WHEN LADIES MEET
(director: Robert Z. Leonard; screenwriter: from a play by Rachel Crothers/S.K. Lauren/Anita Loos; cinematographer: Robert Planck; editor: Robert J. Kern; music: Bronislau Kaper; cast: Joan Crawford (Mary ‘Minnie’ Howard), Robert Taylor (Jimmy Lee), Greer Garson (Mrs. Claire Woodruff), Herbert Marshall (Rogers Woodruff), Spring Byington (Bridget Drake), Rafael Storm (Walter Del Canto); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Orville O. Dull/Robert Z. Leonard; MGM; 1941)
“It’s a glossy MGM star vehicle film for both Crawford and Greer, who give sharp performances besides looking so appealing.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A remake of the 1933 film which starred Ann Harding, Myrna Loy and Spring Byington. It’s based on the play by Rachel Crothers. The bitchy nature of the screenplay can be attributed to Anita Loos. The ladies who meet are in love with the same man: the successful sophisticated single author Mary Howard (Joan Crawford) and the svelte socialite Claire Woodruff (Greer Garson), the wife of big-time publisher Rogers Woodruff (Herbert Marshall). Mary is seeing the handsome and witty journalist Jimmy Lee (Robert Taylor), but has fallen for the staid Rogers to Jimmy’s dismay. She has written her latest romantic novel which mirrors her real-life situation, where she has a single woman chasing after a married man.
All concerned converge in the country home of fluttery society matron Bridget Drake (Spring Byington), who acts motherly to all parties. There’s sharp dialogue, lots of fluff, some pre-women’s lib notions from Crawford’s sexually liberated heroine, and some fuss over social mores kicked about that have become outdated. Crawford and Greer end up as friends after their nighttime girlie-talk, and Taylor becomes the consolation prize Crawford settles for.
It’s a glossy MGM star vehicle for both Crawford and Greer, who give sharp performances besides looking so appealing.
REVIEWED ON 12/3/2005 GRADE: B-