The Women

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Editorial Reviews

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The themes explored in Clare Boothe Luce's play were so modern in 1939 that audiences found the film audaciously relevant, yet so timeless and universal that The Women could be successfully revived on Broadway in 2001, starring Jennifer Tilly, Kristen Johnson, and Cynthia Nixon. The film crackles with a sharp-toothed sarcasm even on a modern viewing. George Cukor's deft pacing and evident facility with actors or, we should say, actresses make The Women both a scathing and ...
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Marjorie Main, Lucile Watson, Virginia Weidler, Joan Fontaine, Phyllis Povah, Paulette Goddard, Mary Boland, Rosalind Russell... 07/02/2002 DVD 1939 Run time: 133. Just like it ... sounds. A brand-new, unused, unread copy in perfect condition. Ships from PA, United States. Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
The themes explored in Clare Boothe Luce's play were so modern in 1939 that audiences found the film audaciously relevant, yet so timeless and universal that The Women could be successfully revived on Broadway in 2001, starring Jennifer Tilly, Kristen Johnson, and Cynthia Nixon. The film crackles with a sharp-toothed sarcasm even on a modern viewing. George Cukor's deft pacing and evident facility with actors or, we should say, actresses make The Women both a scathing and hilarious indictment of the institution of marriage. No less important, in fact probably more so, is the film's portrayal of the women's mercenary competitiveness. The ruthlessly casual deceptions they practice on each other are authenticated by the playwright's gender, as well as that of her adapters Anita Loos and Jane Murfin. The Women recasts the discourse of high society as an exercise in the Darwinism of the animal kingdom, starting with an opening credits sequence that assigns an animal role to each character, from sly fox to gentle lamb. The opening shot says it all, as two dogs aggressively and metaphorically yap at each other as their pampered owners restrain them, all against a cacophony of background gossip. The women's ironic commentary on the regimen of exercise and beautification they must maintain to keep their men takes over from here, as does the rapid repartees and the almost incidental backstabbing. Casting the film entirely with women works beautifully, never straining the logic or staging, and the handful of leads each share the credit with Luce and Cukor for a fully realized farce on the warfare of feminine politics and societal advantage. Derek Armstrong
All Movie Guide
The themes explored in Clare Boothe Luce's play were so modern in 1939 that audiences found the film audaciously relevant, yet so timeless and universal that The Women could be successfully revived on Broadway in 2001, starring Jennifer Tilly, Kristen Johnston, and Cynthia Nixon. The film crackles with a sharp-toothed sarcasm even on a modern viewing. George Cukor's deft pacing and evident facility with actors or, we should say, actresses make The Women both a scathing and hilarious indictment of the institution of marriage. No less important, in fact probably more so, is the film's portrayal of the women's mercenary competitiveness. The ruthlessly casual deceptions they practice on each other are authenticated by the playwright's gender, as well as that of her adapters Anita Loos and Jane Murfin. The Women recasts the discourse of high society as an exercise in the Darwinism of the animal kingdom, starting