Tired Old Queen At The Movies #141 [VIDEO]

Clip recap:

Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Roz Russell lead a bevy of MGM beauties in George Cukor’s comedy classic “The Women”. Based on a play by Claire Booth Luce, with a screenplay by Anita Loos, it also stars Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine, Marjorie Main, the delightful Mary Boland and an all female cast who deliver some of the wittiest dialogue of the golden age of screen comedies. Gorgeously shot in the MGM tradition, with outrageous costumes by Adrian and a color fashion show that will knock your eyes out, it’s a hysterical, bitchy glam fest you don’t want to miss!

  • Ernest Endevor

    Rosalind Russel smashing the plate.

  • Jeffrey

    Easily my all time favorite movie. The Philadelphia Story is in second place.

    • Lakeview Bob

      How could a self respecting gay man ever get tired of THE WOMEN!

  • Christopher Smith

    “L’amour, l’amour……how it can let you down…..”
    “It’s time for another little drinkie–get me a bromide and put some GIN in it!”

    • Robincho

      “La publicité! La publicité!” — Luvz me some Countess de Lave…

      • Christopher Smith

        Mary Boland was brilliant. “But my dear, I AM Dandy Gelatine!”

        • Robincho

          Or Roz: “Darling, you must go to Sidney’s for your hair. I simply DESPISE whoever’s doing yours!”…

          • jo gerardo

            “Zips up the back, and no bones.”

          • Robincho

            Love the way she kept saying “em-BRAW-dree”…

    • MarkOH

      “Chin up. Right, both of them”

  • Christopher Smith

    “You know them big, strong, REDHEADED men…..!!!”

    • perversatile

      -every time I hear that -I think of this

  • DirtyPierre

    “When Stephen doesn’t like what I wear, I take it off”

    • TuuxKabin

      So, from your avatar, Stephen didn’t like what you were wearing.

  • Gustav2

    A finer kennel-full was never assembled.

  • Lucien

    A whole page of memorable lines!

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032143/quotes

    • David Walker

      Thank you. Was gonna do a search after reading these comments.

      • Lucien

        You’re very welcome. Have a happy 4th of July!

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    Every drag queen’s wet dream!

    • BlueberriesForMe

      “Even the animals in the film were all female”.

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    I wonder why this wasn’t the first movie he reviewed!?

    • Robincho

      Some tops ya gotta work up to…

      • Johnny Wyeknot

        Well, there’s that.

      • Christopher Smith

        Do you speak from experience?

  • Lazycrockett
    • Robincho

      And Crystal Allen knew from bitches — onscreen AND off…

    • SilasMarner

      That was the best line in the whole movie. I loved movie writers back then. They cleverly got around censors using only their words.

      • It certainly took more creativity to avoid certain words and topics directly.

    • MythicalBeast

      Best bitchy movie line EVER.

  • JoeMyGod

    I’ve been posting Steve’s videos for more than seven years. When he launched the Tired Old Queen series I was sure it would be short-lived because he’d be snapped up by TCM or another cable movie network. I still have hope!

    • Jeffrey

      Ive always thought it would be perfect for between-movie featurettes.

      • marthaenealsdv

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        • Jeffrey

          Your roommate Amber shows her pussy to strangers on the internet for a dollar.

          • The Real Royal Loser

            I knew you were into that.

    • Pete N SFO

      As I watched, I was also thinking how has TCM not found a place for him?!

      • gabriellejbradshaw

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  • fierce_urgency_of_whenever

    Queens have been living off of this movie’s dialogues for centuries.

    • Robincho

      “La parole!… La parole!”…

  • Fifth-and-a-Half Element

    Haven’t watched this in forever…Now I know what will accompany my bottle of wine tonight!

    • Lakeview Bob

      Time well spent.

  • Todd

    LOVE him ….his channel is one of the few I follow on YouTube.

