My husband thought I would like The Women, a 1939 movie directed by George Cukor, who was known as a woman’s director. The film is based on a play by Clare Luce Booth and adapted for the silver screen by Anita Loos and Jane Murfin. There are 130 speaking parts–none of them male. The cast is stellar: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine, and so on.
While the movie has only women in it, the story is all about men. That’s all the women talk about. All they think about. Their worlds revolve around the men in their lives. The movie is supposed to be a comedy, a satire of wealthy Manhattan-based women and their marriages. Maybe it was for its time.
Today, I thought it was sad. Pathetic. It also made me angry that the men could be forgiven everything, but if the women had done the same things, they would be ostracized. Again, for the time frame of the movie, this was acceptable.
On the positive side, if my husband hadn’t told me there were no men in the film, I might not have noticed. The actresses conversed directly to the camera as if it were the person to whom they were speaking. The dialogue was scripted in such a way that the viewer understood the male responses as if one had heard them.
Although I didn’t love the movie, watching it wasn’t a waste of time.