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With: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland, Paulette Goddard, Phyllis Povah, Joan Fontaine, Virginia Weidler, Lucile Watson, Marjorie Main, Virginia Grey, Ruth Hussey, Muriel Hutchison, Hedda Hopper, Florence Nash, Cora Witherspoon, Ann Morriss, Dennie Moore, Mary Cecil, Mary Beth Hughes
Written by: Anita Loos, Jane Murfin, based on a play by Clare Boothe
Directed by: George Cukor
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 133
Date: 09/01/1939

The Women (1939)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Female of the Species

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

George Cukor's The Women isn't quite as nasty as it probably could have been, coming several years after the establishment of the Hays Code, but it's still plenty witty. Featuring an all-female cast with nary a man in sight, the film tells the story of a wife, Mary (Norma Shearer), who discovers that her husband has been cheating with perfume counter girl Crystal Allen (Joan Crawford). Cukor was known as a "women's director," and he has a fine touch for this material, keeping the hysteria clamped down and rendering the final product as rather classy. Unfortunately, potent actresses like Joan Fontaine, Rosalind Russell and Paulette Goddard can't really transcend their supporting roles (they were better served elsewhere). Today, The Women is a cult classic among gay audiences.