    His recaps are always fun and full,of affection for the movies

  • perversatile

    Another one to watch out for-
    ‘Born to be Bad’ 1950 Joan Fontaine. Joan plays Cristabel a sweet- modest- soft spoken- butter wouldn’t melt her mouth- scheming- gold digging- man snatching whore. Steals her cousins millionaire fiance played by Zachary Scott (that guy Veda shot) marries him, and then uses sex to manipulate him BY WITHHOLDING IT. She becomes Queen of the Junior League, throws lots of balls, and just when she’s thinking “If I have to arrange one more god damn vase of flowers…’ she meets a brooding tortured writer played by extra hot Mel Ferrer, who tells her it’s not natural for a woman to be pursuing a man so so aggressively, but he still lets her catch him. What happens next? Does Cristabel get everything she wants or everything she deserves? http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMTUwMzk0NjkyMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNTUyMjI2._V1_.jpg

    • David Walker

      She certainly does.

      • perversatile

        🎵🎵and she certainly can, can-can🎵🎵

  • Lakeview Bob

    I never get tired of watching this movie over and over. I was enchanted by Norma Shearer and have always adored Rosalind Russell. A super wonderful movie.

  • Robincho

    God fuck it, I am SO sick of Claire Booth Luce. Why, you might ask? Because it’s CLARE BOOTHE LUCE1111111!!1211! She married Henry Luce (founder of Time and Life magazines, more or less), which meant she knew from gold-digging. She swam regular morning laps in the rightwing cesspool. With her mouth open!. And she gave rise to one of the greatest drag names EVER: Clare Boothe Luce Change.
    Still, “The Women” got her first-class passage into Script Heaven…

    • David Walker

      Then you probably already know the story:
      Claire Booth Luce and Dorothy Parker approached the Waldorf-Astoria. Clare Booth Luce stood aside and said to Mrs. Parker, ”Age before beauty, my dear.” Dorothy Parker swept through the revolving door as she replied, ”And pearls before swine!”

      • Robincho

        Rule #1: NEVER fight a battle of wits with Mrs. Parker
        Rule #2: See Rule #1.

        Some Poor Soul: “I simply can’t bear fools!”
        Dorothy Parker: “That’s odd… your mother could.”

        Ilka Chase (about Mrs. Luce): “She’s always kind to her inferiors.”
        Dorothy Parker: “Wherever does she find them?”

        Pull up a chaise-longue, honey. I could go on for hours… 😉

        • David Walker

          Mrs. Parker was one of the first humorists I investigated…what made her funny, why were people afraid of her, how did she use words? I still hold her in untouchably high regard.

          • Christopher Smith

            Her ‘serious’ stories are superb too, David, as is some of her poetry. Do you know ‘Big Blonde?’ Shattering.

          • Lazycrockett

            One of my favs.

            Resumé
            BY DOROTHY PARKER
            Razors pain you;
            Rivers are damp;
            Acids stain you;
            And drugs cause cramp.
            Guns aren’t lawful;
            Nooses give;
            Gas smells awful;
            You might as well live.

          • Robincho

            Many people consider her finest work to be embodied in the critical reviews, some done pseudonymously as “Constant Reader” for The New Yorker. (Of A. A. Milne’s The House At Pooh Corner, she wrote, “Tonstant weader fwowed up.”)

            If you want to start the waterworks, check out “Horsie.” But in any event, I have a box of chocolates for you here in the Gay Lobby, left by a mysterious woman named Hazel Morse.
            Shall I send them up now, or just keep them here for you to pick up on your way out?…

          • Christopher Smith

            Yes. ‘Horsie’ is terrible (in a great way. ) I have read the reviews and disagree–they are too cutesy by half–precious, almost, sigh–but I do love ‘the gamut from A to B.’ I find the reviews to be mostly Mrs Parker showing off, not like Horsie or Big Blonde or Resume etc. at all. Hey, what can I tell you, I love the Pooh books too….
            Do you think we might arrange another place for our rendezvous–perhaps via email? smile

          • Christopher Smith

            About those chocolates? Might you send them to [email protected], with an accompanying note?

