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See It Again!

The Powder & the Glory is still available for streaming and download to own or rent. You can find it on Amazon and iTunes. The DVD, and the companion book War Paint by Lindy Woodhead, are also available from Shop PBS and other vendors, including Amazon.  A great gift for all occasions!

The filmmakers
The filmmakers

Broadway Musical! The Powder & the Glory, along with Lindy Woodhead's book War Paint, provided the inspiration for a new Broadway musical, also titled War Paint. Previews began in March 2017, and the show opened on April 6 at the Nederlander Theatre. The musical starred Tony Award winners Patti LuPone as Helena Rubinstein and Christine Ebersole as Elizabeth Arden. Both stars received 2017 Tony Award nominations for their performances. The show reunited the creative team from Grey Gardens: direction was by Michael Greif, music by Scott Frankel, lyrics by Michael Korie and book by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright. War Paint also had a sold-out run in Chicago in July 2016, where it received critical acclaim and became the most successful musical in the history of the Goodman Theatre. (War Paint closed on November 5, 2017 due to Ms. LuPone's need for hip replacement surgery.) The photo at left shows filmmakers Arnie Reisman and Ann Carol Grossman outside the Nederlander Theatre before attending a performance on October 28, 2017. Theaters and groups are now able to license the show from Concord Theatricals.

  • The Powder & the Glory was awarded a Silver Plaque in the Documentary: History/Biography category by the Hugo Television Awards 2009.
  • The PBS broadcast premiere of The Powder & the Glory took place on Monday, March 23, 2009 at 10 PM during Women's History Month, a perfect time to celebrate the lives and times of Miss Arden and Madame Rubinstein! The Powder & the Glory was presented on PBS by South Carolina ETV.
  • Excerpts from the press: "This is why we love PBS. Because it brings us smart documentaries like The Powder & the Glory." (Alyssa Giacobbe, The Moment NYT Style Blog); " a smart new PBS documentary" (Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe); "a fascinating tale of two women and the cultural age their vision helped shape" (David Hinckley, New York Daily News); "...especially timely...told with wit and charm" (Sylvia Rubin, San Francisco Chronicle); "a fascinating story, well told" (Daniel M. Kimmel, Jewish Advocate); "...uses all kinds of fun little tricks to tell the story..." (Joan Juliet Buck, Vogue); "...paints a vivid portrait..." (Michelle Archer, USA Today).
  • Take advantage of the features on our website by visiting our Resources section for enhanced educational materials related to The Powder & the Glory, and see our video clips in the Gallery.
  • Filmmakers Arnie Reisman and Ann Carol Grossman are available to speak with screenings of the film or clips. For information on speaking engagements, please see the Outreach page on this website, and contact us at

Comments from Viewers

The screening for The Powder & the Glory was a huge success! We were filled beyond capacity with several people standing in the back (and) I received all good comments and lots of smiles after the show. Thank you for creating such a wonderful film which delighted and educated our Museum audience.

Duane Smith, Adult & Community Programs Coordinator
Boca Raton Museum of Art

Truly wonderful... a remarkable job of conveying the passion and drive of the two women, their interconnected stories--so that their individual stories co-exist with their combined story--all within the broader context of the changing times, and with a delicate balance of humor and rich historical analysis.

Virginia Drachman
Tufts University

In a sophisticated and entertaining manner, the film provides a nuanced understanding of the rise of two major women cosmetic entrepreneurs and focuses on the complex meanings of "powder and paint" for women and feminism. This is a must see for any women's studies classroom.

Susan M. Reverby
Marion Butler McLean Professor in the History of Ideas and Professor of Women's Studies
Wellesley College

Our students loved this film! They've been studying elements of business enterprise--marketing, strategy, finance, and so on--and they recognized the pieces coming together in the work of Arden and Rubinstein. The Powder & the Glory helped them approach their studies with fresh eyes, and the film served as a wonderful case study to integrate so many important ideas in our course.

Robert H. Carver
International Business School
Brandeis University

This is not merely a good film or even excellent; I think it is superb! I learned a lot about something I have no interest in, and the film made me very interested.  This is a notable achievement.  The editing is also superb.  There was not a single moment that it flagged or lacked a completely coherent continuity...I can't wait to see it again, on PBS.  BRAVO!

Daniel Neuman
UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, emeritus
Professor of Ethnomusicology

One of the most enjoyable films! I loved the way the stories of the two women were interwoven with history, immigrant cultures, the fashion business, and personal life. Thank you so much for making a film that empowers women of all cultures.

Irene M. Foster
Consumer Sciences Department
Framingham State College

What a fabulous film you have created! This is a masterpiece! We were all blown away by it -Ken Burns doesn't come close, truly!

Diane McManus Jensen
Jensen Fine Arts, Boston

Great... a really thought provoking film that goes way beyond the world of cosmetics. It raises so many interesting issues, is often funny, never didactic, and a great time capsule of the previous century. Congratulations.

PS I usually don't watch things when they first arrive, but had to wait for a call, so I put it in to kill time. Once the call arrived, I couldn't stop watching.

Jordan Peimer, Director of Public Programs
Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles

The Powder & the Glory... is stunning. Everything about it -- the writing, visuals, mix of interviews, animation, still photographs -- helped to make it absolutely captivating. Congratulations!!!

Lillian Little, Ph.D.
Bertolon School of Business, Salem State College

I especially liked the way you used animation instead of "dramatic re-enactments". It made your film stand apart. As a composer of film and concert music, I also enjoyed the music, [which] added a unique feeling to your film.

Alvin Ealy

... wonderful!!! It's funny, it's smart and completely engaging. Who'd've though I'd be riveted by cosmeticians, but it really is a glorious tale of the American Dream at its best.

Fred Barron
Television Producer, London

Loved, loved, loved it. Zippy, informative, fun to watch and a great set of folks. Especially Kitty Carlisle Hart. How cool was she?

Nancy Koehn
Harvard Business School

It's fabulous, and that is understating it by a lot. Incredibly informative and, better still, entertaining. Really, really well done.

Steve Pearlman

SEE IT AGAIN: Buy the DVD or DVD/Book Combo from ShopPBS and other vendors, or STREAM at Amazon or iTunes.

The Powder & the Glory is presented on PBS by South Carolina ETV