Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Women Then and Now

The movie The Women from 1939 is a bit of a cult classic in New York. Based on the 1936 play by Clare Boothe Luce, it follows the lives of a group of backstabbing, gossipy, spoiled New York socialites. Many fashion designers have admitted to watching it for inspiration so when I heard they were planning a modern remake, I was curious as to how they were going to do it considering that most of the movie centers on the characters traveling to Reno for divorces, which is no longer necessary in this day and age. But then I just read in Vanity Fair that the women in the new movie would be traveling to a "ashram-style retreat." Perfect! I can't believe it didn't think of that. Below is a photo of the new A-list cast.


The funny thing about the original movie was how modern the women seemed. You see them exercising and taking care of themselves just like today's New York socialites. Pretty funny then that they are remaking a movie that was already ahead of it's time. My suggestion is that you rent the original before you see the remake this fall.

16 comments:

Alice Olive said...

One of my all-time favourite movies. Despite the worry that the original may well be the best, I will be lining up to see the re-make!

PS - But never ever ever should All About Eve be re-made. No one, but no one could surpass Bette Davis.

Wes said...

Thats one of the best movies ever, I just hope that its not a horrible remake.I just love the original.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

When watching the original movie, anyone who hasn't seen it must pay close attention to Norma Shearer. The other actresses catch the eye and ear, but Shearer is subtle and well worth watching. And utterly beautiful to boot.

halcyon said...

I agree. I always thought Shearer underrated, because everyone said she only got the parts because her husband Irving Thalberg was 2nd in line at MGM, but I especially liked her in THE WOMEN. Can't WAIT to see Better Midler as the Countess de Lave!

KreativeMix said...

Great movie. Hope the remake does it justice!!!

maison21 said...

hmmmm- i'll reserve judgement until i see the remake but the original will be very hard to top.

Joanna Goddard said...

i LOVE your blog. i'm going to add you to my link list. you are fabulous. your new years resolutions, your dreaming post.....btw, you can sell your old books at the Strand and make some $$$ if you want....

keep doing what you're doing, you're fabulous! i'll be a daily reader from now on....xoxo

Cakespy said...

I just put it on my library list to borrow! I love old movies, and am interested in the remake now!

Sacheverelle said...

First I gotta say-LOVE the blog!!
Re: a modern version of "The Women"..oh boy here we go'..
"The Women" is pretty much a '30s time capsule of a story. The only way it is really ever successful is when it doesn't veer far from Luce's original story. Modern-day interpretations of the play 'The Women' never pack the same punch as the original. The women in Luce's play represented a now-dated archetype of bored, haughty, rich society women that existed in a time when the appearance of propriety was actually a huge conceren to people, unlike now.
I can't imagine a circa 2008 film adaptation of "The Women" would work well because most of the story involves the characters doing things that modern women can't identify with. Negotiating an extreme double standard between men & women & bitching about old-school notions of gender & propriety are antagonists which have long since been of concern to female American play/film characters. Issues like having to sneak off to Reno for a divorce & the finer points of indirectly manipulating men by putting on a veil of "female charm" are dated, even unfamiliar notions to most of us, which are central to the plot of the play/film. What does work is when 'The Women' is done as a period '30s piece. Now that would be impressive, a new big-screen version faithful to the original with 1930s costumes & sets. Yummy! Besides, is no one else becoming weary of the American media focus on trifling rich people bitching about perceived problems in their cakewalk lives? I mean the clothes are fun to watch but Kee-rist...I guess it's much harder than I thought to be rich & spoiled.

All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

Oooo I'm going to have to see both of them now!! :-)
PS that next post you've got there on Jimmy - is delicious - very wearstleresque in my humble opinion

Mrs. Blandings said...

Love the original - now, think I must own it. As for the new, any movie that would give this many roles to strong women deserves a chance. As for sacheverlle - I don't think we progressed quite as much as you think.

Habitually Chic said...

I'm so glad there are so many others who have seen this wonderful movie. I too hope the remake can live up to the original. I always wonder why movie studios have to remake already great movies when there are so many great screenplays sitting around that never get to see the light of day.

Anyway, we'll have to regroup and discuss after the new movie is released. Until then, rent the original!

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Always see the original first. It'll probably wind up being the one you buy for your DVD library. For me, it's the dialogue that never seems to be of the same calibre in a new version of an old favourite.

Brilliant Asylum said...

Putting it on the netflix queue now. Thanks!

Brilliant Asylum said...

Putting it on the netflix queue now. Thanks!

Erin said...

Long time reader, first time commenter. The Women was recently staged at ACT Theatre in Seattle - one of the best shows I've ever seen - if it comes to NYC it is a must see! I can't wait to see both the original and re-made movies now. Thanks for all your inspirations.

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