Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Women |
Actors: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland, Paulette Goddard
Director: George Cukor
Genres: Comedy, Drama
This scorching comedy finds Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Joan Fontaine and Paulette Goddard fighting with no-holds-barred cattiness for their own (and each other's) husbands and lovers.
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Brava, The Real Housewives of Park Avenue
Jill Morris | 05/16/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
Let's see if you can identify this property: a gaggle of upscale, high maintenance women, mostly married to men with deep pockets.
They lunch, they shop, they attend fashion shows, they dish. They form brief, musical chairs type alliances within the group. They diss each other and often the husbands as well.
They discuss their respective issues and sometimes appear supportive of each other, often disingenuously. One relies on her sage like mother for advice They go to spas to be pampered and pummeled. They work out to stay fit and desirable. They wear cutting edge a la mode everything.
Simply watching them rail and flail within their small milieu is ensorcelling verging on addictive.
And, did I mentioned among them there is a from the wrong side of the tracks unscrupulous wannabe?
Name the property.
Did you guess the Real Housewives of Hither and Yon? New York? New Jersey?
Well, no wonder. The work in question, though fiction, might well have been produced last week and a part of that franchise!
Meaning, comments about the work being stale, outdated,
even anachronistic....if you see what is there, must be coming from critics lacking discernment and perspective.
Thing is, this work was produced SEVENTY years ago.
The property is The Women. The original (the only one worth seeing), written by the Moxie-endowed, razor keen Claire Booth Luce and directed by one of the finest women's' directors who ever set foot on a set, George Cukor. And that, according to every actress he ever directed.
Ah, the halcyon days of MGM, and in a year considered to this day, marked by an almost embarrassing excess of brilliant movies: 1939. It's still considered Hollywood's Greatest Year.
The Women is populated by an all star, all female cast whose ages span several decades.
Each luminary delivers an unforgettable performance, most notably, the deliciously manic Rosalind Russell
at her rat-a-tat finest.
Costumes by Adrian...you bet, late 30s a la mode, and get that fashion changes and that is usually driven by commerce. So, make sure your vision is not stuck in Prada & D & G. Aspiring to be au courant has no circa, after all.
When I first saw this film on TV way back, I thought the premise that women ought be blindly devoted to their men was the fly in the cinematic ointment rendering this movie pre Feminist archaic.
I was wrong. Incredibly, not a lot has changed, as per what we see via the reality shows in question.
Norma Shearer plays the initially stoic lead opposite her nemesis, Joan Crawford, who, using faux sexuality, is out to steal Ms. Shearer's husband for his money. These two were actual rivals at MGM back in the day. Ms. Crawford,
who, in this film plays herself, addressing why Ms. Shearer's light eclipsed her own stardom at Metro, hurled,
"Well, she sleeps with the boss."
Indeed. Ms. Shearer married the creatively brilliant, but physically fragile Irving Thalberg. They had two kids together before he died far too young.
The characters depicted in The Women are no more caricatures than those individuals we see in The Real Housewives franchise.
If you are lucky enough to buy this movie, you will be taken aback by its timelessness if you work to see things in perspective.
Not to mention, you will be captivated and entertained...and perhaps even moved to ponder social mores and gender roles---and even if monogamy is indigenous to our species (we are not beavers, after all)---by some of the best who ever were.