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The First Wives Club (1996)

Bette Midler , Goldie Hawn , Hugh Wilson  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (320 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Maggie Smith, Dan Hedaya
  • Directors: Hugh Wilson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: December 1, 1998
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (320 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305182051
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,306 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The First Wives Club" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, and Diane Keaton prove that revenge is a dish best served cold. Former college buddies, they reunite at the funeral of a dear friend who took a swan dive onto Fifth Avenue. All three discover they share the same unhappy history of husbands who dove into middle-age by dumping them for trophy wives. Forming a warring triumvirate, they decide to get even, and along the way remind themselves of long-forgotten capabilities. The action gets a little too "wacky" at times, but the gals are great. Portraying an aging actress, Hawn is sometimes a little too flamboyant, but there is much fun to be had in her flashiness, especially when she pokes fun at Tinseltown and her persona. Instead of her usual brashness, Midler stretches herself and shows us a woman who is not just unhappy, but also deeply sorrowful. Not that she isn't quick with a wisecrack, but her expressive face alone tells the story of her marriage. As the repressed and guilt-ridden spouse of a self- involved ad executive, Keaton finds her anger, and her voice, when her psychiatrist (Marcia Gay Harden) oversteps ethical boundaries. Watching Keaton grow from an ineffectual homemaker into a powerful businessperson reminds us that it has been far too long since she has done a comedy. Director Hugh Wilson smartly chose supporting players who each brought something unique to the film. However, he does not maintain the first hour's effervescent humor throughout the film, as the ending is weakened by a softening of the wives' resolve. --Rochelle O'Gorman

Product Description

Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton. Three college friends reunite at the funeral of another friend whose husband abandoned her for a younger trophy" wife. Sharing similar plights, they conspire to get back at their despicable exes. 1996/color/104 min/PG/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie! August 20, 2005
By Katie
Format:DVD
I guess I'm a bit behind the eight ball - I just watched this movie for the first time last week - and it was great!!!

Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton & Bette Midler work wonderfully together in this movie, and they each play their characters to the hilt!!!

The gist of the movie is that these women were all great friends during their teen years but had lost touch through the years. The suicide death of one of their "group" brought them all together once again. While catching up, they realized that they were all going through similar situations in their marriages - they were all being cheated on by their husbands!

Once they figure this out, they decide to put their heads together to come up with inventive ways to get back at their husbands for doing this to them - and I must say they do an excellent job at it!!!

Overall, this is a great comedy to watch with your girlfriends -I'm not sure if the men would be as eager to watch it with you. I give "The First Wives Club" 2 thumbs up!
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "If only she'd called me. If only I was listed!" February 16, 2004
By M. Hart
Format:DVD
In 1996, Hugh Wilson directed a very funny comedy about three friends that were all dumped by their husbands for younger women in the film "First Wives Club". Based upon the 1992 novel of the same name by Olivia Goldsmith (1949-2004), the three friends (who had met in college) are brought back together after their fourth friend, Cynthia Swann Griffin (Stockard Channing), jumped from her penthouse apartment in Manhattan after her husband left and she felt totally alone. Upon learning about each others similar marital problems, the surviving friends, which include the boisterous Brenda Cushman (Bette Midler), the movie actress Elise Elliot (Goldie Hawn) and the timid Annie Paradis (Diane Keaton), decide to work together to attain vengence upon their ex-husbands. Brenda's ex-husband, Morton 'Morty' Cushman (Dan Hedaya), wants to marry the very young and shallow Shelly Stewart (Sarah Jessica Parker). Elise's ex-husband, Bill Atchison (Victor Garber), is dating the very young aspiring actress Phoebe LaVelle (Elizabeth Berkley). Annie's separated husband, Aaron Paradis (Stephen Collins), is having an affair with Annie's therapist, Dr. Leslie Rosen (Marcia Gay Harden). To assist them, the trio of first wives enlist help from their friends, which include the interior decorator Duarto Feliz (Bronson Pinchot), Annie's daughter Chris Paradis (Jennifer Dundas), the socialite Gunilla Garson Goldberg (Maggie Smith) and Brenda's Uncle Carmine (Philip Bosco).
Though the plot was somewhat weak and the acting and screen writing were not Oscar-worthy, "First Wives Club" is still very entertaining and engaging. The most memorable acting comes from Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, Sarah Jessica Parker and Victor Garber. The film did receive an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Revenge? May 23, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I enjoyed the "First Wives Club"! Directed by Hugh Wilson in 1996, it's a movie many women can identify with about four college friends; Cynthia Swann Griffin (Stockard Channing), Elise Eliot Atchison (Goldie Hawn), Brenda Morelli Cushman (Bette Midler), and Annie MacDuggan Paradis (Diane Keaton). After graduation, each busy with her own life, time races by and the four lose track of each other. When Cynthia commits suicide Elise, Brenda, and Annie are reunited at her funeral and begin rekindling their friendship.
Getting reacquainted they learn that each of them has been tossed aside and replaced by younger woman in their men's lives, after many years of marriage. Brenda is separated from her husband but hopes to reconcile, Annie and her husband are in therapy and also separated, and Elise, an actress who worries she is past her prime, is faced with splitting everything and making alimony payments to her soon to be ex-husband. During a pity party, they realize it would be much better to spend their energy in getting even than to staying angry, feeling sorry for themselves, or following Cynthia's lead. To accomplish their goal a strategy tailored to each man is set in motion. I especially enjoyed the scene where Elise delivers the proceeds from the sale of their assets to her husband!
Although the girls start out seeking revenge, their focus begins to shift as the self-confidence they had in their youth is resurrected and they realize that life, like each of them, still has much more to offer. A great ending!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun comedy all the stars shine November 4, 2005
By Jake
Format:DVD
A enjoyed this film and mainly it was becouse of the stars. Three legends all in one film bette Midler is great, Goldie Hawn is halariouse and then there is Diane Keaton who is the weakest link but still good. the story is funny as 3 divorced women get revenge ont here husbands. Overall the film is good it has some slow parts which makes the film only a good film and not great.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You don't know how good you have it until it's gone November 17, 2005
Format:DVD
This was a chick flick in many respects, but not so sappy and irrational that it annoys you like other chick flicks do. All three leads are legitimately angry and the audience feels for them, because we've all been scorned (whether you're a man or a woman, but it will obviously speak to you moreso if you are a woman). I wouldn't give this 4 stars because the song and dance routines were lame and kind of annoying.

Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler are three old friends who are reunited over the death of a college friend. She committed suicide off her penthouse suite after her husband left her for another woman. The three receive letters from her sent just before she jumped expressing her grief. She wished she had all that they did, and that they were still good friends. The three get back together after her funeral and discover that while the years have affected them differently they have all experienced the same woes when their husbands, who they were there to support in their early, lean years, achieved success, and all left them for younger women.

Diane Keaton, perhaps the weakest of them all, endures her mother's bullying and her daughter's coming out on top of her divorce, plus being used by her estranged husband while he is also seeing her therapist who she had been paying to help her sort out her problems. {Ewww) Goldie Hawn is an actress who, in an industry which glorifies youth and beauty unlike any other, had her husband leave her for a younger woman even though she has pulled her face taught and self medicating with alcohol rather than popping pain pills. Bette Middler, the funniest of them all and always the star of every show, had her husband leave her for Shelly, a shark of a younger woman who was working in her husband's furniture store.
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