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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   8,585 votes »
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Down 15% 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:
"Claws, I've Had Two Years To Grow Them" 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:
After Sylvia bites Mirium on the leg, Mirium's line, "Yeah, got to be careful of hydrophobia" is her veiled way of calling Sylvia a bitch. The actual definition of hydrophobia is not a fear of water but a fear of rabies contracted by a dog, and the technical term for a female dog is "bitch." And near the end a second allusion to the word bitch is used when Crystal says, "There's a name for you ladies, but it isn't used in high society... outside a kennel."See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Countess deLave reveals Buck's true financial position, Crystal has one hand resting on the door frame, then drops it to her side as Miriam and Sylvia come over to rub in the bad news. Then in the close-up when Crystal says, "There is a name for you ladies..." she takes her hand off the door frame again.See more »
Quotes:
Nurse:One minute more, Mrs. Miller and you can breathe again.
Young girl:[barging in] Oh, I'm sorry. I'm looking for grandma.
[she wanders into the next room]
Young girl:Grandma isn't in there...
First Mudbath Woman:Well, she isn't in here... Oh! This tub has worms in it! I know it has worms! I can feel them!
Girl in a bath:They're probably more afraid of you than you are of them.
Young girl:Well, what's the matter with a little worm? Why, at Harvard and Yale they eat them...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Rewind This! (2013)See more »
Soundtrack:
Old Chisholm Trail (Come a Ti Yi Yippee Yippee Yay)See more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
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How does the movie end?
See more »
19 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
"Claws, I've Had Two Years To Grow Them", 27 February 2007
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

It was fitting that MGM was the studio that brought The Women to the screen. Claire Boothe Luce's play which ran on Broadway for 657 performances, was her view of the Republican ladies of Park Avenue, in whose society she fit in so well.

None of those studio bosses were exactly flaming liberals, but probably the most political of all was Louis B. Mayer who served on the California Republican State Committee and had his stable of stars ready to do or die for the GOP whether they wanted to or not. Mayer was very active in the campaign to defeat Upton Sinclair for Governor of California in 1934 and put all of MGM's propaganda resources to defeat the radical Mr. Sinclair.

Claire Boothe Luce knew this world well and certainly had the satirical skills to define it. But make no mistake about it, the real villain here is Joan Crawford, shop girl, working class, and I've got no doubt is a Democrat.

Norma Shearer is her opposite, tasteful, refined, and unfortunately getting a little stale with age. Why would her husband now be eying Crawford at the perfume counter if not so.

Due to a lot of interference by not so well meaning friends like Rosalind Russell, who does nothing but gossip about others, Shearer's marriage does break up and her husband goes off with Crawford. Norma's down, but not out.

The Women has aged very well as entertainment. It's as fresh as it was when first presented on Broadway in 1936. There's always the complaint about no good parts for women being written for the female sex. Definitely not as good as the characters that Clare Boothe Luce created in this play.

My favorite in the cast is Rosalind Russell. Usually cast as second leads and colorless heroines, she fought hard for the part she got her as the heroine's best friend and worst nightmare. She also fought hard to share above the title billing with Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford who had lots more seniority at MGM than Russell. In her memoirs Russell gives total credit to George Cukor for bringing out comedic talents that no one really thought she possessed. Russell had done comedy before, but had not been as well received as she was in The Women.

George Cukor always had that reputation as a women's director and I think this film with the obvious title probably is what gave him that reputation. The Women takes a lot of its edge also from the real life situation at MGM. Norma Shearer, being the widow of Irving Thalberg, was the dowager queen of the lot and she still got the first pick of dramatic parts. Only Greta Garbo at MGM who was in a different plane of existence practically topped her. The rest got Shearer's leavings, especially Joan Crawford. That led to a lot of resentment around MGM.

Among the supporting cast look for good performances from Joan Fontaine as the young and shy divorcée, Mary Boland as the scatterbrained Zsa Zsa Gabor of the day, Paulette Goddard who gets Russell's goat, her man, and the best of her in a chick fight and Marjorie Main as the wisecracking owner of a Reno dude ranch where the women stay when they're shedding their mates.

Within two years Norma Shearer would retire from the screen and Joan Crawford in four years would leave MGM. This was the last really good film either of them did at Leo the Lion's den and it's fabulous.

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The Women + the Oscars mattsmith89
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