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The Women (1939)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 1 September 1939 (USA)
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3:26 | Trailer

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

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

Clare Boothe Luce (from the play by) (as Clare Boothe), Anita Loos (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
Joan Fontaine ... Mrs. John Day - Peggy
Lucile Watson ... Mrs. Morehead
Phyllis Povah ... Mrs. Phelps Potter - Edith
Virginia Weidler ... Little Mary
Marjorie Main ... Lucy
Virginia Grey ... Pat
Ruth Hussey ... Miss Watts
Muriel Hutchison ... Jane
Hedda Hopper ... Dolly DuPuyster
Florence Nash ... Nancy Blake
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

1 September 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mujeres See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,688,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,270,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor) (one sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though many people view Joan Crawford as the "bad girl" of the movie, Clare Boothe Luce, who wrote (as Clare Boothe) the play that the film was based on, sympathized most with Crystal Allen, Crawford's character. See more »

Goofs

While Lucy is leading Sylvia away after her fight with Miriam it is clearly a stunt girl that is doing the leading. She doesn't get her face behind Sylvia's head quick enough. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Moorehead: I'm an old woman, my dear. I know my sex.
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 »

Alternate Versions

At the start of the Technicolor Adrian fashion show, the video and TV versions have traditionally shown a Technicolor stage in the middle of the screen surrounded by pure white (this always struck me as odd but I never thought too much about it). The original 1939 version of the scene shows the Technicolor stage surrounded by the rest of the room IN BLACK AND WHITE, using a stenciling process developed for (but ultimately unused in) The Wizard of Oz. Presumably, because the reel starts right BEFORE the transition, it was either too much trouble and expense to process the small bit of stray black and white footage for television (it would have to have been printed separately onto each release print in 1939)or, more likely, the footage has been lost. The new video and cable versions show The Women in a reconstruction of the original version, with the Technicolor stage printed over a black and white still from later in the film. The image, as now presented, is much less jarring than the original video release. The fashion show was also shot in black and white, with the models interacting with the stars as they move throughout the boutique. After principal photography ended, MGM decided to re-shoot the fashion show in Technicolor (this color footage was not shot by George Cukor)and the models no longer interact with Norma Shearer, 'Rosalind Russell', etc. The original black and white footage, saved in the MGM vault, can now be seen as a special feature on the Warner DVD. Older television prints often showed the fashion show in black and white, but it was not this alternate footage, just the color sequence printed without its tints. See more »

Connections

Featured in MGM Greatest Moments: A Video Sampler (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

On Top of Old Smokey
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung a cappella by Marjorie Main
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The claws are out, and they're jungle red!
12 March 2006 | by IncalculacableSee all my reviews

This movie has one of the best casts ever - Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Paulette Goddard, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland, Joan Fontaine, Hedda Hopper and Virginia Weilder just to make a few. These women carry the movie perfectly and acting is perfection. Some people disagree and say that Norma Shearer acts in a 'silent screen' type of way - but I cannot agree with that. I think she did an excellent job especially when she had the crying scene on the sofa (I don't think I have ever seen anybody cry that well before).

Mary Haines (Norma Shearer) discovers that her husband is having an affair with money-hungry perfume sales girl Chrystal Allen (Joan Crawford). Aided and abetted by her cousin Sylvia Fowler (Rosalind Russell) and her army of girlfriends, Mary sets out to win back her man...and teach Chrystal a lesson or two in the process! The movie runs at a rapid pace, and never leaves you bored. The dialog is incredibly witty, it very much surprised me. There was also physical comedy - the hilariously done (and no stunt doubles too!) cat fight between Rosalind Russell and Paulette Goddard. I found the fashion show a bit dragging and too long, but it was still fun looking at all the wonderful classy fashions of that era.

This hilarious comedy about women and their men can appeal to people who are not necessarily fans of old movies. 'The Women' is a wonderful catty, witty, hilarious movie that can be enjoyed by many.


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