Sunday, September 28, 2014

What's the Truth About Women?

I had to think on this movie for an entire night and day before deciding it was review worthy. Oh--I liked it, very much. It was extremely enjoyable. I just didn't--at least right away--"get it".

It took me a bit to realize there is no truth about women. Like men, women are all different. And why not? We come from different walks of life, different cultures, religions, households, countries. None of us are going to be the same. We'll perhaps have some things in common and we, each and every one of us, can drive men batty, as witnessed in this movie directed by Muriel Box.

The main character in this movie is a man, an older gentleman who sits down with another man (less likable and needing a good wallop upside the head) and tells this younger man about his past with many different women. It then goes back in time, to Victorian? England or Edwardian and we meet all these different women who have influenced his life.

There's the suffragette who doesn't believe in hunting and wants to live with him a year before they marry. Imagine that! Back then! Needless to say though, I loved her. This relationship goes awry due to a bit of a misunderstanding and some bad luck. From there we go to India or a country similar (I can't remember the name) where we meet a lady who goes to the Sultan's harem and I had a hard time seeing why this bit was added to the movie at all. But I appreciated the conversation the Sultan has with the hero, about just who was barbaric in their treatment of women--the Sultan with a woman "per job" or England who has one woman to do it all. You have to watch it. Seriously.

Then we go to France where the women marry for money and have affairs. And there's an absolute mess and this had me shaking my head, saying, "Well, Muriel, you didn't do us any favors with this bit here. You made us women look horrid", but in the end I realized this story shows our loyalty--not to men, but to each other.

Then we go to America where we see both happiness and sadness, a combination of love and disappointment. A woman becomes a wife and mother and seems overjoyed with her lot in life, but at the same time has to quit painting. This was moving. I didn't know whether to be happy or sad for the woman and I think that's what Muriel was going for here.

Muriel Box
And the last woman...a nurse in WWI...takes us to the English courts, where a price is put on her head. How much is a wife worth? Should a man sell his wife? At this point in history, were we still considered mere property? And here we see yet another woman sacrifice her dream for a man.

So what is the truth about women? We're all different, but we all have hearts, dreams, and experience love and passion. Some of us will do anything for those we love, even give up our own happiness. Some of us are careless with our hearts; some less so. But there is one thing every single woman has in common in this movie: they all sacrifice something. I guess the question is, is it worth it?

Directed in 1957 by a feminist film director, The Truth About Women is worth watching. It's enjoyable, goes all over the place, and introduces us to some interesting and remarkable ladies. It also has adventure. In the end we're no closer to the "truth" about women, but it sure is a fun romp getting to that conclusion.

I learned of this movie whilst reading a biography about ten successful women in the fifties. In it, Muriel Box is quoted as saying, "Unable to chain myself to the railings, at least I could rattle the film chains." She was intrigued by the suffragettes and wanted to make a feminist movie.

I watched this free on Amazon Prime.

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