Basically soap opera, but a beautifully crafted and brilliantly acted adaptation of Mary McCarthy's novel chronicling the fortunes of eight Vassar graduates, class of '33, up to the beginning of World War II. Sidney Buchman's script does a remarkable tailoring job on the book, pruning away all the fat and cutting the rest into hundreds of sharp little scenes which are pieced together as an attractively witty mosaic of the decade. Particularly clever is the way in which the girls, each one neatly and distinctively characterised, are seen to evolve personality-wise: looking, for instance, at the Dottie (Hackett) of the last scenes - proud wife of an Arizona oil-man, growing slightly hatchet-faced and probably a pillar of the local ladies' league - and remembering her first, despairingly daring affair with a Greenwich Village painter, one thinks with astonishment that's exactly how she would turn out. Should the lengthy array of amorous hopes and disillusionments threaten boredom, there's always Boris Kaufman's wonderfully handsome camerawork to admire.
Cast and crew