Much preferred to the Meg Ryan remake of this. I didn't enjoy that one so much I almost didn't want to watch this one at all! Thankfully, it was changed quite a bit from this original, and not in a good way - I think I will seriously have to lower my rating for that remake after seeing this one. It deserves to lose points for making this one seem like it would be crap! The main problem this one has is that it is over long and has too many characters to warm to all of them, really it could have been an hour or so shorter and would have been better for it. My favourites here were Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer. I gave this an extra half star just for Joan and that bathroom she sets up for herself! There are better old movies out there to watch, but this one definitely has it's moments and is worth a look.
January 11, 2009
Left me wondering why any man would step out on warm and beautiful Norma Shearer for creepy and conniving Joan Crawford.
*Phenomenal cast includes Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine, Hedda Hopper and Marjorie Main
September 27, 2010
MUCH MUCH better than the new one!...I love Joan Crawfords dress @ the end scene
Although this film has an all star cast, that can't make up for how boring and talky it is. Most of the movie consists of women gossiping about their husbands. The only interesting thing about this movie is that they didn't cast any men, it's the only movie I can think of that did that.
The women are every bit as bitchy as I hoped they would be, even though I slightly got confused who everybody was. This is a movie that would benefit with Technicolor, that's for sure. And it's too long. 1930s films should be 90 minutes or less. Just a suggestion.
December 16, 2007
What a great screen gem with some of the best stars of all time....Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Joan Fontaine, Rosalind Russell and more!! This was released from MGM (one of my all time fav studios) in a big year....1939 the year of Gone With The Wind, Wizard of Oz and more. This is a lovely film that discusses what ladies and others will do when the claws have to come out!!!!
Lightning fast dialog. I couldn't catch it all in one viewing. Especially Russell, I don't think I've ever seen a character so high strung, clumsy, and crazy. Most of these women prove that high society does not necessarily mean high class! Great story and good acting for the most part. Excellent display of these actresses' talents without men getting in the way. Many more movies have been made without female characters, so this was a great way to flip that concept on its head. Regular soap operas have an even mix of men and women, that is what they are based on, the relationships between the sexes. This movie is successful in dealing with relationship issues from the female point of view without a single guy making an appearance. And it steals you into this secret world most men don't see.
If the film was entirely just fast talking rich women in ridiculous outfits hurling insults at each other (as its advertised to be), I'd probably like it more. The problem is all the melodrama and weird tone shifts of the middle section. The color fashion show is one of the most absurdly unnecessary scenes I've ever seen.
"There is a name for you, ladies, but it isn't used in high society... outside of a kennel." - Joan Crawford A film famous for not featuring a single man on screen is certainly worth a look for curiosity sake but this luckily has more than novelty to offer thanks to some extremely funny one-liners that only a catty bitch can deliver! The pace is at time frenetic with so many characters running in and out discussing their marriage woes but at the end of the day it is Rosalind Russell who steals the show for me. It certainly doesn't hurt that she got the most manipulative character of the bunch though. And while I like Norma Shearer a lot it becomes hard to root for her character pining away to get her husband back. He cheated on you, lady! Move on!
An all-female cast (no men at all!) directed by a man, George Cukor. The philosophy on marriage and relationships have changed obviously since 1939, but the backstabbing and gossip between women have remained the same. You couldn't ask for a more lovley set of actresses. Norma Shearer is the heart of the movie, while Joan Crawford is beautiful as she is evil. Rosalind Russell adds the comic relief and almost steals the show. It is very talky but because there are so many characters, there is plenty of time to sit down and let these ladies talk.
January 1, 2012
In my opinion, this film is pretty awful. I just personally felt like the movie doesn't hold up. It features a cast of all women, which is admittedly quite interesting considering the time it was made, but it doesn't have the story or characters to back it up. The film is mostly black and white, but the only color sequence in the movie is a fashion show...good gravy. Not my thing, but I think it has some historical importance.
September 27, 2010
The great classic comedy with an unbelievable cast. Billed as "41 women talking about men". Best seen in a theater with a vocal crowd.
