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The Women (1939)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  1 September 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 9,315 users  
Reviews: 139 user | 57 critic

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



(from the play by) (as Clare Boothe) , (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Phyllis Povah ...
Lucile Watson ...
Virginia Grey ...
Muriel Hutchison ...
Florence Nash ...


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


The Female Of The Species . . . when the men aren't watching ! See more »


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 September 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mujeres  »

Box Office


$1,688,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)


| (Technicolor) (one sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


When Mary is reading in bed, the early long shots show the lamp on the left side of the bed to be a male figurine, and the one on the right to be a female. In the close-ups, the lamp on the left of the bed has changed and is female. See more »


Maggie: You know, the first man that can think up a good explanation how he can be in love with his wife and another woman is gonna win that prize they're always giving out in Sweden.
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 »


Featured in Vito (2011) See more »


Old Chisholm Trail (Come a Ti Yi Yippee Yippee Yay)
Sung a cappella in part by Mary Boland
Reprised a cappella in part by Rosalind Russell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Divinely Funny

I just saw this film for the first time a few months ago. I laughed harder than I remember laughing at anything made in the last twenty years. The Women is brilliantly written, brilliantly acted, and a whole lot of fun! Norma Shearer is such a sympathetic Mrs. Haines, and the "Jungle red" scene had me in laughing fits. I just could not stop the video for anything. Rosalind Russell was so funny! I thought the scene in the exercise room was absolutely hysterical. I've always been a fan of the demeure Joan Fontaine of Rebecca, and I was surprised to see her here, though not surprised that she played the lamb! This film is such a delight. I think anyone of any age would enjoy it.

29 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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