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The Women: 1939 to 2008

Updated on April 18, 2012

Remaking the 1939 Claire Booth Luce Classic

Sixty-nine years ago George Cukor made his film rendition of Clair Booth Luce's play The Women. It was a big hit, as was the play.

It was unusual then and now, because the entire cast was women, there was not one man in it, very unusual then and today.

The entire title is, The Women: And Its All About Men. It had to be as the 1939 'Ladies Who Lunch' were totally dependent on the men in their lives both for financial support and for social status. That is not the same in 2008. Women still love and need men, of course, but not for survival as did the women of the first movie. Thus today's is more about love and the original was more about primal survival, making the references to 'jungle red' nail polish more pointed.

I first saw the original years ago and was very annoyed about the seemingly pettiness of the women. I look back now and realize that there was nothing petty at all. Being wives of successful men was their career.

The characters of the same name today have other things in their lives and the movie is more about female relationships with or without the men they want and need.

The Original: Is It The Best, As Good, or Not As Good?

The Original: Is It The Best, As Good, or Not As Good?
The Original: Is It The Best, As Good, or Not As Good?

Entertainment with Social Content

Some think they can't or shouldn't mix, but I love it. The original was funny, but also a biting commentary of the upper class society of the Depression as well as the effects on women.

In the remake we see more comment, but 69 years later when so much has changed in women's lives. Can they still be as funny?

The Sharp Wit of Claire Booth Luce

There was something about the more vulnerable position of women 69 years ago that adding an edge to the already sharp wit of Claire Booth Luce. I wouldn't go back to the old days for anything, but there are always loses with gains.

Claire Booth Luce Knew These Women, But Wasn't One of Them

Claire Booth Luce knew these women personally and intimately. As the wife of Henry Luce, founder and owner of Life magazine among others, she rubbed elbows with the 'ladies who lunch', but was never an idle society woman.

Born the 'illegitimate' daughter of show people, she always had an interest in the arts. However, besides writing plays, she was a war correspondent for Life magazine in the early 40's and won a seat in the House of Representatives in 1942.

She was a political conservative, and isolationist who was critical of Roosevelt's foreign policy, but socially was very progressive, or at least lived a life that would not be common to women for decades to come.

In "The Women" we get a glimpse of how she viewed the socialites who were married to or divorced from her husband's contemporaries.

Claire Booth Luce is the women who coined the now common phrase, "No good deed goes unpunished".

The Women 2008

Remakes of Classics Can Be Wonderful, Neutral or Horrible

Blogger Mick LaSalle says "The challenge and trick of remakes is that when you change -- even IMPROVE -- one thing, you unbalance something else." Great point.

What do you have to say about remakes?

What Remakes Did You Love, What Ones Did You Hate?

Best Friends in 1939

Best Friends in 1939
Best Friends in 1939

The Women 1939

You can either purchase it alone, or with a collection of Joan Crawford movies. You will own a classic.

Best Friends and the Enemy in 2008 (The New Yorker)

Best Friends and the Enemy in 2008 (The New Yorker)
Best Friends and the Enemy in 2008 (The New Yorker)

And I would love your thoughts on the lens.

Did You Like the Two "The Women" Movies? Lets Hear About It

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    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 

      7 years ago

      I haven't seen either but I really enjoyed your lens.

    • akumar46 lm profile image

      akumar46 lm 

      7 years ago

      Nice lens on women from 1939 to 2008.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Loved the first movie, don't think I could bare to watch the second one.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I haven't seen either, but it sounds like I should watch both and compare.

    • religions7 profile image


      10 years ago

      I saw neither movie - but I think I'd like the new one. Some of my favorite actresses are in there :)

      Anyhow, congrats on becoming a giant :)

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image

      gia combs-ramirez 

      10 years ago from Montana

      Funny, I haven't been willing to see this movie because I so loved the first one, but after reading this lens I'm ready to see the new version! What a great group of women they got together!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      5 Stars for this lens you know there is realy great idea about this lens thanks again :)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      10 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I haven't seen either one but think it sounds very interesting and entertaining. I will have to rent the old one and then go see the re-make. Thanks for the "heads up" as I was not familiar with either.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Oh Oh, something JaguarJulie didn't know! The Women! Didn't see this YET. But will add it to my portfolio of must-sees. ;) Yep, you are a fan and are on my fan page. ;)

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      10 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I want a remake of Milred Pierce! My choice for the new Milred would be Gillian Anderson. The original was so good. I have not seen The Women. Old or new.

      I would watch the old but not the new.

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 

      10 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      I think it all depends on the actors or director. Some remakes can be wonderful interpretations while other you have to wonder why they bothered. I love Meg Ryan so I'll probably take in this movie.


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