IMDb > The Women (1939)
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   8,731 votes »
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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:
One of my all-time favorites See more (132 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)

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

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:
Sydney's, the beauty salon where the initial action takes place, was named after Sydney Guilaroff, the chief hairstylist at MGM from 1934 to the late 1970s. He was brought to MGM from New York at the request of Joan Crawford.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Sylvia is sitting on the couch knitting after the "color" fashion show - she does not have her glasses on - then in the next moment her glasses appear on her face.See more »
Quotes:
Nancy Blake:You just can't bear Mary happiness, can you, Sylvia? It gets ya down.
Sylvia Fowler:Oh, don't be ridiculous, why should it?
Nancy Blake:Because she's contented, contented to be what she is.
Sylvia Fowler:Which is what?
Nancy Blake:A woman.
Sylvia Fowler:Ahh. And what are we?
Nancy Blake:Female.
Sylvia Fowler:Really. and what are you, pet?
Nancy Blake:What nature abhors. I'm an old maid, a frozen asset.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)See more »
Soundtrack:
She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain When She ComesSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
What is 'The Women' about?
What are pancakes Barbara?
See more »
82 out of 87 people found the following review useful.
One of my all-time favorites, 6 February 1999
Author: eskridge from Houston, Texas

The fact that Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford would consent to appear in a movie together is amazing. Shearer in 1939 was the queen of MGM, being the widow of Irving Thalberg, and had her choice of material and co-stars. Crawford, although a power in her own right, didn't have Shearer's pull and complained bitterly about it. Crawford agreed to take the somewhat supporting, albeit juicy, role because she needed an A picture after a string of flops. So she had to suck it up to work with Shearer.

The two stars had only one scene alone together, and there were no reported problems, except one. Director George Cukor sent Crawford home early when she caused a distraction by loudly clicking her knitting needles off camera as Shearer tried to do her close-ups.

Crawford was proved right in taking the movie, it's one of her most memorable and, finally for once, villainous roles. As Crystal Allen, the scheming shopgirl out to sleep her way to a Park Avenue penthouse, she was ideally cast. It was her life.

Rosalind Russell, previously not known as a comedienne, surprised everyone with her rapid-fire sarcastic delivery. She would continue to perfect the biting style for 20 years until she reached the pinnacle with Auntie Mame. Roz gives the strongest performance of the film as the viciously catty Sylvia Fowler, and I don't think Shearer or Crawford knew what hit them.

As for the long-suffering, hair-clutching, heavy-sighing Norma Shearer, even she was able to make the difficult role of saintly Mary Haines memorable. One of her best moments is when she raises her nails and growls "I've had two years to grow claws, Mother, and they're Jungle Red!," and then goes to take her man back from Crawford. Unfortunately, Shearer has a few Silent Screen moments that look out of place, such as collapsing and weeping at her mother's knee. But she makes the character warm and likable and we root for her to win.

There are many gems in the supporting cast. Most spectacular is Mary Boland as the heavy-drinking, high-living Countess De Lave. "L'amour L'amour" she wails as she's about to divorce her fourth studly husband -- for trying to kill her.

Paulette Goddard, the most beautiful member of the cast, is the best I've seen her, as the streetwise Miriam Aarons. Like Crawford, she plays a role she understands, the chorus girl who snags a millionaire. But unlike Crystal, Miriam has a heart -- and Goddard is great at doling out straight-shooting advice and rolling out put-downs under her breath.

Marjorie Main gives a preview of the persona she would later use as Ma Kettle. It was the first time she was able to step out and create the character, and she used it the rest of her career. I never tired of her raucous horse laugh.

I hope Hollywood has the good sense not to attempt a remake with an update of this classic. Time would not be kind. It is a priceless diamond in a golden setting.

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Favorite Character Alix1929
Not a Norma Shearer fan... kerrytrout
What's the deal with the one scene in color? ladylavende
The Women + the Oscars mattsmith89
Joan Crawford...I don't see it bcubedgirl
Lesbianism? garlandbrando
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