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!


WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD?
1932, Warner Bros., 87 min, USA, Dir: George Cukor

Brown Derby waitress and aspiring actress Constance Bennett attracts the attention of alcoholic director Lowell Sherman – her career soars while his falters, in this early version of the story that would be more famously adapted in 1937 and 1954 as A STAR IS BORN. “Bennett gives one of those complete, exquisitely nuanced performances that have made Cukor’s direction so justly celebrated.” – Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times.


THE PHILADELPHIA STORY
1940, Warner Bros., 112 min, USA, Dir: George Cukor

Katherine Hepburn had been declared “box office poison” before this delightful romantic comedy, adapted from the Broadway play in which she’d starred, revived her career. She plays Philadelphia socialite Tracy Lord, who is just about to get married when her ex-husband (Cary Grant) and a reporter (James Stewart) enter the picture. Stewart and screenwriter Donald Ogden Stewart both earned Oscars for this almost unimprovable screwball gem, later remade as the musical HIGH SOCIETY.


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