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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the opening credits, before the photo images of the actresses are shown, their characters are revealed by images of various animals. See more »
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 »
There were so many excellent films produced in 1939, but this is the best at showing (what Hollywood wanted to show) the current times. It showcases so many wonderful actresses all at once. Norma Shearer is just outstanding; this is my favorite movie of hers.
It also shows the values and thinking about women's roles at that time; but challenges them at the same time. As embodied by Mary's mother-in-law, there's a feeling of "boys will be boys" and the thought that even though her husband is playing around (for no good reason given - they seem to be a happy couple), Mary should let him get his "wild oats" out of his system, and look the other way. On the other hand, it shows a rich and varied view of all types of women, intelligent, catty, gentle, vicious, etc. They are not necessarily defined by the men in their lives - who are not shown. It actually shows the women ultimately deciding how their men will live - and with whom.
Overall, a wonderful, enjoyable movie.
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