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The Women
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The Women (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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The Women -- Open-ended Trailer from Warner Bros.

Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   8,518 votes »
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Down 34% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Clare Boothe Luce (from the play by)
Anita Loos (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Women on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 September 1939 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Female Of The Species . . . when the men aren't watching ! See more »
Plot:
A study of the lives and romantic entanglements of various interconnected women. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
A Legendary Comedy Available On DVD See more (131 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Norma Shearer ... Mrs. Stephen Haines - Mary

Joan Crawford ... Crystal Allen

Rosalind Russell ... Mrs. Howard Fowler - Sylvia

Mary Boland ... The Countess De Lave - Flora

Paulette Goddard ... Miriam Aarons
Phyllis Povah ... Mrs. Phelps Potter - Edith

Joan Fontaine ... Mrs. John Day - Peggy

Virginia Weidler ... Little Mary
Lucile Watson ... Mrs. Morehead
Marjorie Main ... Lucy
Virginia Grey ... Pat

Ruth Hussey ... Miss Watts
Muriel Hutchison ... Jane

Hedda Hopper ... Dolly Dupuyster
Florence Nash ... Nancy Blake
Cora Witherspoon ... Mrs. Van Adams
Ann Morriss ... Exercise Instructress
Dennie Moore ... Olga
Mary Cecil ... Maggie
Mary Beth Hughes ... Miss Trimmerback
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Wagstaff (scenes deleted)

Dorothy Adams ... Miss Atkinson (uncredited)
Ruth Alder ... Woman Under Sunlamp (uncredited)
Mariska Aldrich ... Singing Teacher (uncredited)
Meeka Aldrich ... Masseuse (uncredited)
Barbara Jo Allen ... Receptionist (uncredited)
Judith Allen ... Corset Model (uncredited)
Maude Allen ... Cyclist (uncredited)
Effie Anderson ... Nurse (uncredited)

Mary Anderson ... Young Girl (uncredited)
Dorothy Appleby ... Treatment Girl (uncredited)
Gertrude Astor ... Mud Bath Nurse (uncredited)
Bunny Beatty ... Debutante in Powder Room (uncredited)
May Beatty ... Fat Woman / Society Woman (uncredited)
Wilda Bennett ... Mrs. Carter (uncredited)
Joan Blair ... Miss Atkins (uncredited)
Gladys Blake ... Miss St. Claire (uncredited)
Marie Blake ... Stockroom Girl (uncredited)

Betty Blythe ... Mrs. South (uncredited)
May Boley ... Mud Mask (uncredited)
Lilian Bond ... Mrs. Erskine (uncredited)
Frederika Brown ... Head Saleswoman (uncredited)
Veda Buckland ... Woman (uncredited)
Aileen Carlyle ... Miss Hicks (uncredited)
Shirley Chambers ... Girl in a Bath (uncredited)

