Weepies 101: A Brief Encounter With Women's Films

To study up for Far From Heaven, pick up a few of these key women's films of the '40s and '50s:

Now Voyager (1942): Spinster (Bette Davis) transformed into a chic young woman with a shrink's help, falls for a suave European (Paul Henreid) who turns out to be married.

Random Harvest (1942): An amnesiac World War I vet (Ronald Colman) weds a showgirl (Greer Garson), only to abruptly recover with no memory of their marriage.

Mildred Pierce (1945): A waitress (Joan Crawford) strives to open a restaurant to benefit her ungrateful daughter (Ann Blyth), who repays her mother by pursuing her wealthy husband (Zachary Scott).

Brief Encounter (1945): Arguably the greatest tearjerker of them all, from a Noel Coward story about two happily married Britons (Trevor Howard, Celia Johnson) who meet and fall in love with each other.

To Each His Own (1946): An unwed mom (Oscar-winner Olivia de Havilland) gives up her beloved baby, serving as its "aunt" without ever revealing the truth to the child.

A Letter to Three Wives (1949): The town flirt informs Linda Darnell, Jeanne Crain and Ann Sothern that she's run off with one of their husbands.

Magnificent Obsession (1954): A drunken playboy (Rock Hudson) devotes his life to medicine after killing a man and blinding his widow (Jane Wyman) in an automobile accident.

Peyton Place (1957): Unwed mom Lana Turner tries to suppress daughter Hope Lange's budding sexuality in this ultra-lavish filming of the best seller about small-town scandals. It was later a TV series.