My good friend Mr. Tiny over at Wacky Tacky loaned me his copy of "The Opposite Sex" starring June Allyson and Dolores Gray. I was hesitant. I knew this film was a remake of the greatest film ever made, "The Women" but would it live up? Would it suck so bad I would have to return the film without watching the second half?
The beginning started out fine. We meet our ladies at Sydney's, the hair salon where women beautify and salon workers gossip. Just like in "The Women". We're off to a good start. Mrs. Fowler (Dolores Gray)learns that BFF Kay's husband is cheating. Oh what news! She finds her other BFF Edith (Joan Blondell) to spread the word.
The mistress is dance girl Crystal Allen (Joan Collins) and what a dish. Hubby is the shows producer and Kay soon learns via salon girl. Meanwhile, all Kay's friends have told everyone but her.
Notice Kay's hubby is no other than Leslie Nielsen. What a fox!
Unlike "The Women", TOS has men in it. At first I was anti, but it suits this film well. I like better to imagine what their husbands look like when watching the 1939 film, but it doesn't hurt in this film to see what the males look like.
The night Kay finds out about her cheating man is the same night as their ten year anniversary party. Kay plays if off and doesn't let on, but we see her reminisce about meeting her husband back when she was a night club singer and things were good.
Once the cat is out of the bag Kay finally runs head on with Crystal. This film version is sassier and at the end of their scene together Crystal gets slapped!
Kay's dress in this scene is my favorite in the film.
Before June slapped Joan, director David Miller told Joan not to back away and that Kay would only pretend to slap her. He told June to let her have it because Joan would back away. Sneaky, sneaky! The result is great! Joan's earring even falls off and Joan was mad at June for days thinking she slapped her on purpose!
Once the drama is over it is off to Reno for Kay. Just like in "The Women" she meets to gals on the train, Gloria (Ann Miller) and the Countess (Agnes Moorehead). Oh amour amour! Buck Winston picks them up as he helps out on the "divorce ranch". The gals are smitten and some are looking for their next husband! Charlotte Greenwood plays the ranch owner. This is her last film role after a 40 year career. I tried to find a picture but no luck.
Sylvia turns up after she learns that Mr. Fowler is stepping out with a lovely lady. Turns out it is someone they know! Cue in cat fight...
Meanwhile Crystal has married Kay's unhappy ex and gets her see-thru bathtub just like Joan Crawford did. (Although I like Crawford's better, naturally). She is now seeing Buck Winston while at the same time as another friend. These girls get around!
The finale of this film is a bit different than the original, but I very much liked it. It was bitchy-er than the original, and who doesn't love some girl on girl war games?
The original will always be the best, but I surprisingly enjoyed this one as well. It was as if the Orange County Housewives got together and remade this film. Much cattier, more dirty looks from across the room. The cast was pretty well put together and each character still had their flare. If you have not see "The Women", go see it first, and afterwards see this one to compare for yourself!