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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.

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

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Cast

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

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

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

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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|

Release Date:

29 July 1957 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

A Mulher Modelo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Burns later told Gregory Peck that his reaction to getting the plate turned over in his lap was one of the best of its kind Burns had ever seen. See more »

Goofs

While visiting Marineland, bottle-nose dolphins are incorrectly referred to as porpoises, both by Mike, and by the off-screen announcer of the dolphin show. See more »

Quotes

Mike Hagen: They're not reading. They're holding them
[newspapers]
Mike Hagen: that way in case the blood spatters.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Jeffersons: Designing Woman (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Music Is Better than Words
(uncredited)
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

 
Bright, Well-Written and Adult Romantic Comedy; Peck and Bacall in Top Form
30 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Designing Woman", a title which is a word-play on a female's desire to obtain a worthwhile husband and on the profession followed by the female lead, is what used to be known as an engaging comedy. A 'designing woman' is exactly what she is not; nor is the sportswriter she falls in love with in any way naturally conniving. But circumstances in this undeniably charming, situationally humorous and dialogue-rich film force her to become (naturally) suspicious and him to mislead her. The couple are portrayed by Lauren Bacall and Gregory Peck who have said they had and appear to have had great fun in making this New York-based comedy of manners. There were a number of male-versus-female films made in Hollywood between 1939 and 1973, the Golden Age of physical production there; while most of the writers took a reactionary anti-feminist position, the author of this film, George Wells, instead, here championed a mutually-desired and mutually-agreed equality between the two protagonists. Peck is the central character; but Bacall is the focus of much of the plot. In fact the opening sequences of the film take place on the West coast; Peck awakens to find himself befriended and his story filed by Bacall, after he had had a bit too much to drink. They begin an affair and swiftly decide to wed. But going back home to New York, they discover that "happily ever after" is harder than "I do". Abandoning his smaller bachelor digs for her luxurious apartment, they discover that their lifestyles, acquaintances and pursuits hardly match. One famous scene involves his rough-hewn card buddies trying to hold their regular game in her apartment. Also, Peck had been dating a pretty model , played by Dolores Gray, and has to hide the relationship, explain it away and generally engage in fancy footwork on several occasions; having her creative friends do their work while his card game buddies are present, pretending he does not know Gray, on whose musical designer Bacall is working when they meet at a fashion show; this is only the beginning of the story. Because Peck is also under a death threat from gamblers, he has to pretend to be away covering road baseball games while he's really holed up with a punchy ex-prizefighter bodyguard played by Mickey Shaughnessy. Of course, when Bacall discovers his old girl friend was Gray and that Peck has been lying about where he is, she assumes he has been cheating on her. The gangsters after Peck is played by Ed Platt and Chuck Connors, while Peck's helpful editor is Sam Levene. Under Vincente Minnelli's solid direction, the pace of this fast-moving comedy that only sometimes slows down for smart dialogue never flags. The fine cinematography was done by Gene Alton, set decorations by Edwin B. Willis and Henry Grace. Costumes were the work of veteran Helen Rose, with original music by Andre Previn. The bright art direction was by E. Preston Ames and William A. Horning, In the cast supporting the principals are Tom Helmore, Alvy Moore, Jesse White, Carol Veazie and Jack Cole. Bacall shows intelligence and toughness as the designer while Peck is more nuanced. This is a well-remembered and critically favored comedic effort, with a surprisingly satisfying ending. The screenplay won an award in 1957. Catch it when you can.


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