Crawford ON TCM ALL MONTH LONG in...January with "Joan Crawford on TCM...
Joan Crawford Profile...
Star of the Month: Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford probably enjoyed being a movie star more than anyone who ever earned that title. It was said of her that she wouldn't even think of putting out the garbage unless she was made up. She answered every fan letter by hand on her blue personalized stationery. Being a movie star was more than a job, it was her life.
The desire to make a success of herself had its roots in her childhood. Born on March 23, 1904 in San Antonio Texas, her birth name was Lucille LeSueur. Her father left the family, which included an older brother, when she was very young.
The Third Man (Rialto, R-1999). 50th Anniversary One Sheet (27" X 39"). Film Noir. Starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee, Paul Horbiger, Ernst Deutsch, Siegfried Breuer, Erich Ponto and Wilfrid Hyde-White. Directed by Carol Reed.
An unrestored poster that appears virtually unused. Closer inspection may reveal one or two minor flaws, such as small pinholes, or light edge wear. Please see full-color, enlargeable image below for more details. Rolled, Very Fine/Near Mint.
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Why It's Essential: The Women (1939) SYNOPSIS
The comedic spectacle of nasty, backstabbing women with too much time and money on their hands has never been more beautifully realized than with the biting "Jungle Red" bared claws of The Women (1939). Based on Clare Boothe Luce's hit Broadway play, the film stars some of MGM's finest female talent during Hollywood's Golden Age--without a single man in the cast.
All hell breaks loose in the world of Manhattan's wealthy ladies-who-lunch housewives when gossip breaks that virtuous loyal wife and mother Mary (Norma Shearer) has lost her husband to a conniving golddigging shopgirl named Crystal Allen (Joan Crawford). Surrounded by the questionable advice of her loose-lipped "friends" including Rosalind Russell, Phyllis Povah and Florence Nash, the heartbroken Mary heads to Reno for a quickie divorce. While there, Mary meets more women in the same boat waiting for their divorces to be finalized including Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine and Mary Boland. After her husband weds the scheming Crystal soon thereafter, Mary tries to move on. However, when she learns of how unhappy he is, she decides to fight to win him back.
CAST AND CREW
Director: George Cukor
Producer: Hunt Stromberg
Writers: Anita Loos and Jane Murfin
Based on the stage play by Clare Boothe
Cinematography: Oliver T. Marsh and Joseph Ruttenberg
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons
Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis
Editing: Robert J. Kern
Music: Edward Ward
Cast: Norma Shearer (Mary Haines), Joan Crawford (Crystal Allen), Rosalind Russell (Sylvia Fowler), Mary Boland (The Countess De Lave), Paulette Goddard (Miriam Aarons), Joan Fontaine (Peggy), Lucile Watson (Mrs. Morehead), Phyllis Povah (Edith), Virginia Weidler (Little Mary), Marjorie Main (Lucy), Virginia Grey (Pat), Ruth Hussey (Miss Watts), Muriel Hutchison (Jane), Hedda Hopper (Dolly Dupuyster), Florence Nash (Nancy Blake), Cora Witherspoon (Mrs. Van Adams)
B and W - 133 min.
Why THE WOMEN is Essential
With its witty dialogue, excellent cast and confident direction from George Cukor, The Women is one of the best comedies ever to be put on the silver screen. The acerbic story based on the famed play by Clare Boothe about catty female rivalries and infidelity still brings laughs almost 80 years after its first production.
The Women features a dream cast of some of MGM's top female actresses of the era in a fine ensemble piece that showcases some of their best work. With Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Joan Fontaine, and Paulette Goddard among others, it's easy to see why this film has remained a classic.
It was a novelty for The Women, both on Broadway and in the film, to have an entirely female cast and no men. The success of the stage and screen version proved that audiences were very much interested in seeing productions that showcased women, and the film gives some top actresses a chance to shine without playing opposite a leading man.
Throughout the 1930s, Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford regularly competed for the best roles at MGM. Both were big movie stars and queens of the MGM lot, but Shearer had always had one advantage over Crawford: She was married to MGM production chief Irving Thalberg, who died unexpectedly in 1936. When The Women came along, both actresses were smart enough to see that audiences would eat up the chance to see them go head-to-head on the big screen as rivals, since they had always been pitted as such in the gossip magazines. The Women offers the delicious opportunity to watch these two fine actresses together in the same film, clearly relishing every moment of it.
The Women was released in 1939, widely considered to be the most outstanding year in cinematic history. 1939 offered such unforgettable classics as Gone With the Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Dark Victory, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Ninotchka, Wuthering Heights and The Wizard of Oz. The Women proudly takes its place among some of the best that Hollywood has ever had to offer, and it has endured, like the rest, over the course of time, finding new life with each generation that discovers it.
The Women is one of Oscar®-winning director George Cukor's best films. Cukor had the reputation of being a "woman's director," meaning he had a talent for bringing out the best performances from the actresses he worked with, and they adored him for it. With such wonderful films as Dinner at Eight (1933), Little Women (1933), Romeo and Juliet (1936), Camille (1936), Adam's Rib (1949), A Star Is Born (1954) and My Fair Lady (1964) under his belt, The Women ranks on equal par with these unforgettable classics.
Actress Rosalind Russell credits The Women for being the film that finally gained her acceptance as a comedienne. Russell had made her start in Hollywood in more serious-minded roles, but comedy proved to be her forte and her future. She fought for the role of backstabbing gossip monger Sylvia Fowler in The Women, and her efforts paid off. One of the Golden Era's most talented and versatile leading ladies, her performance proved to audiences and critics that she could draw laughs just as well as tears.