7.0/10
356
10 user 2 critic

Take a Letter, Darling (1942)

Approved | | Comedy | 6 May 1942 (USA)
A struggling painter takes a job as a secretary to a female advertising executive. While working to obtain an account from a tobacco company, they end up falling in love.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (story)
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An upper-class female reporter is (despite herself) attracted to a hulking laborer digging a tunnel under the Hudson River.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray, Ilka Chase
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A shoplifter and her prosecuter fall in love, creating tensions in their family lives.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi
The Egg and I (1947)
Animation | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

On their wedding night, Bob reveals to Betty that he has purchased an abandoned chicken farm. Betty struggles to adapt to their new rural lifestyle, especially when a glamorous neighbor seems to set her eyes on Bob.

Director: Chester Erskine
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray, Marjorie Main
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Sisters Ruth and Eileen Sherwood move from Ohio to New York in the hopes of building their careers. Ruth wants to get a job as a writer, while Eileen hopes to succeed on the stage. The two ... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Hall
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Brian Aherne, Janet Blair
Guest Wife (1945)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Christopher Price, a small-town bank executive, continues to be loyal to and idolize his boyhood friend, Joseph Jefferson Parker, a famous war correspondent. But Chris's wife, Mary, is none... See full summary »

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, Dick Foran
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A British family struggles to survive the first months of World War II.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The life of air pioneer Amelia Earhart is here given a fictionalized treatment, with a speculative conclusion.

Director: Lothar Mendes
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Fred MacMurray, Herbert Marshall
Holiday Inn (1942)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

At an inn which is only open on holidays, a crooner and a hoofer vie for the affections of a beautiful up-and-coming performer.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

John Hathaway is a professor of psychology at Digby College. His students are bored as he is with the students. He leaves college to go to New York to have his manuscript on jealousy ... See full summary »

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Don Ameche, Kay Francis
Topper (1937)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A fun-loving couple, finding that they died and are now ghosts, decide to shake up the stuffy lifestyle of a friend of theirs.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Roland Young
Midnight (1939)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A chorus girl stranded in Paris is set up by a millionaire to break up his wife's affair with another man.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When acerbic critic Sheridan Whiteside slips on the front steps of a provincial Ohio businessman's home and breaks his hip, he and his entourage take over the house indefinitely.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, Monty Woolley
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Tom Verney
...
Jonathan Caldwell
...
Ethel Caldwell
...
G.B. Atwater
...
Fud Newton (as Charles E. Arnt)
...
Uncle George
...
Aunt Minnie
Margaret Seddon ...
Aunt Judy
...
Moses
George Reed ...
Sam French
...
Sally French
Sonny Boy Williams ...
Micky Dowling
John Holland ...
Secretary
Edit

Storyline

A struggling painter takes a job as a secretary to a female advertising executive. While working to obtain an account from a tobacco company, they end up falling in love. Written by Ken Carson <kcarson@efn.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She Had Him Put in a Full Day's Work ... At Night!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 May 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ela e o Secretário  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Claudette Colbert was scheduled to star, but when the actress had to replace Carole Lombard in "The Palm Beach Story" after her fatal plane crash, that opened up the part for Russell. See more »

Quotes

Tom Verney: You're a beautiful brain and beautiful clothes. No temperature, no pulse. That's all.
A.M. MacGregor: Where did you learn about women, Verney?
Tom Verney: It isn't a matter of learning. It's instinct.
A.M. MacGregor: I'm a brain with no pulse, eh? I'm a woman, Verney, more woman than you'll ever know.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the last scene, the camera zooms in on a billboard, which shows the closing credits...and an ad for the film's fictional tobacco company. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Bearding
1 February 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

It's too bad that director Mitchell Leisen wasn't working today and making Take A Letter Darling. If he did there would be a whole lot more explicit gender bending in this one.

Not that this film isn't good. In fact it's witty and bright and shows Rosalind Russell at her best. In her autobiography Russell describes this film as the first in her career woman roles. I'm supposing she isn't counting His Girl Friday, I guess Russell thought that Hildy Johnson had a job as a reporter as opposed to a career. After all she was trying all through the film to get away on her elopement and honeymoon with Ralph Bellamy.

But in Take A Letter Darling, Russell is a partner with Robert Benchley in an advertising agency. She can't keep a secretary and for good reason, she's got some specific night work requirements for a secretary and she demands the male gender as requirement number one.

In the gay world that Mitchell Leisen was part of, it's called hiring a beard. So many did it back in the day when the closet ruled. Many of the gay stars were always paired with public female dates lest there be any whispers about their sexuality. I'm sure it was the same in the business world.

Russell hires free spirited artist Fred MacMurray to squire her around and keep jealous wives at bay and to deter husbands from getting any ideas about some after office frolicking. In fact she sends MacMurray out to a favorite men's shop of hers where she gets him outfitted the same way Gloria Swanson took care of William Holden in Sunset Boulevard.

In real life Russell would have hired a gay man for her purposes, but since the mere mention of gay was out of the question, the heterosexist MacMurray is hired. They double team husband and wife George Reed and Margaret Hayes to land one account.

But an even bigger challenge presents itself with brother and sister tobacco heirs, Macdonald Carey and Constance Moore. Carey's been married four times already and Moore is a mint julep sucking southern belle who looks at MacMurray like a Virginia ham.

Take A Letter Darling holds up very well today although a knowledge of the mores of the times would certainly help younger viewers. This is definitely a film that could stand a remake, a more honest and explicit film about the practice of bearding.


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?