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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
Shadow of boom mic visible at train station. See more »
I've come here to speak to you man to man.
My favorite type of conversation.
I wish to broach a rather delicate subject.
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.
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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.
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