THE WOMEN
1939, Warner Bros., 133 min, USA, Dir: George Cukor

George Cukor (A STAR IS BORN, MY FAIR LADY) directs Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Paulette Goddard and Joan Fontaine in a cast of 135 woman (with nothing on their minds, but men) wearing costumes designed by Adrian! Catch your breath yet? There is a six minute Technicolor fashion sequence too! Forget the plot which is essentially ‘who’s stepping out on who’ and focus on the fact that this movie takes things out of the boudoir and onto the screen in a picture that lets you see these women “with their hair down and their claws out,” and we quote. “I’ve had two years to grow my claws Mother… JUNGLE RED!” The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald worked on the script at some point, but is uncredited. Three female writers, Clare Boothe Luce, Anita Loos & Jane Muffin got the screenplay done!


MODERN TIMES
1936, Janus Films, 87 min, USA, Dir: Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin directs and plays the Tramp in this brilliantly inventive critique of industrial advancement. When the Tramp begins to take on one too many characteristics of the massive machinery that surrounds him, the powers-that-be are made nervous by his antisocial behavior and suspect him of being a communist.


HAZARD
1948, Paramount [Universal], 95 min, USA, Dir: George Marshall

More a comedy-adventure than a straight noir, but we welcome any chance to see Paulette Goddard in her prime! She plays a gambler who antes herself up as the prize in a game against a professional card shark (Fred Clark). Upon losing, she takes it on the lam, pursued cross-country by a private dick (Macdonald Carey) hired to haul her back to the altar. Surrounded by a wonderful cast (Stanley Clements, Percy Helton, Frank Faylen, Taylor Holmes, Charles McGraw), Goddard shows why she was one of the most luminous and charismatic stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Not on DVD!


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