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The Women

Released Sep 1, 1939 2h 12m Comedy List
94% Tomatometer 65 Reviews 87% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings
Mary Haines (Norma Shearer) can't believe her husband's having an affair with salesgirl Crystal (Joan Crawford). But when Sylvia (Rosalind Russell) and Edith (Phyllis Povah) deliver the gossip firsthand, Mary heads to Reno for a divorce. En route she meets Countess de Lave (Mary Boland) and Miriam (Paulette Goddard), who coincidentally is having an affair with Sylvia's husband. Once in Reno, the Countess finds another beau, Sylvia shows up for a divorce and Mary plots to win back her man. Read More Read Less
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The Women

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Critics Consensus

A feast of sharp dialogue delivered by an expertly assembled cast, The Women makes the transition from stage to screen without losing a step.

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Critics Reviews

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Katherine Howard Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com As one member of the female sex trying to be honest, we'll have to confess that we squirmed, but also admit that we saw many of our sisters in their true life characters. May 25, 2021 Full Review Mildred Martin Philadelphia Inquirer Joan Crawford gives her best performance in several seasons as Crystal; Paulette Goddard brings striking good looks and expert playing to the ex-show girl who walks off with Miss Russell's husband; and Joan Fontaine is a lamb among the wolves. May 25, 2021 Full Review Mae Tinee Chicago Tribune As one woman to another -- DON'T miss The Women, girls -- but better leave papa at home. May 25, 2021 Full Review Roger Moore Movie Nation Russell and Crawford tear into this script and into each other with a sort of game-respects-game glee. Rated: 3/4 Dec 28, 2023 Full Review Cinelandia Staff Cinelandia Otherwise extraordinary... filled with comedic situations, and beautiful moments. [Full review in Spanish] Sep 1, 2022 Full Review Ada Hanifin San Francisco Examiner The characters are altogether too unimportant to waste time and space in writing about them. May 25, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (511) audience reviews
Rose If I could give this less than a half a star I would. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 05/22/23 Full Review Steve D The historical significance is better than the actual film. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 05/20/23 Full Review Nizar N It may have its flaws, what with the shrieking worsened by old low-quality sound, the few scenes that could be shorter, and the aged views and beliefs on genders. But everything else surpasses those drawbacks, beginning with the perfectly-picked all-women cast and their performances, to the smooth transitioning of a play and its choreographies into cinema, to the high-end wit and comedy, to the direction and even the technicolor fashion show which has been criticized over the years as being a waste but now could act as a time capsule of the outfits of yesteryear. Yes it could've been shorter, but its duration means more time enjoying a movie so unique that there possibly will never be another one even close to The Women. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/23/23 Full Review Audience Member A 5 STAR COMEDY WITH A WONDERFUL CAST. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/17/23 Full Review Audience Member This movie has one of the best casts ever - Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Paulette Goddard, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland, Joan Fontaine, Hedda Hopper and Virginia Weilder just to make a few. These women carry the movie perfectly and acting is perfection. Some people disagree and say that Norma Shearer acts in a 'silent screen' type of way - but I cannot agree with that. I think she did an excellent job especially when she had the crying scene on the sofa (I don't think I have ever seen anybody cry that well before). Mary Haines (Norma Shearer) discovers that her husband is having an affair with money-hungry perfume sales girl Chrystal Allen (Joan Crawford). Aided and abetted by her cousin Sylvia Fowler (Rosalind Russell) and her army of girlfriends, Mary sets out to win back her man...and teach Chrystal a lesson or two in the process! The movie runs at a rapid pace, and never leaves you bored. The dialog is incredibly witty, it very much surprised me. There was also physical comedy - the hilariously done (and no stunt doubles too!) cat fight between Rosalind Russell and Paulette Goddard. I found the fashion show a bit dragging and too long, but it was still fun looking at all the wonderful classy fashions of that era. This hilarious comedy about women and their men can appeal to people who are not necessarily fans of old movies. 'The Women' is a wonderful catty, witty, hilarious movie that can be enjoyed by many. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Audience Member A generous cornucopia of female gossip, cattiness, bitching, alliances, nurturing, revenge, with nary a man in sight. It's delightful with lots of energy and wonderful writing. One can't help wondering if the all-female cast and writers had great fun with this. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/17/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Women

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Cast & Crew

Two-Faced Woman 30% 28% Two-Faced Woman Ninotchka 95% 89% Ninotchka Pat and Mike 85% 69% Pat and Mike Bombshell 90% 76% Bombshell Libeled Lady 88% 87% Libeled Lady Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis Mary Haines (Norma Shearer) can't believe her husband's having an affair with salesgirl Crystal (Joan Crawford). But when Sylvia (Rosalind Russell) and Edith (Phyllis Povah) deliver the gossip firsthand, Mary heads to Reno for a divorce. En route she meets Countess de Lave (Mary Boland) and Miriam (Paulette Goddard), who coincidentally is having an affair with Sylvia's husband. Once in Reno, the Countess finds another beau, Sylvia shows up for a divorce and Mary plots to win back her man.
Director
George Cukor
Producer
Hunt Stromberg
Screenwriter
Anita Loos, Jane Murfin
Distributor
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Loew's Inc.
Production Co
Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Loew's Inc.
Genre
Comedy
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Sep 1, 1939, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Apr 1, 2009
Runtime
2h 12m
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