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Wife vs. Secretary (1936)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 28 February 1936 (USA)
The wife of a publishing executive mistakenly believes that her husband's relationship with his attractive secretary is more than professional.

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

Norman Krasna (screen play), John Lee Mahin (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clark Gable ... Van Stanhope
Jean Harlow ... Helen (Whitey) Wilson
Myrna Loy ... Linda Stanhope
May Robson ... Mimi Stanhope
George Barbier ... J.D. Underwood
James Stewart ... Dave
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Joe
Tom Dugan ... Finney
Gilbert Emery ... Simpson
Marjorie Gateson ... Eve Merritt
Gloria Holden ... Joan Carstairs
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Storyline

Magazine publisher Van Stanhope is a hard-working, dynamic executive very happily married to his beautiful wife Linda. Although their relationship is is built on unconditional trust, friends caution her about the dangers of allowing Whitey, her husband's extremely sexy secretary, to continue to have access to him. Even Van's mother warns Linda that Van's father philandered during their marriage, and Van, like all men, will eventually succumb to opportunity and temptation. Although Whitey has a faithful boyfriend, she secretly harbors unrequited feelings for her boss. When they take business trip to Havana, circumstantial evidence convinces Linda that the rumors she's heard may have a basis in fact. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 February 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wife Versus Secretary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$519,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sets of Van's office were also used in the anti-crime short The Public Pays (1936). See more »

Goofs

At the end of the ice skating sequence the camera pans up and to the left, and the boom mic operator was unable to get the mic out of the way in time. For a second it takes up nearly the entire right upper quarter of the screen. See more »

Quotes

[after Linda finds a bracelet hidden in her trout]
Van: Don't start asking me to go whale fishing.
See more »


Soundtracks

She Was Poor But She Was Honest
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by R.P. Weston
Lyrics by Bert Lee
Sung a cappella by Clark Gable
See more »

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User Reviews

 
suspicious minds
27 December 2005 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Jean Harlow is the secretary no wife wants her husband to have in "Wife vs. Secretary" starring Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, and Harlow, with an early appearance by James Stewart. It's hard to believe, looking at this film, that Jean Harlow would be dead a year later. Less blonde than in some earlier films, and far more subdued, she plays the indispensable, smart, and efficient secretary of Clark Gable. Gable is a high-pressured businessman happily married to Myrna Loy. All is well until her mother-in-law advises her to make Gable get rid of that good-looking assistant. Slowly, Loy begins to realize that everyone in their circle is assuming an affair, which up to that point hadn't crossed her mind. It does now.

Harlow is involved with James Stewart, and he doesn't want her to work after they get married. Her job, he feels, is too exciting and important and will threaten their marriage. Harlow is half in love with Gable and refuses to quit. Stewart is adorable and gives a hint of what will be truly be one of the great screen personas.

The cast is splendid. Gable is his usual charming self; Loy and Harlow are perfect casting as unique women who are complete opposites. Their final scene together consists of only a long look. It's very effective, as is the acting of both women throughout. Loy's scene with her mother-in-law is heartbreaking.

This is a dated film but very satisfying. Although it's wonderful to see these stars together, it's sad to realize they're all gone now, and that young Harlow has been gone for 68 years. Quite a loss.


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