March 2, 2010
Director George Cukor's cinematic adaptation of Claire Booth's catty Broadway play "The Women" ranks as an unforgettable, tour-de-force woman's epic that features an all-rate cast, including the incomparable Academy Award winning actress Norma Shearer of "The Divorcée, Joan Crawford on her ascension to stardom as the villainous, Rosalind Russell, Joan Fontaine, and Paulette Goddard. The thing that sets "The Women" apart from virtually every woman's melodrama ever made is that the cast, including the pets and animals, consists strictly of dames, dames, and dames. Not one single man shows up in this lengthy but juicy saga about wives, mothers, and mistresses. Everything centers around a happily married woman who discovers that her honorable hubby is two-timing her with a department store clerk who sells perfume! Mary Haines (Norma Shearer) lives a storybook life. Her wealthy husband has provided sumptuously for her and they have a pre-teen daughter, little Mary (Virginia Weidler) who adores her dad, too. Mary's friend, the scheming Sylvie Fowler (Roslind Russell of "His Girl Friday") sends her best friend to get her nails down. In the process of getting her nails painted 'jungle red,' Mary learns that her faithful husband is having an affair with a dastardly clerk, Crystal Allen (Joan Crawford of "Our Dancing Daughters"), who is hungry for a meal ticket. Mary's mother, Mrs. Moorehead (Lucy Watson), advises her to tolerate Stephen's infidelity, but Mary refuses to follow her mom's advice. Instead, she prefers to divorce Stephen and winds up in the divorce capital of the world in those days--Reno, Nevada,--where she runs into several colorful characters, including The Countess De Lave (Mary Boland in a bravura performance) and Miriam Aarons (Paulette Goddard of "Modern Times") who are getting divorces. Joan Fontaine plays a young married woman who cannot stand to part with her husband and then rejoins him during an eleven hour surprise. The dialogue crackles with incandescent wit to spare. The performances are flawless. Cuker provides a dress show in color that looks like it could have been edited out. The initial confrontation between Mary and Crystal in a woman's department store is classic. Crawford excels as the sleazy, slimy villain, while Shearer is superb as the naive heroine. Rosalind Russell is impeccable as comic relief. Mary Boland nearly steals the second half of the movie as a ditsy dame who has been married multiple times. Check Crawford's bathtub after she moves in with Mary's ex-husband. Mary's mother's advise to ignore Stephen's fling is one of the two best speeches in this first-rate melodrama, while Miriam's speech about a woman walking out on her cheating husband is like leaving him to fend for himself against malaria is the running up. The gossip is great. Apart from the fashion interlude, Cukor never lets the action flag. "The Women" is the ultimate chick flick, never to be surpassed!
June 19, 2009
This flick is so catty and glamorous, a great view of the era, but gossip and infidelity, no matter what year it is, can be brutal. A rare film for the day with an all woman cast.
July 12, 2008
Yes I know it's a movie from the 30's but this is an instant classic! You almost have to watch it a couple of times to get all the great lines in it. Screen writers had to be so creative since the Haye's Code was in play. Even with that, they still manage to get the lesbian character in there.
October 21, 2008
the remake has its points but still pales against the glittery 1939 version of luce's 1936 comedy of manners. of course, even this adaptation makes nicey-nice with some characters but its to the advantage of the actresses. especially rosalind russell, who steals the film as sylvia.
I had absolutely no desire to see an updated version of "The Women" so I substituted the original for the new release. I'm not quite sure why I've never viewed this before, but I made a point to really take some time with it. Unfortunately, I had no idea how much time that would actually become. It's true that there are terrific performances by so many great actresses of that era, but I found the story rambling and far too involved. I was fully engaged for the first half, but when the setting turned to Reno, I simply got bored. Perhaps I'm just too young to grasp the significance of divorcing in Reno, but the entire segment seemed disjointed and purposeless and far, far too long. I was pleased, however, with the final act and satisfied with myself for sticking with it to the end. What puzzles me, though, is all the continued glory that is placed on the film and its stars; Joan Crawford, always noted as a highlight of this movie, just didn't have enough screen time or character development for me to find her performance legendary. It was Rosalind Russell who captured me, giving a performance that made me think of Debra Messing again and again (not to mention the physical similarities). Though a bizarre thing to take away with me, Russell's role is what made this film enjoyable. I'm just not on board with it being one of the best women's films of all time.
July 10, 2008
Nice solid film without any men in it, but it is about men anyways. ;) Anyhow, Joan Crawford is mean as ever and Norma Shearer effected. It's an incredible strong ensemble cast of women. And the dialog is swift and a bit vicious.
One of the best dialogue based films I have seen! The story is very fascinating, especially when you consider the times. Top notch acting as well, but you come to expect that with names like Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer. I would like to think that the portrayal of women is a bit over the top, although there are certainly women who fit the stereotype and maybe more so in upper society when wives become bored. I found it clever how they worked the script without the use of any male actors. All around a great movie worthy of finding its way to my collection!
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