23 user 2 critic

My Dear Secretary (1948)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 5 November 1948 (USA)
A romance novelist appoints a would-be writer as his secretary. Although she is initially dismayed by his work ethic and playboy attitude, they begin to fall in love.




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Complete credited cast:
Charles Harris
Deveny (Bryant Detective Agency)
Dawn O'Malley


Owen Waterbury, bestselling novelist, recruits aspiring writer Stephanie 'Steve' Gaylord as his latest of many secretaries. The stars in her eyes fade when she finds she is to work in his apartment, with a constant parade of eccentric visitors and slapstick provided by klutzy roommate Ronnie. Moreover, Waterbury's idea of work looks a lot like play, his interest less in books than in blondes. She leaves; to get her back, he swallows his playboy principles and marries her. Can the leopard change his spots? Can Stephanie turn the tables? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He chased her . . . 'til she caught him!


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 November 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kedves titkárnőm  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »


Owen Waterbury: Keep your mind on the dice when you roll!
See more »


Referenced in Peep Show: Jeremy's Broke (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Acting talent usurps star ego!
5 February 2009 | by See all my reviews

The hitherto under-publicised film; My Dear Secretary (1949) illustrates that lead film stars were often there as a marketing tool such as in this example of Kirk Douglas, while the real talents were the character actors, such as in the case of the multi talented Keenan Wynn - see this versatile actor in his highly adept sinister role in Kind Lady (1951). In other words Wynn is the driving force of this film as opposed to the star attraction. In this film Wynn is the comedic talent to the drab cliché straight man role of Douglas'.

Douglas here plays the role of Owen Waterbury, the egotistical writer with a misogynistic womanising streak. In this respect it could be said that Douglas was playing himself. This egotistical persona was merely exacerbated for Douglas' later heroic roles such as in Spartacus (1960). Like his role in Sparticus, in My Dear Secretary,Douglas likes to show off his masculine torso when he puts his shirt on minus vest. This is somewhat of a tribute to Clarke Glable's famous vestless scene in; It Happened One Night (1934).

Douglas' role of the writer Waterbury uses the secretarial school as a licence to his womanising ways, making passes at them and auditioning them for the role of wife, of which is eventually awarded to Stephanie Gaylord (Laraine Day) who plays his bland, docile, door mat wife. That is until she comes into her own with her own award winning novel. This culminates in the roles being reversed as Waterbury becomes the subordinate partner in their marriage. In this respect the film's denouement was ahead of its time, illustrating women as not only a success in their own right, but as the matriarchal head of the family.

Though the acting parts of Douglas and Day were stereotypically bland, the supporting cast are outstanding in their respective roles. This is especially attributed to Wynn. He alone makes the film a must see. Of course, the great Irene Ryan (Mary, the housekeeper) is adept at scene stealing in her minor role.

In sum, this is a film of talented characters with bland stars.

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