Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cinema Tuesdays {The Women}

Picture 3
One of the best, if not the best, films showing off Thirties fashion is 1939's The Women. It's fantastic and the best divorce comedy ever. Hats, sling backs, penthouses and slightly surreal fashions abound. It also has the best cat fight ever! If you haven't seen it already (and you have to excuse not to have seen it) the plot is very simple: good hearted Norma Shearer (in her last major role) learns that her husband is having an affair with gold digger Joan Crawford, listens to her bitchy friends and goes off to Reno to unhappily get divorced.
The great Anita Loos adapted the script from Claire Boothe Luce's smash hit play. Rounding off the cast are Paulette Goddard, Marjorie Main (reprising her Broadway role) and young Joan Fontaine (who's still alive, along with her sister Olivia. I wonder if they still talk to each other). The gorgeous fashions are by Adrian, including the ten minute colour fashion show at the half way mark. What is notable about the film is that throughout the almost two and a half hour runtime (I never realized how long it was until I started capping it) not a single male appears as all of the 135 speaking roles and including the pets, are played by women -just like the original play. It was even directed by George Cukor, famous for being a "women's director" (you can guess why).
Picture 138
However, the best part of the movie is Rosalind Russell as the bitchy, petty and gossipy Sylvia! She completely steals every scene she's in. I just love everything that she's in, and this is the film that made her into the comedienne that we all love.
And also, how awesome is that blouse!
Picture 50

Picture 68

Picture 77

Picture 110

Picture 124

Picture 93

Picture 135

Picture 146

Picture 198

Picture 244

Picture 249

Picture 268

Picture 278

Picture 288

Picture 323

Picture 329

Picture 343

Picture 349

Picture 357

Picture 367

Picture 381

Picture 387

Picture 392

Picture 396

Picture 407

Picture 411

Picture 414

Picture 418

Picture 428

Picture 451

Picture 468

Picture 488

Picture 505
"Our new one piece lace foundation garment. Zips up the back and no bones."
Picture 534

Picture 545

Picture 550

Picture 554

Picture 580

Picture 590

Picture 600

Picture 632

Picture 646

Picture 669

Picture 666

Picture 738
"Jungle Red!"
Picture 680

Picture 705
That's Hedda Hopper and her hat, playing herself.
Picture 723

Picture 736

The Women has been (unfortunately) remade twice, neither of which have Rosalind Russell or Marjorie Main. It is available on Region 1 and out of print in Region 2, I don't know about Region 4. It is not available (at the moment) as a reliable torrent.