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The Women (Snap case)

4.8 out of 5 stars 536 customer reviews

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(Jul 02, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

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.

Special Features

  • Romance on Celluloid documentaries "From the Ends of the Earth" and "Hollywood: Style Center of the World"
  • Alternate black-and-white fashion show sequence with different footage
  • Scoring session music cues

Product Details

  • Actors: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland, Paulette Goddard
  • Directors: George Cukor
  • Writers: Anita Loos, Clare Boothe Luce, Donald Ogden Stewart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Murfin
  • Producers: Hunt Stromberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 2, 2002
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (536 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063K2W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,326 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Women (Snap case)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 15, 2002
Format: DVD
The female of the species goes jungle red in tooth and claw in this brilliant screen adaptation of Claire Boothe Luce's famous Broadway play--a wickedly funny portrait of 1930s society women whose lives revolve around beauty treatments, luncheons, fashion shows, and each other's men. Socialite Mary Haines is the envy of her set: rich, beautiful, and happily married... but when her husband steps out on her with a gold-digging perfume counter sales clerk, Mary's so-called friends dish enough dirt to make divorce inevitable whether Mary wants it or not.

The script is wickedly, mercilessly funny, fast paced, razor sharp and filled with such memorable invective that you'll be quoting it for weeks and months afterward: "He says he'd like to do Sylvia's nails right down to the wrist with a buzz-saw;" "Why that old gasoline truck, she's sixty if she's a minute;" "Gimme a bromide--and put some gin in it!" And the all-female cast, which includes every one from Cora Witherspoon to Butterfly McQueen to Hedda Hopper, plays it with tremendous spark.

This was the last significant starring role for Norma Shearer, one of MGM's greatest stars of the 1930s, and she aquits herself very well as the much-wronged Mary Haines. But the real winners are the members of the supporting cast. Joan Crawford is truly astonishing as Crystal Allen, the shop girl who leads Mary's husband astray, and Rosalind Russell gives an outrageously funny performance as the back-biting gossip whose nasty comments precipitate Mary's divorce. Indeed, it is hard to do anything except rave about the entire the cast, which includes such diverse performers as Marjorie Main, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine, and Lucille Watson.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is a film that has withstood the test of time. It is every bit as entertaining, as when it was first first released back in 1939. The film is an outstanding example of pre-World War II opulence and elegance with its gorgeous art deco sets. Based upon a play by Claire Booth Luce, it boast a snappy and witty screenplay by Anita Loos and Jane Murfin. In the hands of legendary director, George Cukor, this film is sharp, funny, and memorable with stellar performances given by the entire cast. Boasting an all female ensemble, with nary a male in sight, the film revolves around men. How to get 'em. How to keep 'em. How to lose 'em. How to get 'em back.
The film details the marital travails of Mary Haines, played by screen great, Norma Shearer. Mary has a coterie of bitchy, gossipy, back biting friends, and included in that group is her cousin Sylvia, played with madcap zaniness by Rosalind Russell. Mary is happily married to wealthy Stephen Haines, or so she thinks. Apparently, her perfect husband is stepping out on her with perfume salesgirl, Crystal Allen, played with bad girl abandon by Joan Crawford, and it seems that all New York knows it.
Mary's so called friends ensure that Mary finds herself in a position to discover her husband's betrayal. Mary's mother, Mrs. Moorehead, played with characteristic stateliness and grace by Lucille Watson, counsels her daughter to handle the matter the old fashioned way, promising that the affair will soon burn itself out. She advises her daughter not to betray her feelings about the affair, not to mention it to her husband, not to discuss it among her friends, and to turn a blind eye to the whole matter.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am writing this review after recently watching a revival of the play on PBS. Not having seen the movie in many years, I ordered it on DVD afterward. First, the DVD transfer is flawless. This film is mostly in black-and-white, save an insert in Technicolor for a fashion show. The range of gray tones in these old movies can be a revelation to those who have only seen recent B/W films. The masters of the studios in lighting these movies are long since gone, and apparently their craft went with them. The DVD has not only the delightful movie trailer that went with "Women", but also the trailer for the musical remake in 1956, "The Opposite Sex". I never liked the musical, but others might.
The amazing thing about "The Women" is that, if one doesn't pay attention to the trailer, it's possible to watch it and never realize that there are no men at all in the picture! As the trailer says, 135 women and no men. But of course it's all about men!
This is the basic story of Mary, played by Norma Shearer, who discovers her husband is seeing another women. It follows her through her divorce and reunion with her husband. Naturally it's not that cut-and-dried. Her bitchy, back-biting friends go through many of the same travails on a cross-country route to a happy ending. Sounds boring written here, but the movie definitely isn't. Every time Ms. Shearer threatens to get too sugary, a few choice cracks by one of the other characters brings things back into line.
I really can't remember another movie I've seen with Norma Shearer, so this movie defines her work for me. She is a very unusual-looking woman, hard to define as pretty, yet definitely with screen presence. Of course, being Mrs. Thalberg didn't hurt her ability to get this part, and she plays it beautifully.
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