6.4/10
365
11 user 2 critic

Design for Scandal (1941)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | December 1941 (USA)
To save his job, newsman Jeff Sherman offers to help his boss get out of a swingeing alimony settlement. But his devious plan to compromise Cornelia Porter, the judge on the case, while she... See full summary »

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writer:

Lionel Houser (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rosalind Russell ... Judge Cornelia Porter
Walter Pidgeon ... Jeff Sherman
Edward Arnold ... Judson M. Blair
Lee Bowman ... Walter Caldwell
Jean Rogers ... Dotty
Mary Beth Hughes ... Adele Blair
Guy Kibbee ... Judge Graham
Barbara Jo Allen ... Jane
Leon Belasco ... Alexander Raoul
Bobby Larson ... Freddie
Charles Coleman ... Wilton
Thurston Hall ... Northcott
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Storyline

To save his job, newsman Jeff Sherman offers to help his boss get out of a swingeing alimony settlement. But his devious plan to compromise Cornelia Porter, the judge on the case, while she is on holiday at Cape Cod soon proves to be - well - too devious! Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

EVERY WOMAN HAS HER WEAK MOMENT!---but it takes the right man to find it! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Her Honor See more »

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

Of special note, at about 25 minutes into the film is a shot of a rare pre-war diesel-electric locomotive - a Union Pacific EMC E2, built in 1937. It was one of only two E2 A-B-B sets ever produced. This is probably the "City of Los Angeles" set (LA-1, LA-2, LA-3) that ran the Chicago to Los Angeles route. See more »

Quotes

Jeff Sherman: I want to get something to amuse a little boy on a train.
Snack Bar Counterman: Yes, indeed. Something for a little boy, eh?
Jeff Sherman: Yeah.
Snack Bar Counterman: What age?
Jeff Sherman: Oh, about so high.
[brings palm to just above his waist]
Snack Bar Counterman: Eight. Yes sir. Right here.
[motions to shelves of toys behind him]
Snack Bar Counterman: Everything to make him happy and ruin your trip. Take your choice, sir.
Jeff Sherman: Well, you've been here a long time, you suggest something.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Barbara Jo Allen is listed as "Barbara Jo Allen (Vera Vague)" in the opening credits. Vera Vague was the character name of the woman she played on the Bob Hope radio program. See more »

Connections

Referenced in We Must Have Music (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Wonderful One
(1923) (uncredited)
Music by Paul Whiteman and Ferde Grofé Sr.
Adapted from a theme by Marshall Neilan
Lyrics by Dolly Morse
Played in a restaurant
Whistled by Walter Pidgeon
Played as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Please, no more singing and whistling

DESIGN FOR SCANDAL (1941) Walter Pidgeon, Rosalind Russell Lively Script. Pidgeon orchestrates a scandal to help his boss get even with a judge (Russell) for a ruling in a divorce case. Pidgeon, a fixer/reporter (more like an experienced con-man) is an amoral opportunist. Russell, the judge, is cold and emotionally walled-off from the world as Pidgeon tries to seduce and compromise her.

In my opinion Pidgeon deserved to be indicted despite how glib and affable he was.

Pidgeon's performance is adequate, he's likable as always. Russell is also adequate and beautiful. But I was distanced from immersion into the story by both of their slightly wooden line delivery. I kept getting the sense they were speaking lines, acting. The script was snappy, maybe that was the problem? Too snappy for ordinary people to be saying.

I think that's one of the problems with these movies from the 40's that have such great writing. It undermines the credibility of our character identification. Who speaks like that? Who is that smart, that quick? Yet it's the same thing we enjoy so much, the thing that makes such movies rise above the rest.

So, the answer is to have characters that the audience can believe are smart enough to be delivering such quick-witted comebacks.

Also, the deliveries from the two lead characters here sounded a bit overly rehearsed.

I liked this movie from the start and as it developed but drifted away emotionally during the last act.

Lots of wonderful supporting cast including the great (and aging) Edward Arnold, the ubiquitous Guy Kibbee, and Leon Belasco (playing a sculptor).


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