with an opening credits sequence that assigns an animal role to each character, from sly fox to gentle lamb. The opening shot says it all, as two dogs aggressively and metaphorically yap at each other as their pampered owners restrain them, all against a cacophony of background gossip. The women's ironic commentary on the regimen of exercise and beautification they must maintain to keep their men takes over from here, as does the rapid repartees and the almost incidental backstabbing. Casting the film entirely with women works beautifully, never straining the logic or staging, and the handful of leads each share the credit with Luce and Cukor for a fully realized farce on the warfare of feminine politics and societal advantage.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/2/2002
  • UPC: 012569520523
  • Original Release: 1939
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English, Français
  • Time: 2:13:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Norma Shearer Mary Haines
Joan Crawford Chrystal Allen
Rosalind Russell Sylvia Fowler
Mary Boland Countess DeLove
Joan Fontaine Peggy Day
Paulette Goddard Miriam Aarons
Phyllis Povah Edith Potter
Virginia Weidler Little Mary
Lucile Watson Mrs. Moorhead, Mary's Mother
Florence Nash Nancy Blake
Esther Dale Ingrid, Country House Cook
Ann Morriss Exercise Instructor
Ruth Hussey Miss Watts, Stephen's Secretary
Mary Beth Hughes Miss Trimmerback
Virginia Grey Pat, Perfume Counter Clerk
Marjorie Main Lucy, Dude Ranch Owner
Cora Witherspoon Mrs. Van Adams
Hedda Hopper Dolly Dupuyster
Dorothy Adams Miss Atkinson
Ruth Alder Woman Under Sunlamp
Mariska Aldrich Singing Teacher
Barbara Jo Allen Receptionist
Judith Allen Model
Maude Allen Cyclist
Gertrude Astor Nurse
May Beatty Fat Woman
Marie Blake Stock Room Girl
Betty Blythe
May Boley
Lillian Bond Mrs. Erskine
Veda Buckland Woman
Lita Chevret Woman Under Sunlamp
Dora Clement Woman Under Sunlamp
Nell Craig Nurse
Margaret Dumont Mrs. Wagstaff
Estelle Etterre Hairdresser
Dot Farley Large Woman
Flora Finch Woman Window Tapper
Ruth Findlay Pediatrist
Grace Goodall Head Saleswoman
Rita Gould Dietician
Theresa Harris Olive
Winifred Harris Mrs. North
Grace Hayle Cyclist
Virginia Howell Receptionist
Carol Hughes Salesgirl at Modiste Salon
Muriel Hutchinson Jane, Mary's Maid
Priscilla Lawson Hairdresser
Hattie McDaniel Sleeping Car Maid
Leila McIntyre Woman With Bundles
Butterfly McQueen Lulu, Cosmetics Counter Maid
Dennie Moore Olga, Manicurist
Natalie Moorhead Woman in Modiste Salon
Florence O'Brien Euphie
Hilda Plowright Miss Fordyce
Aileen Pringle Miss Carter, Saleslady
Jo Ann Sayers Debutante
Dorothy Sebastian Saleswoman
Peggy Shannon Mrs. Jones
Mildred Shay Helene the French Maid
Florence Shirley Miss Archer
Gertrude Simpson Stage Mother
Charlotte Treadway Her Companion
Vera Vague Receptionist
Josephine Whittell Mrs. Spencer
Marjorie Wood Sadie, Old Maid in Powder Room
Charlotte Wynters Miss Batchelor
Technical Credits
George Cukor Director
Adrian Costumes/Costume Designer
George Forrest Songwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Robert J. Kern Editor
Anita Loos Screenwriter
Oliver Marsh Cinematographer
Jane Murfin Screenwriter
Wade B. Rubottom Art Director
Joseph Ruttenberg Cinematographer
David Snell Score Composer
Hunt Stromberg Producer
Ed Ward Songwriter
Edward Ward Score Composer
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
Robert Wright Songwriter
F. Scott Fitzgerald Source Author
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(19)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    THE WOMEN

