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The Women (1939)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  1 September 1939 (USA)
8.0
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Reviews: 131 user | 58 critic

A study of the lives and romantic entanglements of various interconnected women.

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Writers:

(from the play by), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Phyllis Povah ...
...
...
Lucile Watson ...
Marjorie Main ...
Virginia Grey ...
Pat
...
Muriel Hutchison ...
Jane
...
Florence Nash ...
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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 a country club dinner, 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

Plot Keywords:

gossip | countess | perfume | divorce | girl | See more »

Taglines:

It's all about men! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 September 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mujeres  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,688,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The stage actress who originated the role of Sylvia Fowler (Rosalind Russell's role in the film) was Ilka Chase. She is probably best recognized by today's audiences as the Stepmother in the original Julie Andrews live TV musical production of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's Cinderella (1957), the kinescope of which was recently rediscovered and released on DVD. See more »

Goofs

The second model to enter for the fashion show is wearing a top with red spots (possibly strawberries) and a red skirt. After the cut she's wearing a top with red and blue stripes and a white skirt. See more »

Quotes

Beautician at Sydneys #1: [to "Gillingswater"] You don't look a day over 35!
[walks into room]
Beautician at Sydneys #1: That old gasoline truck, she's 60 if she's a minute.
Beautician at Sydneys #2: Who is she?
Beautician at Sydneys #1: Gillingswater.
Beautician at Sydneys #2: Oh, that old bag! One more permanent and she won't have a hair on her head.
Beautician at Sydneys #1: [taking a puff out of her cigarette] She's got plenty on her arms baby!
Olive: She sure does shed, don't she!
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

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Joan Crawford (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain When She Comes
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played as background music for Marjorie Main's photo credit
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Cats
19 October 2003 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"The Women" owes its appeal to the great George Cukor. Without him, it would certainly have been a different movie. Because of his direction this is a Hollywood classic at its best.

They certainly don't make pictures like this anymore. Imagine what it would have cost to have a first rate cast to fill the shoes of all these women in today's Hollywood? It would probably be so prohibitive that no one in the present climate would touch it with a ten foot pole.

"The Women", as written by Clare Booth Luce for the stage, was a delicious comedy about New York society, as it was in the late 30s. Of course, by today's standards, this is a very chaste take on that subject. Had it been done today, it would have been done entirely different and the excellent text by Ms. Luce would have probably been thrown away to satisfy the taste of contemporary audiences.

Norma Shearer was excellent as Mary Haines, the suffering wife, who has no clue of how her husband has fallen to the charms of Crystal Allen, beautifully played by Joan Crawford. Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine and the rest of the cast seem to be having a lot of fun while playing these women.

One thing does come clear, those women had a style and a sophistication well beyond the times they lived. It's very clear that Claire Booth Luce was well ahead of it all, as she had an understanding for what was going on around her. What a thrill it must have been to have been around New York in that glamorous era!

Women: Love them, as we cannot live without them!


40 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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