42 user 17 critic

Designing Woman (1957)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 29 July 1957 (Sweden)
A sportswriter and a fashion-designer marry after a whirlwind romance, and discover they have little in common.




Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Cobweb (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

At an exclusive psychiatric clinic, the doctors and staff are about as crazy as the patients. The clinic head, Dr. Stewart McIver, thinks that it would be good therapy for his patients to ... See full summary »

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, Charles Boyer
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Tom Lee is a sensitive boy of 17 whose lack of interest in the "manly" pursuits of sports, mountain climbing and girls labels him "sister-boy" at the college he is attending. Head master ... See full summary »

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Deborah Kerr, John Kerr, Leif Erickson
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Mary Rafferty comes from a poor family of steel mill workers in 19th Century Pittsburgh. Her family objects when she goes to work as a maid for the wealthy Scott family which controls the ... See full summary »

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Greer Garson, Gregory Peck, Donald Crisp
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Dramatic story of the influential Hunnicutt family set in Texas during the late 1950s.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Eleanor Parker, George Peppard
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A womanizing reporter for a sleazy tabloid magazine impersonates his hen-pecked neighbor in order to get an expose on renowned psychologist Helen Gurley Brown.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Lauren Bacall, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young trumpeter enjoys highs (musical success, fame, and fortune) and lows (sour marriage, death of his mentor, bout with alcoholism).

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Doris Day
Jewel Robbery (1932)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A gentleman thief charms a Viennese baron's wife and also conducts a daring daylight robbery of a jewellers.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: William Powell, Kay Francis, Helen Vinson
Bright Leaf (1950)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1894, Brant Royle shocks the aristocratic tobacco growers of Kingsmont by planning to mass-produce cigarettes.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Gary Cooper, Lauren Bacall, Patricia Neal
Madame Bovary (1949)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A provincial doctor's wife's romantic illusions about life and social status lead her to betray her naive husband, take on lovers and run up ruinous debts.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Jennifer Jones, James Mason, Van Heflin
Reckless (1935)
Drama | Musical | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Wealthy Bob Harrison buys all the seats in the theatre to watch Mona Leslie's musical by himself. He loves her, her agent Ned Riley loves her. Conflict ensues.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Franchot Tone
June Bride (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A magazine's staff, including bickering ex-lovers Linda and Carey, cover an Indiana wedding, which goes slightly wrong...

Director: Bretaigne Windust
Stars: Bette Davis, Robert Montgomery, Fay Bainter
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After spending three years in an asylum, a washed-up actor views a minor assignment from his old director in Rome as a chance for personal and professional redemption.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Edward G. Robinson, Cyd Charisse


Complete credited cast:
Marilla Brown Hagen
Lori Shannon
Ned Hammerstein
Zachary Wilde
Maxie Stultz
Charlie Arneg
Johnnie 'O'
Martin J. Daylor
Alvy Moore ...
Luke Coslow
Carol Veazie ...
Jack Cole ...
Randy Owens


When Mike Hagen and Marilla Brown marry after a whirlwind romance on the west coast, they return to New York to find that they don't have much in common. She is a clothing designer who lives in a swanky apartment and whose friends are actors, artists and the like. He is a sports writer who likes to go boxing matches and horse races. They clearly love one another and make every effort to be flexible. When a mobster, whom Mike has been accusing of fixing sports events, decides to go after him he must pretend to be out of town and mayhem ensues. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


M-G-M presents The Comedy of The Year! See more »


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

29 July 1957 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

A Mulher Modelo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film's story follows the plot line of the earlier Woman of the Year (1942) very closely. See more »


When Lori sings the ending of "Music Is Better Than Words", her voice is heard singing but her lips are clearly not moving. See more »


Mike Hagen: Open your eyes and go to sleep!
See more »

Crazy Credits

As 'The End' appears on the screen, Maxie Stultz delivers the final line of the movie while punching a 'speed bag' in a boxing gym: "I'm making a comeback, you know?" See more »


Referenced in One Fine Day (1996) See more »


Music Is Better than Words
Music by André Previn
Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and Roger Edens
Performed by Dolores Gray
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Playfully frivolous, but also a bit slow and empty despite the attempts at humor
29 April 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Designing Woman (1957)

I continue to disappoint my own optimism about movies from this period--that decade between the real end of the Old Hollywood and the real start of the New. (Let's say the nether zone of 1956 to 1965). But seeing a movie like "Designing Woman" is a chance to see what exactly these movie makers were up to. After all, the actors, directors, photographers, and writers were the same, almost to the letter, as ten years earlier. They were not idiots or failures in any sense. So...

What has happened here to my eye has to do with style, an intentional shift to a very glossy, very false, very stylized kind of late 1950s mise-en-scene. Sometimes (in other movies) this rises above. Hitchcock's late 50s films come to mind. And exceptions for particular subsets of the audience exist (and blossom) like the Doris Day films and other period comedies. Some dramas that really still have resonance like "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Charade" also show the slick detachment of the movie machinery working out well, though with affectations, too.

So, here's director Vincente Minnelli, who directed the remarkable 1951 romantic critique of the end of Old Hollywood, "The Bad and the Beautiful." And here are the two towering leads. Lauren Bacall is of course a legend linked first of Bogart, and to hard core Old Hollywood dramas. And Gregory Peck is better known for more serious movies like "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Cape Fear." Even the great cinematographer John Alton has a resume a mile long. The writer, I admit, is less known, and the story here is thin, for sure, but he won an academy award for it, which shows how time changes perceptions. But, in all, the larger artistic intentions of the writer and director really bring a cool, dry dullness. It's a revelation to see it for what it is.

It's almost like the director and producer know this isn't going to be a serious movie no matter what, that it can't be. Even the gruesome boxing match turns into a lighthearted repartee, and the glitzy high society stuff is generic and oddly lifeless (Billy Wilder does this material better, for example). And be warned, the format is itself uninvolving, with key parts switching to a simple voice-over, explaining what was happening, but not in a moody film noir way, just information.

Is it worthless? Of course not. The scenes are often very complicated visually, with a huge array of extras. The filming really is gorgeous, though more static than it needs to be. There is dancing shoehorned into the plot (though both dancers are fairly dull as people, try as they do). There is a classic kind of clash of cultures that is meant to be the set-up for all the gags, Bacall the rich pampered woman of culture and Peck the working class sportswriter.

Ugh, so the timing is off, the jokes flat, and the progress utterly slow. All these high production values are disposable. I hate the fact that I love all these people and thought the movie a dud. See for yourself.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A scene supportive of gay men? robert48-1
IMO, it's just not funny. tag65
Discuss Designing Woman (1957) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: