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The Women (1939)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  1 September 1939 (USA)
8.0
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A study of the lives and romantic entanglements of various interconnected women.

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(from the play by), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Women (1939)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Mary Boland ...
...
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 | pride | See more »

Taglines:

The Female Of The Species . . . when the men aren't watching ! 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:

The Women  »

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

There are over 130 roles in this movie, all played by women. Phyllis Povah, Marjorie Main, Mary Cecil and Marjorie Wood originated their roles in the play, which opened on 7 September 1937 and had 666 performances at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York. No doubles were used in the fight sequence where Rosalind Russell bites Paulette Goddard. Despite the permanent scar resulting from the bite, the actresses remained friends. 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 lightning this other cigarette. See more »

Quotes

Child on train: Mommy, will daddy come to Reno?
Lady on train: No, darling.
Child on train: Mommy, where is daddy?
Lady on train: I don't know and I don't care. In the future you'll please refer to him as "That heel"!
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 The Aviator (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

On Top of Old Smokey
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung a cappella by Marjorie Main
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!


39 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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