Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Women

George Cukor, 1939, bw (8.0*)
This pleasant bit of fluff is one of the first, most archetypal of the all-talk films, where the characters don’t do a lot actually, they just talk about their lives, a style later copied by The Big Chill, Diner, Metropolitan, and My Dinner With Andre. This group of women congregate at a dude ranch out west, and discuss their philandering husbands, new romances, and other 'women's issues'.

What made this film was the expert direction of master George Cukor (My Fair Lady) and the cast: Rosalind Russell, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Paulette Goddard, Bary Boland, Joan Fontaine, Marjorie Main, Hedda Hopper (as a columnist, naturally; she always plays herself). The dialogue and script are witty, never dull, and though hard to classify as comedy or drama, or to give it’s flimsy stories much weight, it’s still a sparkling film to watch today, and likely the first to feature an all-female cast - no doubt it's a film of a stage play, it has that look as a film.

In a year considered one of Hollywood’s best, this film stood above the more celebrated, along with Goodbye, Mr. Chips and The Rains Came.


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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