Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
"The Women" is one of the most amazing movies (1939) I have ever seen. For one thing there are no men here. But you don't miss them because they are the subject of the movie. The movie is adapted from a play by Clare Boothe, directed by wonderful George Cukor and has Butterfly McQueen (Ms. Scarlett, I don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' babies), famed columnist Hedda Hopper and Hattie McDaniel in it as well Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind and others in the starring roles. Ruth Hussey plays a secretary and Virgina Grey is stunning as a store clerk.
This comedy deals with issues that are never ending, cheating husbands, bitchy friends and divorce. Rosalind Russell as Norma Shearer's catty underhanded cousin is my favorite. These actresses are at their freshest and most beautiful. In the film all of the principals are wealthy, very much "high maintenence" and bored so they do lunch and go to fashion shows. Although the movie is black and white the magnificent fashion sequence is in color. I saw first saw "The Women" on a small b/w TV, imagine my surprise years later when I saw it on a color set and they started showing the fashions. WOW! Joan Crawford has one of her best man grabbing, husband stealing roles in this movie. At one point when the husband needs to cancel their date. She becomes indignant because "he tried to stand Joan up for his wife". Another time in a confrontation with the wife she says "When Stephen doesn't like what I'm wearing, I take it off" Are we sure this movie was made in 1939??However, all of these women are such a tight knit clique that they even go to the same divorce dude ranch in Reno (group divorce??) which is owned by Margorie Main who has no sympathy for these rich spoiled and pampered women.If you like your movies sharp, witty, fast paced and classy this is the movie for you.
This movie is as fresh now as it was in 1939, especially when Mary (Norma Shearer) tells her mother, after she has found out that her husband is cheating on her, "Mother, this is the 20th century. . ." Her mother has said that Mary's father did the same thing and she kept quite, that Mary should also "keep quiet, do nothing and say nothing." There are so many witty quotes that time has not tarnished that you will be tempted to use them yourself.
Grab a couple of girl friends for a great night in.
The Women is available at Amazon.com