7.6/10
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41 user 52 critic

Design for Living (1933)

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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)
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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
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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>

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Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The preview time for the film was 105 minutes, so that 14 minutes were cut before the film's release. This may account for scenes with Helena Phillips Evans (Mrs. Egelbauer) and Armand Kaliz (Mr. Burton) being cut from the final release print. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Gilda Farrell: We're going to concentrate on work - your work. My work doesn't count. I think you boys have a great deal of talent; but, too much ego. You spend one day working and a whole month bragging. Gentlemen, there are going to be few changes. I'm going to jump up and down on your ego. I'm going to criticize your work with a baseball bat. I'm going to tell you every day how bad your stuff is until you get something good and if it's good I'm going to tell you it's rotten till you get something better. ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Design for Leaving (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star Spangled Banner
(1814) (uncredited)
Music by John Stafford Smith
Hummed by Gary Cooper and Fredric March
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Chic, sexy, and swell
16 May 2003 | by HandlinghandelSee all my reviews

I'm not a big fan of the Lubitsch Touch. This, which I hadn't seen in 20 years, I think is my favorite.

The recent Broadway revival of the Noel Coward play, which was supposedly very ooh-la-la and daring, was a bust. Interminable and misguided.

One problem was that the female lead was made very cold. In the movie, Miriam Hopkins is just right: pretty, seductive, witty.

Gary Cooper is sublime. He was a great comedian -- equally good in "Desire," the delightful movie with Dietrich that Lubitsch produced and supposedly had a big hand in directing. Too bad he changed gears so drastically and became the strong, silent Western hero he's known for today (if he's known at all, alas.)

Fredric March was a very fine actor but not a comedian. He is the weakest link; but he works well in the ensemble.

Edward Everett Horton is funny, as always.

It really works, and is as racy today as it must have been when it came out.


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