Thirteen Women (1932) Review

Proof That It’s Pre-Code

  • Suicide and on-screen murder aplenty.
  • Guy who attempts to both poison and blow up a child (seriously) but doesn’t get caught.
  • Divorced women and single moms, happy to be without men.
  • In fact, all of the men are pretty damn stupid in this movie, and the heroine is saved by luck rather than a generic love interest.
  • Frank discussion of sex: “Do you remember how you always worried that the men would go too far and I worried that they wouldn’t?”


Anyone who’s ever worked in retail or spent substantial time on the internet can all confirm one simple fact: people are goddamn gullible. It’s not often that people build a film around such a concept, though saying that last part in a world where Transformers 2 made a mint almost gave me a stroke.

Thirteen Women plays with such a notion freely and aggressively, giving us a circle of former sorority sisters who all decided on a lark to write to a mystic asking for their fortunes. The swami, under the influence of a rival to the sorority, sends back letters foretelling the doom of each woman, all of them grisly.

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