11 user 2 critic

Take a Letter, Darling (1942)

Approved | | Comedy | 6 May 1942 (USA)
A struggling painter takes a job as a secretary to a female advertising executive. While working to obtain an account from a tobacco company, they end up falling in love.


Mitchell Leisen


Claude Binyon (screen play), George Beck (story)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Rosalind Russell ... A.M. MacGregor
Fred MacMurray ... Tom Verney
Macdonald Carey ... Jonathan Caldwell
Constance Moore ... Ethel Caldwell
Robert Benchley ... G.B. Atwater
Charles Arnt ... Fud Newton (as Charles E. Arnt)
Cecil Kellaway ... Uncle George
Kathleen Howard ... Aunt Minnie
Margaret Seddon Margaret Seddon ... Aunt Judy
Dooley Wilson ... Moses
George Reed ... Sam French
Margaret Hayes ... Sally French
Sonny Boy Williams Sonny Boy Williams ... Micky Dowling
John Holland ... Secretary


A struggling painter takes a job as a secretary to a female advertising executive. While working to obtain an account from a tobacco company, they end up falling in love. Written by Ken Carson <kcarson@efn.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She Had Him Put in a Full Day's Work ... At Night!




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

6 May 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ela e o Secretário See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 4, 1948 with Fred MacMurray and Rosalind Russell reprising their film roles. See more »


Tom Verney: You're a beautiful brain and beautiful clothes. No temperature, no pulse. That's all.
A.M. MacGregor: Where did you learn about women, Verney?
Tom Verney: It isn't a matter of learning. It's instinct.
A.M. MacGregor: I'm a brain with no pulse, eh? I'm a woman, Verney, more woman than you'll ever know.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are shown as a series of pen-and-ink storyboards, on which the director (presumably Mitchell Leisen, although only his hands are seen) writes "OK" and his signature on each. See more »

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User Reviews

Just passable
29 April 2018 | by sbasu-47-608737See all my reviews

First of all, out of the 5 stars, about 2 are to Ms Russel. Else it is probably 2 star or 3 star movie, all of which goes to smooth flow of the story.

Though I say story here, but that is a poorly executed one. None of the character-built up is mature, starting with the two main protagonists.

Both the lead actors are - well ready to jump in casting - or should I say business - coach, at least almost, at the drop of a penny, and the definition of morality is strange.

The hero is ready to walk out (on the heroine), when he considers her offer to be of becoming her Mister ( masculine of Mistress) , but is ready to be a Gigolo without much ado, and even does that part admirably (from her angle) ! He does need money, but that is for his hobby, to go to Mexico for painting, and he was walking off her even then on the mister offer. Heroine is of course ready to have a relationship with her clients, to get an order. It might not have been to physical stage, but probably because Hayes won't have accepted it. Otherwise I don't see how she could have deflected all the clients. There goes the two main protagonists. Then the role of the two beaus on the quadrangle, Mr and Miss Caldwell.

Multi millionaire, Caldwell (McDonald Carey), after four costly alimonies behind him, is ready to pay the fifth one to Ms Russel, after marrying her of course, despite being perfectly aware that she is madly in love with Tom (McMurray. Naturally for another, sooner or later (probably quite sooner) divorce and alimony. He gets her to accept his proposal, but on a cleverly manipulated (and stupidly behaved by his opposition, Tom) rebound, and after putting his man-eating sister (Constance Moore), loose on Tom ! It sometime reminds me of the World War propaganda movies of Hollywood, where the Nazis and SS were shown to be stupid beyond belief, and even some idiotic American (or British) hero would take care of a full battalion of them. Here of course the idiot wasn't Nazi/SS but the hero, Tom.

There would have been nothing to gain for either siblings, all to loose, in terms of the double alimony, sooner or later. And just to think of ! The two in love, staying in close proximity (on account of being married to the siblings) the ember simply can't be covered in ash, it would have flared quickly.

The sister looked to be more intelligent, she flirted, even almost proposed, but probably she understood and respected the play-condition, which her brother, already burnt several times, didn't. Even the ending seemed to be too hurriedly brought, and the way the director tried to sort out the equation, didn't look convincing.

Since this is a Russel movie, one could just manage to stand it.

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