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Wife vs. Secretary (1936)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 28 February 1936 (USA)
The wife of a publishing executive mistakenly believes that her husband's relationship with his attractive secretary is more than professional.

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Van
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Joe
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Marjorie Gateson ...
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Storyline

Magazine publisher Van Stanhope is a hard-working, dynamic executive very happily married to his beautiful wife Linda. Although their relationship is is built on unconditional trust, friends caution her about the dangers of allowing Whitey, her husband's extremely sexy secretary, to continue to have access to him. Even Van's mother warns Linda that Van's father philandered during their marriage, and Van, like all men, will eventually succumb to opportunity and temptation. Although Whitey has a faithful boyfriend, she secretly harbors unrequited feelings for her boss. When they take business trip to Havana, circumstantial evidence convinces Linda that the rumors she's heard may have a basis in fact. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Seine Sekretärin  »

Box Office

Budget:

$519,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The fifth of six films paring Gable and Harlow, and the fourth picture for Gable and Loy starring together. This was the first film Loy and Harlow appeared together. They would be together again for "Libeled Lady" in 1936. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the ice skating sequence the camera pans up and to the left, and the boom mic operator was unable to get the mic out of the way in time. For a second it takes up nearly the entire right upper quarter of the screen. See more »

Quotes

Linda: The world's divided into two kinds of people: those who believe that bow tie ends should be sticking out, and those who don't. Personally, I'm very tolerant, ask anybody. But anyone who believes a bow tie end should stick out should be deported from this country.
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Connections

References A Message to Garcia (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Mama Inez
(uncredited)
Music by Eliseo Grenet
Lyrics by L. Wolfe Gilbert
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User Reviews

 
Very close to a perfect movie
8 May 2002 | by See all my reviews

It goes without saying that the best Myrna Loy movies have William Powell - but this movie has enough cast that it can virtually throw away Jimmy Stewart and still carry you along with the strength of the character performances. Clark "Big Ears" Gable is not my favorite star, but he plays the role of the loving but thoughtless husband perfectly. He believably pulls off being shrewd in business, but naive enough of his personal life to be almost innocent while looking completely guilty.

Actually, it is the pair of leading ladies that makes this movie so great - Myrna Loy and Jean Harlow. Myrna is great in everything she does - and so is Harlow. Harlow is proof that the original is nearly always the best. Anyone who has ever enjoyed a Marilyn Monroe movie is simply watching second best - Harlow was the original "blonde bombshell" - and is still the best. Her usual forte is comedy, but she nails this light dramatic role perfectly. There are times when you don't know who to cheer for - the Wife or the Secretary - and that's the movie. The whole tension rides on which of these two ladies Gable chooses - or, rather, which one the audience wants him to choose. Myrna may have been the only actress who could have given Harlow a run for her money - and Harlow may have been the only one who could challenge Myrna Loy.

Myrna Loy and Jean Harlow teamed up in another movie - "Libeled Lady" - another tour de force of casting with William Powell and Spencer Tracy along for the ride. "Lady" is a very good movie; a comedy with both drawing room and slapstick elements. This type of comedy is usually more my cup of tea, but as good as "Lady" is, "Wife vs. Secretary" is better - mainly because "Lady" doesn't let Harlow bust loose until the end of the movie.

The light touch that these two great actresses bring to "Wife vs. Secretary" offsets one of the fundamental conflicts and tragedies of life - that though we are often presented with two paths in life, we can only choose one - knowing that we will always wonder about the other....


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