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Female [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Ruth Chatterton, George Brent, Lois Wilson, Johnny Mack Brown, Ruth Donnelly
  • Directors: Michael Curtiz, William A. Wellman, William Dieterle
  • Writers: Donald Henderson Clarke, Gene Markey, Kathryn Scola
  • Producers: Robert Presnell Sr.
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Warner)
  • VHS Release Date: September 1, 1998
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302682525
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,467 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "scotsladdie" on August 30, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
A funny, fascinating role-reversal yarn. Ruth Chatterton, once known as one of the finest actresses of the early talkie era, plays Alison Drake, who runs a major automobile company with an iron hand - and tries to conduct her love life the same way....Then independent-minded George Brent (her real-life spouse at the time) comes along. Ruth falls for the guy so hard, that she promotes him to being the boss of the company, admitting that it's a man's job, after all. The set design is incredibly lavish: watch for the organist perched in Chatterton's entrance foyer! According to modern sources, the shots of the heroine's house were filmed at the Ennis House in the Hollywood Hills - which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Included in the cast are some familiar faces: Sterling Holloway, Laura Hope Crews, Rafaela Ottiano, Jean Muir & Irving Bacon. A fine early example of chauvinistic filmmaking.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Fernando Silva on July 18, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Ruth Chatterton, an actress which I had only seen in one of my very, very favorite films of all time, William Wyler's masterpiece, "Dosworth" (her best-known movie), carries this picture, which stands remarkably well the "test of time", in a different kind of role and not only that: in "Dodsworth" she was the wife of a small-town automobile tycoon, here she is the ruthless, sexually liberated, Automobile Company Tycoon, herself.

In this flick, she manages her company, with no holds-barred, with a hand of steel, surrounded by handsome young men, who are discarded, one after the other, when they have served "her leisure purposes". A refreshing role-reversal (an very daring then), with a woman "on top". She has all the POWER.

But then comes (then-husband in real life) George Brent, who impersonates an independent-minded executive, who changes Chatterton's life...as she were expecting such dominant male?.

Nice support by Johnny Mack Brown, Gavin Gordon and Philip Reed (a "very naive" young man or something "else"? (as stated in Vieira's book "Sin in Soft Focus", a must read for Pre-Code Fans), as some of the men, who are invited to "have dinner with her", at her lavish, very luxurious house. Ravishing clothes by Orry-Kelly.

In all, a compelling, entertaining film, with fast-talking entrepreneur Chatterton in top form.

You won't regret buying this great Pre-Code.

P.S. Look for Ferdinand Gottschalk as her (Chatterton's) elder assistant, who gives a very funny performance and delivers some highly-amusing lines.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By fivemile13 on March 29, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I enjoyed this very much. It is interesting what went on in these pre-production code films. This is a powerful woman who knows how to get what she wants, and even has amazing gadgetry to help her! Life in the thirties was very different, but we humans may be very much the same in how our minds work. Enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JOHN GODFREY on November 28, 2007
Format: VHS Tape
Until he took them away. No reviews on this one for several years. Maybe everyone is waiting for the dvd version in March. The often told tale of a strong women using & disposing of men. However. in this early version, Alison (Ruth Chatterton), starts out on top. She is the ultimate practitioner of compartmentalism. Daytime, she is the boss, all business, as the president of her auto company. At night she is also the boss. She's like a cat in heat & goes through a string of boy-toys that work for her, leaving broken hearts in her wake. Then she hires George Brett. He doesn't play her game. He is all business, day & night. It drives her nuts because for once she has fallen in love with an employee. She has met a man stronger than she is. This movie is included in Forbidden Hollywood vol. 2, next year with documentaries, commentaries, etc. I've only seen this once, some time ago so am looking forward to the collection on dvd.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Ellingwood VINE VOICE on February 18, 2012
Format: VHS Tape
Ruth Chatterton is a find, and I had never heard of her before or seen any of her movies. She is the star of this film and carries it marvelously. Ruth is the president of a car manufacturing company similar to GM. She takes on the role of leader and acts like a man and is a decisive leader for the company. She even has an entourage of male subordinates and secretaries who answer to her every whim. She eventually falls in love with George Brent (her husband in real life) who is a working man and she learns to allow him to be in charge and becomes a lowly woman so she can have the joy of marriage and babies. Before the disappointing end, Ruth's character is a strong, competent, wise-cracking woman. One who would be deemed a feminist role in the future. A hidden gem.
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Format: VHS Tape
Ruth Chatterton stirred the censors in the 1933 pre-code favourite FEMALE, the story of a woman who conducts her lovelife as matter-of-factly as she does her large industrial empire.

Alison Drake (Ruth Chatterton) is quite literally a woman in a man's world. She inherited her father's booming automobile business after his death, and has run the firm with an iron fist. Male employees who catch her eye are often invited back to her mansion after-hours, and seduced to the ominous strains of "Shanghai Lil", played either on the grammophone or, most bizarrely, by an in-house organist. When any of her lovers tries to get possessive, they are promptly packed off to the Montreal factory.

Beginning to tire of her usual sex games, Alison ventures off one night to see if she can attract a man without her name or money clouding the situation. At a sideshow fair she meets Jim Thorne (George Brent), and the sparks fly naturally for a change. But Alison gets the shock of her life when, the following morning, Jim turns out to be a new employee at the car factory! Desperately in love, Alison reverts back to her old tricks in a bid to hold her man, but she's going to have to swallow her pride - and become the woman she's always kept hidden away...

Coming right at the tail-end of the pre-code era, FEMALE suffered under the wrath of the SRC (a precursor to what became the Production Code in 1934); and the film itself was banned from any possible re-release until the Production Code was dissolved in the 1950's. Married in real life at the time, Ruth Chatterton and George Brent both deliver fabulous performances.
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