The Opposite Sex

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The Opposite Sex
Poster - Opposite Sex, The 01.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byDavid Miller
Produced byJoe Pasternak
Screenplay byFay Kanin
Michael Kanin
Based onThe Women
1936 play
by Clare Boothe Luce
StarringJune Allyson
Joan Collins
Dolores Gray
Jeff Richards
Ann Sheridan
Ann Miller
Leslie Nielsen
Narrated byAnn Sheridan
Music byNicholas Brodszky
Sammy Cahn
Ralph Freed
George Stoll
CinematographyRobert Bronner
Edited byJohn McSweeney
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • October 26, 1956 (1956-10-26)
Running time
117 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,760,000[1][2]

The Opposite Sex is a 1956 American musical romantic comedy film shot in Metrocolor and CinemaScope.[3][4] The film was directed by David Miller and stars June Allyson, Joan Collins, Dolores Gray, Ann Sheridan, Ann Miller, Leslie Nielsen, Jeff Richards, Agnes Moorehead, Charlotte Greenwood, Joan Blondell, Sam Levene, Dick Shawn, Jim Backus, Bill Goodwin, and Harry James.

The Opposite Sex is a remake of the 1939 classic comedy The Women. Both films are based on Clare Boothe Luce's original 1936 play.[5]


The story concerns Kay Hilliard (June Allyson), a former nightclub singer who discovers her husband Steven (Leslie Nielsen) is having an affair with showgirl Crystal Allen (Joan Collins). Kay is the last to find out among her circle of gossiping girlfriends. Kay travels to Reno to divorce from Steve who then marries Crystal, but when Kay finds out that Crystal isn't true to Steve she starts fighting to win her ex-husband back.


Production notes[edit]

Unlike the 1936 play and the 1939 film adaptation, The Opposite Sex includes musical numbers and features male actors who portray the husbands and boyfriends, whose characters were only referred to in the previous film and stage versions;[6] this alters the structure and tone of the base storyline significantly.

MGM studio head Dore Schary initially envisioned Esther Williams in June Allyson's role. According to her 2000 autobiography, The Million Dollar Mermaid, Williams objected to Schary's casting suggestion, resulting in her suspension from the studio. Shortly after, on agent Lew Wasserman's advice, she left Metro after fourteen years.[7] Eleanor Parker was later cast as Kay Hilliard but was replaced by June Allyson.[8]

Jo Ann Greer dubbed Allyson's ballad "A Perfect Love".


According to MGM records the film earned $1,735,000 in the US and Canada and $1,025,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $1,513,000.[1]

Award nomination[edit]

The film was nominated for a Best Musical or Comedy Picture Golden Globe Award in 1957.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. ^ Domestic results see "Top Grosses of 1957", Variety, 8 January 1958: 30
  3. ^ Variety film review; September 19, 1956, page 6.
  4. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; September 22, 1956, page 151.
  5. ^ Snodgrass, Mary Ellen (2009). Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature. Infobase Publishing. p. 340. ISBN 1-438-10910-5.
  6. ^ Kennedy, Matthew (2007). Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 166. ISBN 1-604-73300-4.
  7. ^ Williams, Esther (2000). The Million Dollar Mermaid: An Autobiography. Harvest Books. pp. 266–267. ISBN 0-156-01135-2.
  8. ^ McClelland, Doug (2001). Eleanor Parker: Woman of a Thousand Faces. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 231. ISBN 0-810-84836-8.

External links[edit]