Lita Chevret ... Woman Under Sunlamp (uncredited)
Dora Clement ... Woman Under Sunlamp (uncredited)
Mabel Colcord ... Woman Getting Massage (uncredited)
Beatrice Cole ... Negligee Model (uncredited)
Mildred Coles ... Debutante (uncredited)
Nell Craig ... Nurse (uncredited)
Esther Dale ... Ingrid (uncredited)
Mary Dees ... Girl (uncredited)
Eva Dennison ... Old Girl (uncredited)
Estelle Etterre ... Hairdresser #2 (uncredited)
Dot Farley ... Large Woman (uncredited)
Nance Lee Ferrar ... Edith Potter's Daughter (uncredited)
Flora Finch ... Woman Window Tapper (uncredited)
Ruth Findlay ... Pedicurist (uncredited)
Agnes Fraser ... Debutante (uncredited)
June Gittelson ... Mrs. Goldstein (uncredited)
Grace Goodall ... Head Saleswoman (uncredited)
Rita Gould ... Dietician (uncredited)
Grayce Hampton ... Dowager in Powder Room (uncredited)
Sibyl Harris ... Fashion Show Commentator (uncredited)
Theresa Harris ... Olive (uncredited)
Winifred Harris ... Mrs. North / Society Woman (uncredited)
Grace Hayle ... Cyclist (uncredited)
Brenda Henderson ... Mrs. Jones' Daughter (uncredited)
Jany Hope ... Edith Potter's Daughter (uncredited)
Joey Hope ... Edith Potter's Daughter (uncredited)
Virginia Howell ... Receptionist (uncredited)
Carol Hughes ... Salesgirl at Modiste Salon (uncredited)
Jane Isbell ... Edith Potter's Daughter (uncredited)
Suzanne Kaaren ... Princess Mara (uncredited)
Alice Keating ... Saleswoman (uncredited)
Carole Lee Kilbry ... Theatrical Child (uncredited)
Carole Lee Kirby ... Theatrical Child (uncredited)
Lucia LaCerte ... Treatment Girl (uncredited)
Lenita Lane ... Mrs. Spencer's Friend (uncredited)
Priscilla Lawson ... Hairdresser #1 (uncredited)
Leni Lynn ... Edith's Oldest Daughter (uncredited)
Leila McIntyre ... Woman with Bundles (uncredited)
Janet McLeay ... Girl in Shadowgraph / Glamour Girl (uncredited)

Butterfly McQueen ... Lulu - Costmetics Counter Maid (uncredited)
Greta Meyer ... Masseuse (uncredited)
Helene Millard ... Cosmetic Saleswoman (uncredited)
Sue Moore ... Masseuse (uncredited)
Natalie Moorhead ... Woman at Modiste Salon (uncredited)
Gertrude Needham ... Woman (uncredited)
Hattie Noel ... Maid on Train (uncredited)
Florence O'Brien ... Euphie (uncredited)
Mimi Olivera ... Manicurist (uncredited)
Blanche Payson ... Masseuse (uncredited)
Edith Penn ... Nurse (uncredited)
Barbara Pepper ... Tough Girl (uncredited)
Virginia Pine ... Glamour Girl (uncredited)
Hilda Plowright ... Miss Fordyce (uncredited)

Aileen Pringle ... Miss Carter - Saleslady (uncredited)
Catherine Proctor ... Woman in Cabinet (uncredited)
Isabel Randolph ... Woman in Cabinet (uncredited)
Renie Riano ... Ugly Saleswoman (uncredited)
Ruth Rickaby ... Nurse (uncredited)
Jo Ann Sayers ... Debutante (uncredited)

Dorothy Sebastian ... Saleswoman Pat (uncredited)
Peggy Shannon ... Mrs. Jones (uncredited)
Mildred Shay ... Helen - Crystal's French Maid (uncredited)
Clarice Sherry ... Girl (uncredited)
Florence Shirley ... Miss Archer (uncredited)
Irene Shirley ... Nurse (uncredited)
Gertrude Simpson ... Stage Mother (uncredited)
Amzie Strickland ... Glamour Girl (uncredited)
Ann Teeman ... Makeup Artist (uncredited)

Terry ... Fighting Dog at Beauty Shop (uncredited)
Charlotte Treadway ... Companion Woman (uncredited)
Beryl Wallace ... Woman in Cabinet (uncredited)
Josephine Whittell ... Mrs. Spencer (uncredited)
Marjorie Wood ... Sadie - Old Maid in Powder Room (uncredited)
Charlotte Wynters ... Miss Batchelor (uncredited)
Mary Young ... Grandma (uncredited)
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Directed by
George Cukor 
 
Writing credits
Clare Boothe Luce (from the play by) (as Clare Boothe)

Anita Loos (screen play) and
Jane Murfin (screen play)

F. Scott Fitzgerald  uncredited
Donald Ogden Stewart  uncredited

Produced by
Hunt Stromberg .... producer
 
Original Music by
David Snell 
Edward Ward 
 
Cinematography by
Oliver T. Marsh (director of photography)
Joseph Ruttenberg (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Robert Kern (film editor) (as Robert J. Kern)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
Jack D. Moore (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edward Woehler .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Wade B. Rubottom .... associate art director
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
 