    For anyone who enjoys lively, fast-paced dialogue among witty characters, you will love this film! I especially love that the plot is a little twisted as are a few of the females in it but some of the friends are true blue and that's a rare commodity these days! No lousy or vulgar language to listen to, just sharp-tongued, intelligently written conversations that will keep you wanting to find out what's going to happen next. P.S.After watching this movie, you CANNOT watch the newer version of THE WOMEN because it does not compare at all and will disappoint beyond belief!!!!! ENJOY!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A Great Film!

    My dear Effex it's not that this film is unknown or hasn't been widely seen but rather you must be a little older than 23! I'm in total agreement with you-this film is a blast and not unlike quite a few films from Hollywood's heyday the dialog is what you remember with absolute glee! It's obvious that you're a little younger and just in the process of discovering films made prior to 1980 and I want to encourage you to continue to seek out those films that may have been made before your Mom and Dad even thought about you! If there were room to make a list of the best films to come out of the early studio system I wouldn't hesitate to write them all down for you. Film production was happening long before Ms. Benning's Mom and Dad thought about her too! You're on the right track though-this is a wonderful film! See it!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic movie, no matter your gender

    I watched this movie with my girlfriend after learning that the recent Annette Bening effort was a remake of this film. We got it off of netflix and watched it and immediately had to own this movie. Amazingly witty and easily stands up to today's standards despite having been made in 1939, we were both stunned. Joan Crawford was amazing in her role as the heartless temptress that steals Norma Shearer's husband. But it is easily Rosalind Russell's character that stole the show to us. From the ease which she takes a pratfall or how she throws herself into a cat fight to the many gestures and facial expressions she uses as she plays friend to both parties and yet still manages to be a hoot. A lesser actress could have come across as even more cold than Crawford's character but Russell manages to be endearing and hilarious. <BR/><BR/>This is certainly a movie worth a look and its a criminal offense that this movie isn't as widely known as it should be.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Timeless 1930 Manhattan Girl Flick

    Get the popcorn and pyjmas ready and invite your girlfriends over for a movie you will all love. Great story line, great acting. High society women in NYC and their loves and losses.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    AWESOME MOVIE

    I love this movie! The dialogue was outstanding and the story is excellent. I absolutley adore Lucile Watson. She has the best lines throughout the whole movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Old School Chic Flic

    This is one of the best Chic Flic's I have ever seen and being in Black and White makes it even more dramatic. I would recommend to anyone who would listen.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    amazing how you can enjoy this movie in 21st century

    I loved the fact there were no men in this and yet you could feel their presence. the fashions were awesome for the time period and the dialoque was a hoot. very ahead of it's time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This ladle is full

    This is hands down, my all time favorite movie. Ony ALL ABOUT EVE can rival this film for exceptional dialogue, and good old fashioned catty fun. Rosiland Russell steals the show as untra feline Sylvia Fowler. I could spend hours just quoting the lines, but I'll just use,'Any ladles sweet, that serves up some gravy.' This fabulous movie seves it up by the bucket full!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    All-Women Cast Makes for an unforgettable Movie

    Back in the day when MGM was the end- all, be-all, Joan Crawford (Mommie Dearest!) and Norma Shearer (married to director Irving Thalberg) starred in this all- woman cast (no man's face is ever seen!) that pinpoints the humor in marriage, divorce, and the cattiness of upper society. Couldn't be happier now that it's on DVD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Simply the BEST

    I love this movie the first time I saw it about 15 years ago. This is a women's movie, for sure. It is my all time favorite!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2002

    I LOVE IT!!!

    The actresses are fantastic! It's a comedy, drama and romance worth seeing again and again. Even though it's 1930-ish, it is perfectly lovely to watch now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Don't miss this one!

    This is a great film and one of the best films of the 1930's! It's all about a group of high society women and how they interact with each other and deal with the men in their lives. Norma Shearer's performance as jilted Mary Haines is on the mark. Joan Crawford's performance as man stealing (she swiped Mary Haine's hubby) Crystal Allen is superb while Rosalind Russell turns out a memorable performance as gossip hound Sylvia Fowler, who just can't wait to spread the news about Mary's marital problems. At first glance the film seems to paint women in a not-so-positive light as nothing more than gossipy back-stabbers that do nothing more criticize each other behind the other's backs. But one can clearly see that these women are strong and resourceful. The dialogue is clever and razor-sharp. All of the lead actresses are top form while Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine and Mary Boland provide the right support and are great in their respective roles. Also included is a Technicolor fashion show. While it may seem out of place and the fashions eccentric, it was a very innovative idea for its time. The fashions were designed by MGM fashion designer Adrian. Be sure to see this film, it's just one of the triumphs from MGM! You'll find it entertaining and very clever.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2001

    Spectacular

    THE WOMEN is spectacular story of New York's jet set and their love lives. It ventures into the lives of 1930 women. It is a sizziling story of love, hate, and glamour. The charecter's personalites rank from slut to queen. It is spectacular!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews