Monday, January 24, 2011

June Allison & Joan Collins in The Opposite Sex 1956

Recently the seminal 1939 classic The Women was remade (rather disastrously) with Meg Ryan and Annette Benning. What many people don't know is that it wasn't the first remake. This film from 1956 has that distinction. The familiar story of infidelity and its effects on a group of female friends had a bit of a makeover for this version. For on thing, it includes the men. Another change is the venue - in the original it was society, in this one it's the theater. Kay Hilliard (June Allison playing what was Mary Haines in the original) is a former singing star who married a Broadway producer. Crystal Allen (Collins) is a show girl instead of a shop girl. This gives them a chance to add some lively musical numbers to the proceedings. The cast, which is great includes Agnes Moorehead, Ann Miller, Charlotte Greenwood, Caroline Jones, Joan Blondell, Dolores Gray, and Leslie Nielson (as Kay's husband) in addition to Allison and Collins. Of course its choc full of production values - sensational costumes, great color cinematography, glamorous sets...

This film has recently been released as an on demand title on DVD. It was formerly only available on VHS. It's aired occasionally on TV and there are scenes available on YouTube.

I'm happy to say that this will be the first film to be screened for Brini Maxwell's Obscurity Factor film series here in New York. It will be shown a week from tonight, on January 31. I hope to see you there!

Obscurity factor: 6 (recently available on DVD, available on VHS, occasionally shown on TV)

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