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Design for Living (1933)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | 29 December 1933 (USA)
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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>

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)

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

Writer Ben Hecht and producer-director Ernst Lubitsch retained only one line from the original play by Noël Coward: "For the good of our immortal souls!" See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow visible on window frame as Gilda sets the table. See more »

Quotes

Gilda Farrell: Now we'll have some fun! Back to Paris.
Tom Chambers: To the same old studio?
Gilda Farrell: The same old dump! And work!
Tom Chambers: Great! But, you can't paint in that suit.
George Curtis: I'll burn it.
Gilda Farrell: And you can't write in the top hat.
Tom Chambers: In the ash can with it!
George Curtis: Let's hear Gilda - can you still say rotten?
Gilda Farrell: Rotten!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gilda (1946) 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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