Monday, September 1, 2008

Out of the Past, Into the Now: The Women (1939) or is it (2008)?

The Sunday New York Times featured an article discussing the newest incarnation of the famous Clare Booth Luce play The Women. Nothing, since the George Cukor film that so many of us love and hold dear to our hearts, has been able to capture the magic of that theatrical all-women spectacle. There have been some really bad remakes like The Opposite Sex (1956), which in my opinion was the opposite of good (its got men, people!!!). And there have been some good remakes, like the televised Broadway play that featured Cynthia Nixon, of Sex and the City fame, in the title role.

It's been a long process to get the newest remake underway and in theatres. But can it hold up? Can Eva Mendes capture the cutting wit and ruthlessness of Crystal Allen (Joan Crawford in the original) when she says "there is a word for you ladies, but it isn't used in society... outside of a kennel". We'll just have to wait and see. The new film, features "little-girl-voiced blonde" Meg Ryan (in contrast to the "mellifluent brunet" Norma Shearer) and hits theatres on September 12th, with TCM fast on its heels, showing the original version on September 15th. In the meantime, check out the NYT article online as well as their chart comparing and contrasting the 1939 version to the 2008 one. Enjoy!


  1. I'm not a fan of Cukor and was looking forward--to some degree-to the remake, just as a curiosity (it only spent something like fifteen years in development).

    The only hope is Eva Mendes not being in the film very much....

  2. I don't know. Joan Crawford, although I despise her so, pretty much steals the show. Mostly because she was really good at being the b**** and because her character had great lines. I can see Eva Mendes outshining Meg Ryan.

  3. My mom -- who has awful taste in film -- said the other day, "I'm so excited about this new movie...I'm not sure what's it called, but it's got a bunch of women in it..."

    I said, "Uh, THE WOMEN?" She said yes, and I told her, "You know it's a remake, don't you?"

    She didn't, and I went off on my usual 'anti-remakes o' the classic' sermon, and that she should at least watch the original first. She refused, saying, "I don't care how great it is! I'm not going to watch old movies." :(


    I love your beloved Norma in that one, by the way. I think it was the first film of hers I ever saw.

  4. Oh I'm sorry Ginger. Some people just have it out for them old movies.

    My mom loves classic films, you can borrow her if you want. She however has no capacity of remembering titles, actor's names or even plot lines. So she'll come to me and say, "hey there was this really great movie I saw, it was black & white and had the word "girl" in it. I don't remember what it's about or who was in it but you should definitely watch it." ::sigh::


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