Thursday, 27 March 2008

Oh l’amour, l’amour...



We went to see a showing of the classic film The Women last night at the British Film Institute on the South Bank. Despite the fact that it was announced as being introduced by Maureen Lipman, who never showed up, we had a whale of a time revisiting what must be one of the bitchiest films ever made - with leading ladies Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell and Paulette Goddard and an all-female cast of stars, it couldn’t be anything else...



If you’ve never seen this masterpiece I cannot recommend it enough. In the hands of master scriptwriters Clare Boothe Luce (founder of Life magazine) and Anita Loos (famous for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), the dialogue is as sharp as a razor, as the spoilt rich bitches catfight in their gowns by Adrian, and the wronged wife (Shearer) tries to recapture her husband from the clutches of an evil vamp (Crawford).

For its time, it is remarkably modern - so many comparable films of the pre-war era were over-sentimental, moral and puritanical - and remains a genuinely brilliant tour de force.

Some of the best quotes from the movie include:
  • "You simply must see my hairdresser, I DETEST whoever does yours."
  • "She’s got those eyes that run up and down a man like a searchlight."
  • "Get me a bromide - and put some gin in it."
  • "He almost stood me up for his wife!"
  • "Isn’t that (nail polish) divine? Jungle red!" "Looks like you’ve been tearing at somebody's throat!"
  • "Oh, poor creatures. They’ve lost their equilibrium because they’ve lost their faith in love. Oh l’amour, l’amour."
  • "Where I spit no grass grows ever!"
  • "Oh, she can’t help it. It’s just her tough luck that she wasn’t born deaf and dumb."
  • "When anything I wear doesn’t please Stephen, I take it off."
And my favourite of all:
  • "There is a name for you, ladies, but it isn’t used in high society... outside of a kennel!"

Read more about The Women

Apparently some idiot is producing a remake of this brilliant film - even with such names as Carrie Fisher, Bette Midler and Candice Bergen on board you just know it will be pants!

I mean - Eva Mendes trying to play a Joan Crawford character?! And wouldn’t the entire audience side with the man-stealing vamp if the wronged wife is played by Meg (somebody slap her) Ryan?

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