Classic Film Series: THE WOMEN (1939)USA | 1939 | 133 minutes | Not Rated | Comedy, Drama
Wednesday June 11, 2014
Martha's Vineyard Film Center
$12 General Admission, $9 Member,
$7 child age 14 or younger
Doors Open for admissions 30 min. prior to screening
Buy tickets at Film Center or online now BUY TICKETS
Clare Boothe Luce
Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell
In tribute to the late Jonathan Revere of West Tisbury who was a big fan of classic Hollywood cinema. Co-sponsored by the West Tisbury Library. Doors open at 6:30pm with John Alaimo playing Cole Porter songs on the lobby piano and the film will screen at 7:30pm. Join us for a complimentary glass of champagne prior to the movie.
Based on the Clare Booth Luce play of the same name, this MGM comedy is famous for its all-female cast and deft direction by George Cukor. The plot centers on a group of gossipy high-society women who spend their days at the beauty salon and haunting fashion shows.
The sweet, happily wedded Mary Haines (Norma Shearer) finds her marriage in trouble when shopgirl Crystal Allen (Joan Crawford) gets her hooks into Mary’s man. Naturally, this situation becomes the hot talk amongst Mary’s catty friends, especially the scandalmonger Sylvia Fowler (Rosalind Russell), who has little room to talk — she finds herself on a train to Reno and headed for divorce right after Mary. But with a bit of guts and daring, Mary snatches her man right back from Crystal’s clutches.
Snappy, witty dialogue, much of it courtesy of veteran screenwriter Anita Loos, helps send this film’s humor over the top. So do the characterizations — Crawford is as venomous as they come, and this was Russell’s first chance to show what she could do as a comedienne. And don’t discount Shearer — her portrayal of good-girl Mary is never overpowered by these two far-flashier roles. The only part of The Women that misses is the fashion-show sequence. It was shot in color — an innovative idea in its day — but now both the concept and clothes are dreary and archaic. Do keep an eye on the supporting players, though, especially Mary Boland as the Countess DeLage. The role was based on a cafe society dame of that era, the Countess DiFrasso, who had a wild affair with Gary Cooper; that romance is satirized here
"[Cukor is] at his best with a cast that includes Rosalind Russell, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Hedda Hopper, Ruth Hussey, Paulette Goddard, and Joan Fontaine." -Don Druker
"Directed by Cukor with his trademark elegance, and proof of the filmmaker's famed ability to direct female actresses, this sparkling satire on backbiting, privileged women continues to delight." -Tom Dawson
"A film that deserves to be seen (or seen again)." -Bill Goodykoontz