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The First Wives Club (1996)

PG | | Comedy | 20 September 1996 (USA)
2:27 | Trailer

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Reunited by the death of a college friend, three divorced women seek revenge on the husbands who left them for younger women.



(novel), (screenplay)
2,829 ( 1,195)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Morton Cushman
Dr. Leslie Rosen
Duarto Feliz
Chris Paradis
Catherine MacDuggan
Uncle Carmine Morelli


After years of helping their hubbies climb the ladder of success, three wives have been dumped for newer, curvier models. But the trio is determined to turn their pain into gain. They come up with a cleverly devious plan to hit their exes where it really hurts - in the wallet! Sit back and watch the sparks fly as The Wives get mad, get even and get it all. Justice has seldom been so sweet. Or so much fun. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Getting even... this fall. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, some mild language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El club de las divorciadas  »

Box Office


$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,913,411 (USA) (20 September 1996)


$105,444,419 (USA) (7 February 1997)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During her acceptance speech after winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for "The Silver Linings Playbook" in 2013, Jennifer Lawrence remarked, "Oh what does it say? It says 'I beat Meryl!'" in reference to a line from this film. Unfortunately, many of the viewers (and fellow celebrities) did not get the reference and criticized Lawrence for her seemingly insensitive comment. See more »


In the scene where Brenda dumps the bottle of vodka and reveals all the bottles in Elise's trash can, the amount of liquid in Elise's glass changes--especially notable after she spins around quickly and the liquid goes flying, and then in the next shot, the glass is almost half-full again. See more »


Duarto: [upon seeing an "unnaturally" young Elise walk into Cynthia's funeral] She looks fabulous; do you think she's had work done?
Brenda: [rancorously] Honey, she's a quilt!
See more »


Written by Johnny Mercer and Victor Schertzinger
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User Reviews

A psychotic revenge fantasy
8 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you are a man-hating feminist who has read every word of Susan Brownmiller, Catherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin and hung on every syllable of their writings as though they were incandescent truth, have I ever got a film for you! First of all, I did not go to see this movie about three women who plot revenge on their husbands for having committed the unspeakable crime of leaving them for younger women, or rent it. It happened to have been playing on a tour bus I was on, and try as I might, I could not ignore it. I have resolved on the basis of this movie never to ride another tour bus if any movies whose titles or content I do not know in advance are playing. I found this a thoroughly disagreeable film.

Looking at it, I found myself thinking of a review by the late Richard Grenier of the movie M*A*S*H. Writing in the October 1981 issue of Commentary, Mr. Grenier said: "...I have never watched an ostensible comedy with such stony grimness..., and this for the simple reason that I found it to be inspired by no humor..., but entirely by cruelty, malice and an inordinate craving to humiliate. It would have been like laughing at a dog running frantically in circles, driven mad by a tin can some boys had tied to his tail. And also being asked to admire the boys." As noted, the center of this film is the relationship between three women (Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, and Diane Keaton) whose husbands each leave them for younger women, which in the context of this film is the unpardonable sin. The heart of the film is their elaborate revenge plots, all of which seem wildly disproportionate - rather like setting an arson fire to a hobby shop that sells you a model airplane kit with parts missing. Continuing from Mr. Grenier: "What makes (the movie) even more repellent is that the torment our heroes inflict on their adversaries is administered so smugly, with an air of overweening sanctimony, as if anyone who stands in their way deserves what he gets." But enough. I have wasted too much time on this ridiculous film already. Let me close with one final Grenier quote, which applies perfectly here: "...every foot of (this film is) marked by...smug hooliganism.... Its most essential trait is the complacent assumption that if one is in the right...one can commit any brutality, any cruelty, any humiliation. If one is right, human dignity no longer applies."

11 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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