The Women

133 minutes 1939

Adapted from Clare Boothe Luce's play, this glossy 1939 satire about pampered Manhattan wives hasn't lost its bitchy edge. The catty banter and Wildean aphorisms (some of them contributed by Anita Loos) are delivered with impeccable timing by a cast only MGM could have mustered: Norma Shearer is a wife vexed by her husband's infidelity, Joan Crawford the tough cookie who seduces Shearer's man, Rosalind Russell a gossip fond of outrageous hats, and Marjorie Main a wisecracking hick. George Cukor directed with characteristic theatricality and love for his actresses. With Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine, and Mary Boland. 132 min.

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