When Ladies Meet (1941): Joan Crawford and Greer Grason, and Robert Taylor Star in Remake of Pre-Code Melodrama

In one of her last MGM movies, Robert Z. Leonard’s When Ladies Meet, Joan Crawford stars in a remake of a 1933 pre-Code picture of the same name, which had starred Ann Harding, Myrna Loy and Spring Byington.

In the new version, the original roles are played by Greer Garson, Joan Crawford and Spring Byington.

Both films are based on a Rachel Crothers play, adapted to the screen by Anita Loos and S. K. Lauren, about a novelist (Crawford, miscast), who falls in love with a married publisher.

The novelist meets the publisher’s wife (Garson) at the home of a society matron (Byington).

The film earned yet another Oscar nomination for MGM art director Cedric Gibbons and Randall Duell.

The title of the film changed into “Ladies Skirts,” when it was shown on TV.

The film was directed by Robert Z. Leonard, who also co-produced the film (with Orville O. Dull).

Detailed Plot
Mary Howard is a novelist with advanced ideas about love and marriage, and is in love with her married publisher, Rogers Woodruf. She decides the only logical thing to do is to lure him away from his wife and marry him. Mary’s friend, Jimmy, however, is convinced he’s the right man for her and pursues her. He sees through her rationalizations and wrong-thinking and decides to throw Mary and Woodruf’s wife Clare together at the house of a friend.

The two women do not know each other, but during their chats, Mary shows respect for Clare’s maturity and wisdom.

When Mary learns Woodruf is an incurable philandering womanizer, she realizes she cannot love him and welcomes Jimmy’s attentions.

A moderate hit, the film earned $1,162,000 in the US and $684,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $607,000.

Oscar Nominations:

The film earned Oscar nomination for art directors Cedric Gibbons, Randall Duell and Edwin B. Willis, but did not win.

Joan Crawford as Mary ‘Minnie’ Howard
Robert Taylor as Jimmy Lee
Greer Garson as Mrs. Clare Woodruf
Herbert Marshall as Rogers Woodruf
Spring Byington as Bridget ‘Bridgie’ Drake
Rafael Storm as Walter Del Canto
Mona Barrie as Mabel Guiness
Max Willenz as Pierre, Bridget’s Summer House Handyman
Florence Shirley as Janet Hopper
Leslie Francis as Homer Hopper