Day-Time Wife (1939)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  24 November 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 366 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 4 critic

When a young wife discovers her husband of two years is involved with his beautiful secretary, she applies for a job as secretary to a business rival.



(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Bernard Dexter
Miss Applegate
Joan Valerie ...
Mrs. Dexter
Leonid Kinskey ...
Mildred Gover ...
Renie Riano ...
Miss Briggs


When Jane Norton inadvertently discovers that Ken, her husband of two years, is dallying with his beautiful secretary, she decides to turn the tables by applying for a job as secretary to philandering architect Barney Dexter, an associate of her husband. Despite cynical advice from her friend Blanche, a three-time divorcée, Jane stays one step ahead of the amorous Dexter and uses Ken's jealousy to get him to renounce his extra-marital indiscretions. Written by Gabe Taverney (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What have secretaries got that wives haven't? See more »


Comedy | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 November 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Esposa de día  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


An early Hollywood Reporter production chart listed John Halliday in the cast, but he did not appear in the movie. See more »


Jane Norton: If a woman can't hold her man, then it's her own fault. But I'm going to hold mine.
See more »


Referenced in Myra Breckinridge (1970) See more »


Moonlight Serenade
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by Glenn Miller
Lyrics by Mitchell Parish
Background music at the Sheepshead Bay restaurant
See more »

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User Reviews

"Belle de jour," 25 years earlier and under the Code
23 July 2005 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

A light-as-air confection, with very dark overtones. The very young, fresh-faced Linda Darnell is stood up on their second anniversary by husband Tyrone Power. The always delightful Binnie Barnes, her poisonous often-divorced friend Blanche says he's fooling around. Darnell refuses to believe it.

But believe it she must as evidence piles up. So, under the guide of shopping all day, she takes a job as a secretary. Her goal: finding out what about their secretaries appeals to men. (It must be noted that a husband willing to accept five-day-a-week, all-day shopping expeditions goes against many conventions.) Ushered in by goofy but knowing receptionist Joan David -- THE Joan Davis, that divine comedienne here in an early, rather small role -- she interviews for a job. Her boss is Warren William, at his slimiest. He comes on to her like nobody's business, his own wife notwithstanding.

Darnell is determined to keep working rather than depend on Power's money and to pursue her plan: What makes these guys fall for these girls? William and Power are business associates and they all, secretaries and his wife included, end up at a nightclub. She is very firm with Power but in the end makes up with him.

It's an early feminist movie. And in its own gentle way it's a subversive one, too. Unlike Catherine Deneuve in "Belle de jour," she does not become a call girl. But she scandalizes her chauvinistic, narrow-minded husband by becoming a working woman -- and a very smart one at that.

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