          • David Walker

            I do and I agree. I tend to get obsessed when I latch on to something, so I think I read almost everything that was published.

          • Robincho

            Turn backward, turn backward,
            O Time, in thy flight!
            I thought of a wisecrack
            I needed last night!

            The French call it “l’esprit de l’escalier” –the ghost of the stairs. By the time you get the ghost, you’re already on the stairs, and by then of course it’s too late.

            This was NEVER Dottie’s problem. She had the comeback ready for instant deployment. It’s an awesome gift to have,
            but sadly, she denigrated it continually: “I was just a little Jewish girl, trying to be cute.” Or, “Wit is just calisthenics with words.” Etc. etc.

            You should look into becoming a member of the Dorothy Parker Society. Srsly. Or, rather, NOT srsly… 😉

        • You beat me to it!

          So many great quips.

  • Eric Lewis

    Never ever to be confused with this piece of crap.

    • KP

      They tried to prove that women aren’t really bitchy in this remake. Sylvia was just misunderstood and Edith was just bad at choosing contraception Nancy wasn’t a lesbian just a Scientologist. And poor poor Mary addicted to Botox and lip filler.

      • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

        Oh! Sister! I’m glad I totally missed even awareness of that one.

    • SilasMarner

      I couldn’t watch the whole thing, it was horrible.

    • bandanajack

      YES, i just went to my favorite pirate site because i knew this was just the right movie for today, and THIS was what they offered me…
      i did not have to sample this to know just how bad it would be.

    • Christopher Smith

      Worst.Attempt.At.Remake.EVAH.

      • MattPS

        There was another remake in the 1950s that didn’t fare too well, either. But at least they had the good sense to not call it “The Women”. I think Don Murray had a part in it. (I forgot to mention: it also had men in it, which pretty much doomed it from the git-go.)

    • Acronym Jim

      With Carrie Fisher, Cloris Leachman, Bette Midler, and Candice Bergen, it should have been a pièce de résistance. What a waste of potential.

    • Blobby

      oh this was BEYOND horrid

  • Jeffrey

    Has anyone ever seen the remake with Meg Ryan? The Hindenburg was less horrifying. The Titanic was merely disappointing by comparison.

    • David Walker

      I didn’t bother. Most remakes pale (at the very least) in comparison. There is the rare exception, but the cast list on this shouted “Run away! Run away!”

      • Jeffrey

        Diane English, who created Murphy Brown, wrote the screenplay. That’s the only reason I ever had any hopes for it at all. It only works as a period piece now. There is no updating a script where a woman must learn to ignore her husband’s philandering for the greater good. That can only exist int he past.

        • David Walker

          Interesting point, Jeffrey. As I’m learning on the retro TV channels, not all the “good” series of yore remain interesting.

    • Gustav2

      I started to watch it once…

    • Yes, many years after it came out. Sigh.

      I’m curious to see the 1956 adaptation called “The Opposite Sex,” which included men in the cast and from the description seems to beef up the Buck Winston role. I’ll have to go into it with different expectations, though.

      • Lazycrockett

        I remember watching it on TCM and that’s bout it. Didn’t leave much of an impression.

      • Jeffrey

        Yes, like The Philadelphia Story it also received a musical version treatment. I haven’t seen it because the cast didn’t interest me.

      • perversatile

        Let me save you two hours -even with Joan Collins playing Cystal Allen, , for a point of comparison, think of Auntie Mame with Rosalind Russel versus Auntie Mame with Lucille Ball
        -”Well, it was ghastly. it was just ghastly.”

        • Robincho

          After her Mame, Lucy had some serious ‘splainin’ to do…

          • perversatile

            Lucy- why do people keep asking me if I know anyone that sells coke?

    • SilasMarner

      It wasn’t nearly as bad as the latest iteration but it still stunk up the screen.

