Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The Opposite Sex (1956) musical remake of the (1939) classic comedy The Women. Both films are based on Claire Boothe Luce's original play. Directed by David Miller. Cast: June Allyson, Joan Collins, Dolores Gray, Ann Sheridan, Ann Miller, Leslie Nielsen, Jeff Richards, Agnes Moorehead, Charlotte Greenwood, Joan Blondell, Sam Levene, and Bill Goodwin.

At Sydney's salon in Manhattan one afternoon, Sylvia Fowler hears from her manicurist Olga that theater producer Steven Hilliard is having an affair with chorus girl Crystal Allen. Kay his wife is the last to know that here is any problems with her 10 year marriage to Steven. Later, the ladies meet at the 21 Club to plan their upcoming charity benefit. When Kay shows up, Sylvia suggests that she visit Olga for a manicure. Kay goes to Sydney's, where Olga, not realizing who she is, tells her the gossip about Steven. After lunch, Sylvia and Edith attend Steven's show to see what Crystal looks like, and Edith's morning sickness forces them to leave early. At a coffee shop they happen to sit next to Crystal, and the three throw insults at each other.

Kay is heartbroken, tries to to pretend nothing has happened. (This my favorite flashback scene in the movie with Harry James, playing trumpet) That night, at the couple's anniversary party, Kay tries to keep up appearances. Crystal reads in the paper that Kay has gone to Bermuda, and hoping that this means the end of their marriage makes plans to "bump into" Steven and his daughter, where they spend the day together at the park.

Soon Kay is on a train to Reno to get a divorce. She meets the Countess, a colorful older woman on her 4th divorce, and actress Gloria Dahl. Later, at the ranch, Kay is shocked to discover that the newest boarder is Sylvia, whose husband is leaving her for another woman.

Kay decides return to her singing career, under her maiden name of Ashley, she learns backstage that Sylvia has returned from Reno with Buck as her new discovery and he is having an affair with Crystal who has grown bored with Steven.

The night of Buck's big opening, Kay does not feel like going, knowing Steven will be there with Crystal. while saying good night to Debbie, she reveals that Steven is unhappy and that Crystal is seeing Buck. Kay puts on a beautiful gown and goes to the club, where she flirts with Steven and asks gossip columnist Dolly DeHaven's for help on getting revenge on Sylvia and getting her man back.

I thought June Allyson was wonderful as Kay. Joan Collins did a believable performance as her rival, I also enjoyed her catty friends. Agnes Moorehead, Ann Miller and Charlotte Greenwood. As an added plus, there are plenty of beautiful costumes to look at.

FUN FACTS: MGM originally wanted Esther Williams to star in this movie, but she was not interested.


"The Opposite Sex"
Music by Nicholas Brodszky
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Performed over the opening credits by Dolores Gray
Performed during "The Psychiatrist" musical sketch with Dick Shawn, Jim Backus,
Joan Collins and Carolyn Jones

"Young Man With a Horn"
Music by Nicholas Brodszky
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Performed and Danced by June Allyson, with horn solo by Harry James

"A Perfect Love"
Music by Nicholas Brodszky
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Performed by June Allyson, dubbed by Jo Ann Greer

"Yellow Gold"
Music by Nicholas Brodszky
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Performed by Jerry Antes, Joan Collins, Carolyn Jones

"Rock and Roll Tumbleweed"
Lyrics by Ralph Freed
Music by George Stoll
Performed by Jeff Richards

"Now Baby Now"
Music by Nicholas Brodszky
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Performed and Danced by June Allyson and male chorus

1 comment:

  1. On a "What's My Line" episode in 1956, Ann Miller stated that "The Opposite Sex" was not a musical. With six musical numbers how could "The Opposite Sex" not be considered a musical.