"I knew it was dangerous for me to play Crystal, but I couldn't resist." ~ Joan Crawford on "The Women"
"The Women" 1939
Cast: Norma Shearer~Joan Crawford~Rosalind Russell~Mary Boland~Paulette Goddard~Phyllis Povah~Joan Fontaine~Virginia Weidler~Lucile
Watson~Florence Nash~Muriel Hutchinson~Esther Dale~Ann Moriss~Ruth Hussey~Dennie Moore~Mary Cecil~Mary Beth Hughes~Virginia
Grey~Marjorie Main~Cora Witherspoon~Hedda Hopper.
Director: George Cukor
Costumes by Adrian
Box Office Figures for "The Women":
Cost: $N/A ~ Domestic Studio Gross: $N/A ~ Foreign Studio Gross: $N/A
Total: $N/A / Profit: $N/A
If you hae seen this movie, please write a review below. Once your review is submitted, I will post the review below.
Thank you for your review on this film.
Stars: four out of four
Review: I saw "The Women" on the big-screen at Chelsea Clearview recently, ironically during Women's Heritage
Month (supposedly). The saying is that, since the entire cast and even all the animals in the film are female, there aren't
any Y chromosomes to be found onscreen. However, it was just the opposite in the packed theater which was predominately male
(and gay). It's hard not to enjoy this wickedly bitchy satire about a well-to-do woman Mary "Mrs. Stephen" Haines
(Norma Shearer) whose husband is having an affair with shopgirl and "man trap" Crystal Allen (Joan Crawford - who
else?) and whose gossipy friends (particularly the sublime Rosalind Russell as Sylvia "Mrs. Howard" Fowler) thrive
on scandal. The huge cast is superb with even the bit players excelling at delivering rapidfire one-liners that hit their
mark like a good left hook. Yet beneath the dizzyingly paced fun are horribly misguided messages aimed at women such as
"[Pride is] a luxury a woman in love can't afford" and "A woman is compromised the day she is born," along
with the notion that women's lives revolve around catching and maintaining a man and then accepting any behavior said man
throws her way as part of women's lot. The film is so brilliant, however, and so chock full of talent that it stands the
test of time in spite of these painful messages (which were indeed deeply internalized by women and still are to some degree).
Among the supporting cast, Mary Boland as the Countess DeLave and the beautiful Virginia Grey as Pat are outstanding. Crawford
as Crystal has actually comparatively little screen time, but her presence is so strong and vital that she comes off as a
An endless array of great lines, including these delivered by Crystal:
"He almost stood me up for his wife" and "Thanks for the tip. But when anything I wear doesn't please
Stephen, I take it off." and "There is a name for you, ladies, but it isn't used in high society... outside of a
kennel." and --my favorite -- "You noble wives and mothers bore the brains out of me. And I bet you bore your husbands,
too." Next to the latter, my favorite lines are these:
Sylvia Fowler: Oh, you remember the awful things they said about what's-her-name before she jumped out the window? There.
You see? I can't even remember her name so who cares?
Crystal Allen: I'm having him dine at my place. It's about time he found out I was a home girl.
Pat: A home girl? Get her? Why don't you borrow the quintuplets for the evening?
Crystal Allen: Because I'm all the baby he wants, pet.
Review: Anita Loos wrote the script for this tremendously entertaining screen version of Clare Boothe's Broadway hit about
cattiness, jealousy and rivalry in a circle of "friends." Norma Shearer heads the all-female cast as a good-natured
woman who finds her marriage threatened by a sexy shopgirl. Joan Crawford found quite a change of pace in the role of bitchy
homewrecker Crystal Allen. An actress of highly unique talents, Crawford managed to bring sympathy to her character, certainly
no small achievement. Other players worthy of note are Rosalind Russell as the motormouth Sylvia; Paulette Goddard as Miriam,
the divorcee who takes up with Sylvia's man and Phyllis Povah, repeating her Broadway role as the perennially pregnant Edith.
THE WOMEN was the beginning of a very successful partnership for director George Cukor and Joan Crawford: they would work
together on two other MGM classics, SUSAN AND GOD and A WOMAN'S FACE. Metro remade THE WOMEN in 1956 as THE OPPOSITE SEX,
this time adding men, musical numbers, and Technicolor. It's a respectable updating of the classic film; however, it cannot
top the original.
Review: This film is over-flowing with star power. The combination of females make it a must-see for any Crawford fan.
Joan plays "the other woman" pitted against Shearer as the "perfect wife". The scenes between the two
crackle with energy, which is often fanned to a magnificent flame by the catty, chatty, back-stabbing friend played to the
hilt by Roz Russell. Joan lobbied for the part and one can easily see why. The part of Crystal was something Crawford could
sink her teeth into and play at her bitchy best. The script is flawless, the cast is perfection, and the Adrian gowns should
share equal billing with the stars who don them. Joan held her own in the star-studded Grand Hotel, but she dominates this
Stars: 5 star
Review: I thought the movie was great one of Crawford's greatest movies. It was a bit strange not seeing any men in the
movie. It was a great all-star cast and every entertaining and I thought Rosalind Russell was extremely funny and Joan plyed
the bitch Cystal Allen extremely well too, well to be honest, they all played their characters very well and I'm so glad I
saw it when I did.