    • perversatile

      I watched it enough to realize, dear gawd,
      this is actually worse than the musical.

  • Michael Rush
  • SLK in SF

    One of my life’s more memorable experiences was the first time I saw ‘The Women’ at the Castro Theater.

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      I can imagine! And I bet the audience knew every line!

      • SLK in SF

        The audience is nearly as much fun as what’s on the screen.

        • Johnny Wyeknot

          I loved the Castro Theater when I lived there in the 1980s. Now that I think back, pretty sure I saw The Women there also. And San Francisco with Jeanette MacDonald.

          • fuzzybits

            It was fun seeing “Whatever Happened To Baby Jane” there also.

          • Robincho

            The place musta come undone when Jane got to The Line:
            “Butcha AH, Blanche… ya AH!”

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            Haha! That line will live into immortality!

          • fuzzybits

            It did and continued outside the theater as we were walking out.

          • MythicalBeast

            Another one I remember seeing there in that era was “Johnny Guitar” with Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge. (Someone in the audience would NOT let us forget that McCambridge voiced the demon in “The Exorcist,” spouting lines from *that* movie every time she appeared on screen.) Not the greatest movie IMHO but something about The Castro makes even “B” pictures shine extra-special.

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            Hmm… It’s a great venue for camp and the best camp is always B movie camp!

          • I remember when they played San Francisco and one of Clark Gables regarding all the donations he made to his best friend Spencer Tracy’s Church was “he blew me plenty for those plaster saints!”. The crowd went nuts. Also at the beginning when the first credits roll and the movies announced that “San Francisco has always been known as a Queen among Seaports”. Crowd goes crazy. There is no place better to see a campy old flick!

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            Agreed!

          • TuuxKabin

            I think I saw ‘San Francisco’ at the Strand. Market & 7th Street?

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            It played at every theater in town because it would always draw. Maybe not so much anymore. Not sure the tech world is ready for Jeanette MacDonald.

          • TuuxKabin

            Charles Pierce used to lip sync the theme song in a daisy chain swing, with a strobe light for the final notes at “The Gilded Cage”, an after hours Tenderloin club in the mid and late 60’s.

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            Haha! I loved living there. 😉

          • TuuxKabin

            Wye Knot? Wye wouldn’t you! Ja ja, finally got another chance to use your last name in a question. Sorry, at your expense. You don’t know how many times I’ve refrained from doing that.

            Me too. It was incredibly heady times. The day after high school graduation I moved across the bay, found a job, apartment in the Haight-Ashbury a few summers before the summer of love and watch the city bloom. Made me believe in magic.

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            I view my last name as a question the answer to which typically gets me in trouble. (And it certainly did in SF!)

          • TuuxKabin

            Again, I must ask you, and WyeKnot? You could be nameless in SF during those times, and get in trouble. Fun trouble as I remember.

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            You remember correctly.

        • OldGuy

          What I loved was during the opening credits, the cheers for Mary Boland and other lesser knowns. Gawd I miss the Castro theater audiences.

          • SLK in SF

            The Countess DeLave is always a crowd favorite. 🙂

      • Dean Cameron

        They did! It was like they were all reciting the Catechism when I was there in 1982.

        • Johnny Wyeknot

          Yes, I remember now seeing it in 1984.

    • SilasMarner

      OMG, this movie in a theater with a gay crowd? Must have been ripping good time!!! I envy you.

    • MythicalBeast

      I posted my comment before seeing yours, but yes, that is the absolute ideal setting for the movie.

  • KP

    The Blu ray of this film is magnificent.

  • Robincho

    Imagine… a MAJOR movie without a single (or married) man in it. You’d think Cukor would’ve been miserable. But I bet he was drowning in his own cum…

  • I’ve seen this movie probably 20 times. When I first saw it as a baby gay, a friend showed it at his birthday — and, coincidentally, other friends were already planning to show it at a home movie night the next night. That was good: the dialog is so fast that you really have to see it several times to catch most of it, and even now I still find new things. A classic.

