The Opposite Sex
MGM, 1956, Color, 117 minutes, ***
Released October, 1956
In 1936, the public flocked to see the stage play of Clare Boothe Luce's The Women. In 1939, MGM turned it into a huge film hit starring Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell, Joan Crawford and seemingly every other female star on the lot. Then, in 1956, the studio added songs, men (the previouse versions featured only women) and glorious color to The Women. Re-christened The Opposite Sex, it entertained audiences all over again with the deliciously catty tale of elegant wives who substitute "fashion for passion and the analyst's couch for the double bed."
The star-packed cast is headed by June Allyson. She plays a perfect wife and mother who discovers her husband has been having a fling with a malicious and very glamourous other woman (Joan Collins). To win him back, she must learn to use her claws without ruining her manicure. So Dolores Gray, Ann Sheridan, Agnes Moorehead and Ann Miller teach her the fine arts of gossip, innuendo and backstabbing. It's witty, wicked fun!
Produced by: Joe Pasternak
Directed by: David Miller
Assistant Director: George Rhein
Screen Play by: Fay and Michael Kanin
Adapted from a Play by Clare Boothe (The Women)
Music Directors: Skip Martin and Albert Sendrey
New Songs: Music by Nicholas Brodszky, Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Musical Supervision: George Stoll
Dances and Musical Numbers Staged by: Robert Sidney
Orchestrations by: Albert Sendrey and Skip Martin
Vocal Supervision: Robert Tucker
Music Coordinator: Irving Aaronson
Art Directors: Cedric Gibbons and Daniel B. Cathcart
Set Decorations: Edwin B. Willis, Henry Grace
Costumes by: Helen Rose
Hair Styles by: Sydney Guilaroff
Makeup Created by: William Tuttle
Sound: Dr. Wesley C. Miller
Special Effects: A. Arnold Gillespie, Warren Newcombe
Recording Supervisor: Dr. Wesley C. Miller
Director of Photography: Robert Brenner
In CinemaScope and Metrocolor
Color Consultant: Charles K. Hagedon
Film Editor: John McSweeney, Jr.
Cast: June Allyson [Kay Hilliard], Joan Collins [Crystal Allen], Dolores Gray [Sylvia Fowler], Ann Sheridan [Amanda Penrose], Ann Miller [Gloria Dell], Leslie Nielsen [Steve Hilliard], Jeff Richards [Buck Winston], Agnes Moorehead [Countess Lavaliere], Charlotte Greenwood [Lucy], Joan Blondell [Edith Potter], Sam Levene [Mike Pearl], and Guest Stars Harry James [Himself], Art Mooney [Himself], Dick Shawn [Singer], Jim Backus [Psychiatrist], with Bill Goodwin [Howard Fowler], Alice Pearce [Olga], Barbara Jo Allen (aka Vera Vague) [Dolly], Sandy Descher [Debbie Hilliard], Carolyn Jones [Pat], Jerry Antes [Leading Man Dancer], Alan Marshal [Ted], Jonathan Hole [Phelps Potter], Additional Cast: Celia Lovsky [Lutsi], Harry McKenna [Hughie], Ann Morriss [Receptionist], Dean Jones [Assistant Stage Manager], Kay English [Aristocratic Woman], Gordon Richards [Butler], Barrie Chase, Ellen Ray [Specialty Dancers], Marc Wilder [Dancer], Trio Ariston [Specialty Act], Gail Bonney, Maxine Sermon, Jean Andren [Gossips], Bob Hopkins [Drunk in 21 Club], Jo Gilbert [Woman Attendant], Donald Dillaway [Box Office Man], Janet Lake [Girl on Train], Joe Karnes [Pianist], Juanita Moore [Maid], Vivian Marshall [Girl], Marjorie Helen [Leg Model], Bess Flowers [Party Guest], Jo Ann Greer [singing voice of June Allyson on "A Perfect Love"]
Musical Program: [0:00] The Opposite Sex (sung by Dolores Gray and Chorus behind titles); [0:15] Dere's Yellow Gold on de Trees (De Banana) (performed in the fictious show "Yellow Gold" by Dick Shawn and Chorus); [0:35] Young Man with a Horn (sung by June Allyson with Harry James and His Orchestra [dubbed by recording from Two Girls and a Sailor]); [0:38] A Perfect Love (sung by Jo Ann Greer dubbing for June Allyson - kinda weird and kinda sad); [0:48] The Opposite Sex (sung by Dick Shawn in a number with Jim Backus and Chorus girls with solo dance segment by Joan Collins); [1:21] Now, Baby, Now (sung and danced by June Allyson and Male Chorus); [1:45] Rock and Roll Tumbleweed (sung by Jeff Richards with Art Mooney and His Orchestra); The Yellow Rose of Texas is a recurring background theme whenever Buck Winston is on screen.