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 »
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 »
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 »
Princess Beatrice's days of enjoying the regal life are numbered unless her only daughter, Princess Alexandra, makes a good impression on a distant cousin when he pays a surprise visit to ... See full summary »
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
In one of the scenes, "How Little We Know" is playing in the background. The song is one Lauren Bacall sang in her first movie "To Have and Have Not' where she fell in love with Humphrey Bogart. See more »
In Marilla's apartment the doors of audio console keep opening and closing while Mike and Marilla are sitting on the couch. See more »
Who would have possibly realized in this bubbly and frothy romantic comedy, behind the scenes was a looming tragedy. While shooting this film with Gregory Peck by day, Lauren Bacall was nursing dying husband Humphrey Bogart. It was quite an ordeal for her.
Fortunately she's called on to be a fashion designer, beautiful and chic and Lauren Bacall can do that in her sleep. I'm sure working on this film took her mind off what she was dealing with at home.
As has been said, this borrows heavily from Woman of the Year. And like in Woman of the Year, the male lead is a sports columnist. He's also doing a bit of crusading journalism going after racketeers in the boxing game. Which, by the way, in real life was also going on, giving Designing Woman a certain current topicality.
Gregory Peck may be reprising Spencer Tracy, but I think he's poaching here on Rock Hudson's territory. Still he does have some good moments as Mike Hagen, sportswriter and would-be Bob Woodward. His best moments are with Dolores Gray, his jilted girlfriend who dumps a plate of ravioli in his lap at a posh restaurant and later in her apartment hiding from Bacall and wrestling with Gray's pink poodle for his shoe which the dog appropriates for a chew toy.
The rest of the cast nicely fills out their roles. Two standouts for me are Mickey Shaughnessy as a punch-drunk ex-pug who is Peck's appointed bodyguard. It seems like Mickey Shaughnessy was in about every good film in the 1950s and worked with everyone. The second is Jack Cole, choreographer who plays a choreographer in a show Bacall is designing costumes for.
We've certainly come a long way from 1957 when you had to hide the fact a character was gay. If Designing Woman was made today Jack Cole would be openly gay and no nonsense about it. Let us say his presence in the mad finale is absolutely crucial to Peck's and Bacall's life and marriage.
38 of 42 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?