Socialites in Swim Suits

“The Women” Co. girls on Tamarama beach, 2 February 1939 / photographer Sam Hood

Clare Booth Luce’s all female play was daring for its day and was cast in Sydney with a Broadway star, Irene Purcell. The cult movie starring Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford was made in the same year.

Sam Hood

Photo from the State Library of New South Wales

Colorization by Rev. James B. Jones

The Women is a comedy of manners by Clare Boothe Luce.

The play is an acidic commentary on the pampered lives and power struggles of various wealthy Manhattan socialites and up-and-comers and the gossip that propels and damages their relationships. While men frequently are the subject of their lively discussions and play an important role in the action on-stage, they are strictly characters mentioned but never seen.

The original Broadway production, directed by Robert B. Sinclair, opened on December 26, 1936 at the Ethel Barrymore Theater, where it ran for 666 performances[1] with an all-female cast that included Arlene Francis, Ilka Chase, and Marjorie Main.

information provided by Wikipedia.

Socialites posing in swim suits is much older than Paris Hilton. This 1939 photograph by Sam Hood of the cast of “The Women” from the Broadway play by Clare Booth Luce represents the ideal upper class women of the time. Nice car and nice suits to match while relaxing at a beach resort. Ideologies are far older than recent memory, and people and circumstances don’t change as much as the names and faces do. The more we place our beliefs in an  ever collapsing morals structure of our culture, the less we know about history and people. Find a book or even an old movie and discover how much people in the past are hardly different than ourselves. Along the way, you may discover a little something about you.

Bringing a little color to history. -Rev. James B. Jones


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