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Set in a 1930s Manhattan milieu of idle socialites and gossip, George Cukor's THE WOMEN is an opulent rendition of the Clare Boothe Luce play. While no men appear in the film, they are grist for the mill in the social circle of Mary Haines (Norma Shearer) and her catty clique of high-society wives. However, Mary's tidy world is turned upside down when she accidentally learns of her husband's philandering. Crystal Allen (Joan Crawford), a vicious vixen and ruthless gold digger, has set her sights on Mary's husband; Mary initially plays right into her hands, but soon, with the advice and support of comrades experienced in the art of woman-to-woman combat, Mary decides she won't give up without a fight. The tale's semiregressive premise has been criticized for this reason, yet this does not overshadow the host of exceptional performances and the range of complex relationships the film presents. As a fantasy of a women-only world of glamour, idle pleasures, and raw sexual competition, the film has enjoyed a cult following--owing, no doubt, in part to a hard-as-nails performance by Crawford that was credited with reviving her career.View full details