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 »
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2 wins. 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:

It's all about men! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's costume designer Adrian had his work cut out for him dressing some of Hollywood's most glamorous leading ladies. In addition to the regular costumes for the film, he was also asked to create multiple high-fashion gowns and outfits for a Technicolor fashion show scene that was to be inserted into the black-and-white film. Technicolor was still something of a novelty in 1939, and producer Hunt Stromberg wanted the fashion show to be an eye-popping, unexpected surprise for moviegoers. When all was said and done, Adrian had designed over 200 gowns for the cast of the film. See more »

Goofs

At the Reno ranch, Countess DeLave exclaims "I've always put my faith in love. Still... I have had four divorces." However, earlier on the train, she had explained that her first husband left her a widow (and left her all his money) and she had only divorced the following three. See more »

Quotes

Exercise instructress: Let's begin with posture. A lady always enters a room erect.
Sylvia Fowler: Most of my friends exit horizontally.
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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 TCM Guest Programmer: Joan Collins (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Sam H. Stept
Lyrics by Sidney Clare
One line sung a cappella by Norma Shearer
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User Reviews

 
Better than I Expected
8 March 2016 | by J-HargettSee all my reviews

After choosing George Cukor's "The Women" I was skeptical of its premise at first. I became quickly surprised at how often I found myself enjoying each catty scene or insult along with the characters' prima donna behavior. The story was two hours of hilarious female innuendo's and clever insults along with a deeper story between Mary, her daughter, and the familiar intricacies of divorce. The cast was perfect in their roles, each one bringing their own flair to the script. The all-female cast molded well gabbing amongst one another in a relentless barrage of gossip. I enjoyed this movie much more than I thought and I especially liked the end scene where all the women go at it. I recommend this movie to anybody who enjoys the genre.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

1 September 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Women See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,688,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,161
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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