    • bdsmjack

      One of my favorite lines was Joan Crawford at the end, something like: “There’s a word to describe ladies like you, but it’s not used in polite society –outside of a kennel.”

    • MarkOH

      A late friend of mine (God rest his soul). Lois Common Denominator, said EVERY baby gay HAD to see this movie to understand where so much of humor comes from.

  • SLK in SF

    “The Women — It’s All About Men”

  • seant426

    “The Women” is good but this is better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OJ-7UBRvEw

    • Lucien

      Looking forward to it, thanks. (And free to stream on Amazon Prime!)

      • seant426

        It’s about time they made this available via streaming. Used to be only available on DVD.

        • Lucien

          I’ve never seen the film, so appreciate the recommendation.

          • This is one of those films like Diner where you get to see a lot of soon-to-be famous actors on their way up. You’re probably fans of half the cast already.

          • Ron Robertson

            I’ve never seen it, but amazing number of famous actresses in it, just the sequence above showed Eve Arden as well. You compare the dialog of that period with what passes for it now, the contrast is pretty stark.

    • SilasMarner

      “The calla lilies are in bloom again, such a strange flower, suitable to any occasion…”

      • Johnny Wyeknot

        Almost the San Francisco motto when I lived there.

    • Lucille Ball has a small part in this one. Years later in an episode of I Love Lucy she parodies the “Calla lillies in bloom” scene in her best Kate Hepburn voice. It’s hilarious if you catch the reference.

  • bdsmjack

    I LIVE for the Fashion Show, all in color, though the rest of the movie is b&w.

  • Webster

    They really knew how to make drag queens back then…

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      An era when queens were queens!

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    I would love to have seen the production that Steve played in. That cast sounds fantastic!

  • bandanajack

    how annoying. today i was in just the mood to revisit the women, and my cheat site in the sky only had a repulsive looking updated version.

  • e’ville_globeguy

    “I’m what nature abhors: An old maid, a frozen asset”.

    Story of my f#¢kin’ life. But great movie.

  • MythicalBeast

    I first saw “The Women” at The Castro cinema in San Francisco in 1984 wth an audience full of gay men who knew just about every single line in the movie, and that is one nonstop talky script! It was a total hoot but I had to view the film again at home a couple of years later to actually absorb and digest everything being said. They don’t make ’em like that any more!

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      Okay. 1984. I was in the audience. It’s all starting to come back now. I should have been studying contracts for law school. Went in full leather. At a time when leather and silliness first shook hands.

  • e jerry powell

    YES GAWD.

  • Mrs. Moorehead (Rosalind Russell) : Well, cheer up, Mary; living alone has its compensations. Heaven knows it’s marvelous being able to spread out in bed like a swastika. Quotes from The Women: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032143/quotes

  • bdsmjack

    I always thought it would be brilliant to do an all drag version of The Women on stage. Any angels reading this?

  • MattPS

    The fashion show sequence (in Technicolor, to boot)! One of my favorite parts of the whole film, bitchy dialogue notwithstanding.

  • marthaenealsdv

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  • DonnaLee

    I love seeing how Steve talks up these movies. I’ve seen several of his suggestions. I had to see this one after I saw the later one.

  • Blobby

    if you want a truly horrible experience, watch the remake w Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Jada Pinket Smith, etc. It is SO bad, but so easy to MST3K it.

  • Jeff

    “I got a rather gloomy letter from home today… My little sister: She’s not very well,” lies Crystal Allen to Stephen Haines over the phone, ensuring that he makes time for her that evening, instead of going home to our hero Mary Haines.

    Pipes in Crystal’s sweet and beautiful perfume counter co-worker Pat, “What’s the matter with her? She got a hangover?”

    For me the phone scene is to The Women as the airplane scene is to Bridesmaids.