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Lauren Conrad, People magazine and even Perez Hilton have nothing on the gossip queens of the 1939 film The Women.
Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell and about 130 other female cast mates act as a huge dose of growth hormone to the sprawling grapevine of Manhattan high society. At the epicenter is a socialite (Shearer) who finally realizes her husband is cheating on her with a bourgeois shopgirl (Crawford). The Women includes a fine assortment of all female stereotypes: fake gestures of sympathy, hair-pulling and emotional meltdowns with the cheating husband. Yet, one thing is missing throughout the whole film—the men. It’s a lipstick jungle where men’s dialogue is relayed through, you guessed it, more gossip by women. The war of sugar-coated insults climaxes when Crawford retorts, “There’s a name for you ladies, but it isn’t used in high society—outside a kennel.” Who else could deliver such a bitchy line with that kind of class?