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The Women DVD Cover

A Previous Catty Presentation
at Friday Night Movies:

The Women

Friday the 18th of April
Put luck supper @ 7pm, Movie @ 8pm

It's all about men!
--Original tagline


USA: 1939 -- Directed by George Cukor
Written by Clare Boothe Luce (play), Anita Loos and Jane Murfin (screenplay)
Starring Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell and Joan Fontaine

There's a name for you ladies, but it isn't used in high society, outside of a kennel.
--Joan Crawford as Crystal Allen

George Cukor, Hollywood's legendary "woman's director," had his hands full with the all-female cast of this 1939 film adaptation of the Clare Boothe play. The story finds a group of catty, competitive friends destroying reputations at social gatherings. The dialogue sparkles, Joan Crawford's performance as a husband stealer is still a classic, the film looks wonderful in Cukor's hands, and the Technicolor fashion-show scene is a one-of-a-kind Hollywood experience.

The ultimate women's movie of the 1930s and a treat from start to finish (for men also), The Women is the picture George Cukor directed after being thrown off Gone With The Wind by Clark Gable (who objected to being given direction by a homosexual). The Women features no men at all and its remarkable ensemble cast (Norma Shearer; Joan Crawford, Joan Fontaine,Rosalind Russell, Paulette Godard, Hedda Hopper and at least one hundred other women) argue, gossip and bitch about each other at astonishing breakneck speed throughout the film.

There is a plot of sorts, but it is basically an excuse for lots of megastars to exchange witty insults with each other. Cukor entered Hollywood when the talkies started as a dialogue director; and this is about as talky as any film I've seen. The dialogue is the star of the film in the same way the dinosaurs are the stars of Jurassic Park.

The Women was in many ways an end to an era. During the 1930s a large majority of the cinema audience was women, and consequently most of the big stars were women. People like Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn and Jean Harlow earned far more than their male contemporaries, who were often used as simple, handsome ornamentation, a back-drop to the real action.

Hope to see you there. I'll save you an aisle seat and a ticket to Reno.

Joan Fontaine, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell Paulette Goddard

Memorable Quotes

Crystal Allen: He almost stood me up for his wife!

Peggy Day: He beats you! Lucy, how terrible! Lucy: Aint it! When you think of the lot of women on this ranch who need a beatin' more than I do.

Maggie: The first man who can explain how he can be in love with his wife--and another woman--is gonna win that prize they're always giving out in Sweden.

Countess DeLave: Get me a bromide - and put some gin in it!

Sylvia Fowler: You simply must see my hairdresser, I DETEST whoever does yours!

More quotes


There are over 130 roles in this movie, all played by women. Phyllis Povah and Marjorie Main are the only two carry-overs to the movie from the play cast, which had 666 performances at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York.

Though many people view Joan Crawford as the "bad girl" of the movie, Clare Boothe, who wrote the play that the film was based on, sympathized most with Crystal Allen, Crawford's character.

In addition to its all-female cast, every animal that was used in the film (the many dogs and horses) was female as well. In addition, none of the works of art seen in the backgrounds were representative of the male form.

More trivia

Original poster for 'The Women' Joan Crawford Joan Fontaine