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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The name of one of the screenwriters, Alice Duer Miller, is seen as the author of an article in a magazine, and Clark Gable remarks, "Hey, Alice has written a very nice article here." See more »
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 »
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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