Have y'all seen the trailers yet for the new movie, The Women? It's a modern-day remake of the 1939 classic - the fashion, the fun, the catfights! - and hit theaters yesterday, I think. Just like the film that came out in September 1939, it's got an all-female cast. Meg Ryan has stepped into Norma Shearer's shoes as "Mary Haines." 'Eva Mendes is playing Joan Crawford's part as "Crystal Allen," the woman having an affair with Mary's husband. (Remember that great bathtub scene with Crystal and her telephone?) Annette Bening is "Sylvia Fowler" (originally portrayed by Rosalind Russell), the best friend who just can't resist filling Mary in on her husband's betrayal --- and then befriending the mistress! The original movie is fabulous, and I have no idea how the remake will stand up - but it is a nice tribute.
Though The Women isn't "officially" a 1940s film, it wasn't released until the fall of 1939, so many people who lived in small towns or rural areas probably didn't even get a chance to see it until 1940. One of my prized vintage radio recordings is a full-day's broadcast from a Washington, DC station in September 1939. It was the day The Women was premiering and the morning radio host kept plugging the fact that all women would get free admission to a particular screening that night. (They must have been SRO!)
Whenever I watch the Homefront episodes where Caroline's headed to Reno for her divorce, I always think of the crowded farm for soon-to-be-divorced ladies where Mary Haines and Sylvia Fowler had to stay for 6 weeks (I think) while they were waiting for their own Reno divorces!