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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.



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

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Complete credited cast:
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Marjorie Gateson ...


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


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Seine Sekretärin  »

Box Office


$519,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film was a huge success for MGM, bringing in a profit of $876,000 ($15.2M in 2016 dollars) according to studio records. See more »


When Whitey and Van are working late in the hotel room, Van sits on the edge of the bed. After Whitey tells him to watch the papers strewn on the bed he begins to sit in the middle of the bed. As the scene continues he is shown sitting on the foot of the bed. See more »


[kisses Linda while her eyes are closed]
Van: Guess who!
Linda: Hmm... Simpson?
Van: No!
[kisses her again]
Van: Try again!
Linda: Finny.
Van: No!
[kisses her again]
Van: Try again!
See more »


Version of Aratanaru kôfuku (1942) See more »


Thank You for a Lovely Evening
(1934) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Jimmy McHugh
Sung a cappella by Clark Gable and by Myrna Loy
Played at the party and danced to by the guests
Played as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

suspicious minds
27 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jean Harlow is the secretary no wife wants her husband to have in "Wife vs. Secretary" starring Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, and Harlow, with an early appearance by James Stewart. It's hard to believe, looking at this film, that Jean Harlow would be dead a year later. Less blonde than in some earlier films, and far more subdued, she plays the indispensable, smart, and efficient secretary of Clark Gable. Gable is a high-pressured businessman happily married to Myrna Loy. All is well until her mother-in-law advises her to make Gable get rid of that good-looking assistant. Slowly, Loy begins to realize that everyone in their circle is assuming an affair, which up to that point hadn't crossed her mind. It does now.

Harlow is involved with James Stewart, and he doesn't want her to work after they get married. Her job, he feels, is too exciting and important and will threaten their marriage. Harlow is half in love with Gable and refuses to quit. Stewart is adorable and gives a hint of what will be truly be one of the great screen personas.

The cast is splendid. Gable is his usual charming self; Loy and Harlow are perfect casting as unique women who are complete opposites. Their final scene together consists of only a long look. It's very effective, as is the acting of both women throughout. Loy's scene with her mother-in-law is heartbreaking.

This is a dated film but very satisfying. Although it's wonderful to see these stars together, it's sad to realize they're all gone now, and that young Harlow has been gone for 68 years. Quite a loss.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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