7.5/10
5,182
43 user 53 critic

Design for Living (1933)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | 29 December 1933 (USA)
Trailer
1:43 | Trailer
A woman cannot decide between two men who love her, and the trio agree to try living together in a platonic friendly relationship.

Director:

Ernst Lubitsch

Writers:

Noël Coward (play) (as Noel Coward), Ben Hecht (screenplay)
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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

A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After learning her multi-millionaire fiancé has already been married seven times, the daughter of a penniless marquis decides to tame him.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Gary Cooper, Edward Everett Horton
Angel (1937)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A woman and her husband take separate vacations, and she falls in love with another man.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Melvyn Douglas
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An unhappily married couple try to come between a happy one.

Directors: George Cukor, Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Genevieve Tobin
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An old roué arrives in Hades to review his life with Satan, who will rule on his eligibility to enter the Underworld.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Gene Tierney, Don Ameche, Charles Coburn
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An amorous lieutenant is forced to marry a socially awkward princess, though he tries to keep his violin-playing girlfriend on the side.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When a small kingdom's main tax payer leaves for Paris, its king dispatches a dashing count to win back her allegiance.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Edward Everett Horton
Ninotchka (1939)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire
Certificate: Passed Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack
Cluny Brown (1946)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A free-spirited parlor maid and a Czech refugee surprise an English village with their unconventional ways.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Charles Boyer, Jennifer Jones, Peter Lawford
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A psychoanalyst causes a woman to doubt her happy marriage.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Merle Oberon, Melvyn Douglas, Burgess Meredith
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fredric March ... Thomas B. 'Tom' Chambers
Gary Cooper ... George Curtis
Miriam Hopkins ... Gilda Farrell
Edward Everett Horton ... Max Plunkett
Franklin Pangborn ... Mr. Douglas, Theatrical Producer
Isabel Jewell ... Plunkett's Stenographer
Jane Darwell ... Curtis' Housekeeper
Wyndham Standing ... Max's Butler
Edit

Storyline

Two Americans sharing a flat in Paris, playwright Tom Chambers and painter George Curtis, fall for free-spirited Gilda Farrell. When she can't make up her mind which one of them she prefers, she proposes a "gentleman's agreement": She will move in with them as a friend and critic of their work, but they will never have sex. But when Tom goes to London to supervise a production of one of his plays, leaving Gilda alone with George, how long will their gentleman's agreement last? Written by Capel Cleggs <capelcleggs@my-deja.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Now! distracting drama of a girl who loved two men...completely...simultaneously! (Print Ad- Rochester Times-Union, ((Rochester, NY)) 1 March 1934) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

29 December 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Not Married See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Considerable censorship difficulties arose because of sexual discussions and innuendos, although the Hays Office eventually approved the film for release. However, it was banned by the Legion of Decency and was refused a certificate by the PCA for re-release in 1934, when the production code was more rigorously enforced. See more »

Goofs

Shadow of boom mic visible at train station. See more »

Quotes

Max Plunkett: I've come here to speak to you man to man.
Tom Chambers: My favorite type of conversation.
Max Plunkett: I wish to broach a rather delicate subject.
Tom Chambers: Oh, now don't let's be delicate, Mr. Plunkett. Let's be crude and objectionable, both of us. One of the greatest handicaps of civilization, and I may say to progress, is the fact that people speak with ribbons on their tongues. Delicacy, as the philosophers point out, is the banana peel under the feet of truth.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op.64
(1844) (uncredited)
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Excerpts from the second movement played as background music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
choosing between March and Cooper
20 June 2012 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

For me, of course, there would be no choice. A young Gary Cooper - talk about a dream walking.

Noel Coward's "Design for Living" was a play Coward wrote for himself and Lunt and Fontanne to star in, concerning a woman, Gilda, who can't decide between two young men and best friends in love with her, Tom and George. So the three decide to live together platonically. Tom leaves to work on his play, and while he's away, George and Gilda sleep together. Later on, alone with Tom, she sleeps with him, and George catches them together. Then Gilda makes a decision.

Only one line from the original play was retained for the film. Though it is precode, the sex is inferred. Given the Lubitsch touch, it's a delightful, sexy comedy with pretty Miriam Hopkins as the winsome Gilda, Fredric March as Tom, a playwright, and Gary Cooper as George, an artist.

The three young, attractive actors under Lubitsch's direction really make the film and situation sing.

March was never much for comedy, though he does an okay job. Hopkins was a wonderful actress with many Broadway credits before getting into films, and Cooper was just so darned gorgeous I have no idea how he was except my impression is that he was very good. Had I been Hopkins - no choice! A charming film.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 43 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed