...
Edit

Storyline

Wealthy Mary Haines is unaware her husband is having an affair with shopgirl Crystal Allen. Sylvia Fowler and Edith Potter discover this from a manicurist and arrange for Mary to hear the gossip. On the train taking her to a Reno divorce Mary meets the Countess and Miriam (in an affair with Fowler's husband). While they are at Lucy's dude ranch, Fowler arrives for her own divorce and the Countess meets fifth husband-to-be Buck. Back in New York, Mary's ex is now unhappily married to Crystal who is already in an affair with Buck. When Sylvia lets this story slip at an exclusive nightclub, Crystal brags of her plans for a still wealthier marriage, only to find the Countess is the source of all Buck's money. Crystal must return to the perfume counter and Mary runs back to her husband. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's all about men! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 September 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mujeres  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,688,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

| (Technicolor) (one sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Re-released in France in May 1974. See more »

Goofs

When Crystal is taking her bath she smokes a cigarette, which she eventually throws away. However when Little Mary enters the bathroom, Crystal is again smoking and we never see her lighting this other cigarette. See more »

Quotes

Edith Potter: [Wiping her hands on towel] Oh, cheap Chinese embroidery! You know, I'll bet Peggy gave her these...
Sylvia Fowler: It wouldn't be so bad if only Mary's friends knew; we could keep our mouths shut.
Edith Potter: I know plenty I'd never breathe about my friend's husbands.
Sylvia Fowler: Oh, so do I!
[They both turn around and look at each other]
Edith Potter: Well, you know, I adore Mary!
Sylvia Fowler: I worship her! We're not only cousins; she's my dearest friend in the world. After all, we were raised together!
[Turns around quickly]
Sylvia Fowler: Oh Edith, I forgot to tell you...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, before the photo images of the actresses are shown, their characters are revealed by images of various animals. See more »

Connections

Featured in Vito (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

I Cried for You
(1923) (uncredited)
Written by Gus Arnheim, Abe Lyman and Arthur Freed
One line sung a cappella by Norma Shearer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of my all-time favorites
6 February 1999 | by (Houston, Texas) – See all my reviews

The fact that Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford would consent to appear in a movie together is amazing. Shearer in 1939 was the queen of MGM, being the widow of Irving Thalberg, and had her choice of material and co-stars. Crawford, although a power in her own right, didn't have Shearer's pull and complained bitterly about it. Crawford agreed to take the somewhat supporting, albeit juicy, role because she needed an A picture after a string of flops. So she had to suck it up to work with Shearer.

The two stars had only one scene alone together, and there were no reported problems, except one. Director George Cukor sent Crawford home early when she caused a distraction by loudly clicking her knitting needles off camera as Shearer tried to do her close-ups.

Crawford was proved right in taking the movie, it's one of her most memorable and, finally for once, villainous roles. As Crystal Allen, the scheming shopgirl out to sleep her way to a Park Avenue penthouse, she was ideally cast. It was her life.

Rosalind Russell, previously not known as a comedienne, surprised everyone with her rapid-fire sarcastic delivery. She would continue to perfect the biting style for 20 years until she reached the pinnacle with Auntie Mame. Roz gives the strongest performance of the film as the viciously catty Sylvia Fowler, and I don't think Shearer or Crawford knew what hit them.

As for the long-suffering, hair-clutching, heavy-sighing Norma Shearer, even she was able to make the difficult role of saintly Mary Haines memorable. One of her best moments is when she raises her nails and growls "I've had two years to grow claws, Mother, and they're Jungle Red!," and then goes to take her man back from Crawford. Unfortunately, Shearer has a few Silent Screen moments that look out of place, such as collapsing and weeping at her mother's knee. But she makes the character warm and likable and we root for her to win.

There are many gems in the supporting cast. Most spectacular is Mary Boland as the heavy-drinking, high-living Countess De Lave. "L'amour L'amour" she wails as she's about to divorce her fourth studly husband -- for trying to kill her.

Paulette Goddard, the most beautiful member of the cast, is the best I've seen her, as the streetwise Miriam Aarons. Like Crawford, she plays a role she understands, the chorus girl who snags a millionaire. But unlike Crystal, Miriam has a heart -- and Goddard is great at doling out straight-shooting advice and rolling out put-downs under her breath.

Marjorie Main gives a preview of the persona she would later use as Ma Kettle. It was the first time she was able to step out and create the character, and she used it the rest of her career. I never tired of her raucous horse laugh.

I hope Hollywood has the good sense not to attempt a remake with an update of this classic. Time would not be kind. It is a priceless diamond in a golden setting.


89 of 96 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?