Stunts
Donna Hall .... riding double: Virginia Weidler (uncredited)
Stevie Meyers .... riding double: Virginia Weidler (uncredited)
Audrey Scott .... riding double: Norma Shearer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Adrian .... fashion show
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Other crew
George King .... dance teacher (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
133 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White | Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Canada:PG (video rating) | France:U | Sweden:15 | UK:U (re-rating) (2004) | UK:A (original rating) (1939) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #5546)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In addition to its all-female cast, every animal that was used in the film (the many dogs and horses) was female as well. In addition, none of the works of art seen in the backgrounds were representative of the male form.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): At the Reno ranch, Countess DeLave exclaims "I've always put my faith in love. Still... I have had four divorces." However, earlier on the train, she had explained that her first husband left her a widow (and left her all his money) and she had only divorced the following three.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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Glorious Technicolor (1998) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm GoneSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
What are pancakes Barbara?
What is 'The Women' about?
See more »
34 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
A Legendary Comedy Available On DVD, 22 April 2005
Author: gftbiloxi (gftbiloxi@yahoo.com) from Biloxi, Mississippi

The female of the species goes jungle red in tooth and claw in this brilliant screen adaptation of Claire Boothe Luce's famous Broadway play--a wickedly funny portrait of 1930s society women whose lives revolve around beauty treatments, luncheons, fashion shows, and each other's men. Socialite Mary Haines is the envy of her set: rich, beautiful, and happily married... but when her husband steps out on her with a gold-digging perfume counter sales clerk, Mary's so-called friends dish enough dirt to make divorce inevitable whether Mary wants it or not.

The script is wickedly, mercilessly funny, fast paced, razor sharp and filled with such memorable invective that you'll be quoting it for weeks and months afterward: "He says he'd like to do Sylvia's nails right down to the wrist with a buzz-saw;" "Why that old gasoline truck, she's sixty if she's a minute;" "Gimme a bromide--and put some gin in it!" And the all-female cast, which includes every one from Cora Witherspoon to Butterfly McQueen to Hedda Hopper, plays it with tremendous spark.

This was the last significant starring role for Norma Shearer, one of MGM's greatest stars of the 1930s, and she acquits herself very well as the much-wronged Mary Haines. But the real winners are the members of the supporting cast. Joan Crawford is truly astonishing as Crystal Allen, the shop girl who leads Mary's husband astray, and Rosalind Russell gives an outrageously funny performance as the back-biting gossip whose nasty comments precipitate Mary's divorce. Indeed, it is hard to do anything except rave about the entire the cast, which includes such diverse performers as Marjorie Main, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine, and Lucille Watson. Even the smallest bit parts score with one-liners that have the impact of a slap in the face, and director George Cukor does an incredible job of keeping everything and every one in sharp focus.

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about THE WOMEN is the way in which director Cukor ties the behavior of its characters to their social status. Possessed of absolute leisure and considerable wealth, their energies are inevitably directed into competition for the ultimate status symbol: a successful man. Cukor allows us to sympathize with Mary (Shearer) and laugh at Sylvia (Russell), but he also requires us to pity them--and indirectly encourages grudging admiration for the devious Crystal (Crawford) and the savvy Miriam (Goddard), characters who are considerably more self-reliant. Consequently, not only does THE WOMEN paint a poisonously funny portrait of women as a sex, it takes a hatchet to the society that has shaped their characters as well.

Unfortunately, this landmark comedy has not received the full benefit of what DVD offers. Although the print is crisp, the film has not been restored, and the extras are spurious and hardly do the film justice; while I would recommend the DVD simply because you're likely to wear out a VHS, the DVD has no great advantage over the VHS release. But whether you have it on VHS or DVD, this is one title that you must have in your collection: you'll watch it again and again. A must-have! Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

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