6.8/10
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46 user 21 critic

Designing Woman (1957)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 16 May 1957 (Australia)
A sportswriter and a fashion-designer marry after a whirlwind romance, and discover they have little in common.

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writers:

George Wells, Helen Rose (story suggested by)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gregory Peck ... Mike Hagen
Lauren Bacall ... Marilla Brown Hagen
Dolores Gray ... Lori Shannon
Sam Levene ... Ned Hammerstein
Tom Helmore ... Zachary Wilde
Mickey Shaughnessy ... Maxie Stultz
Jesse White ... Charlie Arneg
Chuck Connors ... Johnnie 'O'
Edward Platt ... Martin J. Daylor
Alvy Moore ... Luke Coslow
Carol Veazie Carol Veazie ... Gwen
Jack Cole ... Randy Owens
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Storyline

When Mike Hagen and Marilla Brown marry after a whirlwind romance on the west coast, they return to New York to find that they don't have much in common. She is a clothing designer who lives in a swanky apartment and whose friends are actors, artists and the like. He is a sports writer who likes to go boxing matches and horse races. They clearly love one another and make every effort to be flexible. When a mobster, whom Mike has been accusing of fixing sports events, decides to go after him he must pretend to be out of town and mayhem ensues. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

M-G-M presents The Comedy of The Year! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

16 May 1957 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Designing Woman See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the rehearsal scene Dolores Gray sings "Music is Better than Words", a song that she originally performed in It's Always Fair Weather (1955). See more »

Goofs

When Maxie Stultz comes into the apartment and talks to Marilla, his tie is backwards, but after the cut as he walks towards the poker table, it is suddenly hanging straight. See more »

Quotes

Mike Hagen: They're not reading. They're holding them
[newspapers]
Mike Hagen: that way in case the blood spatters.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As 'The End' appears on the screen, Maxie Stultz delivers the final line of the movie while punching a 'speed bag' in a boxing gym: "I'm making a comeback, you know?" See more »

Connections

References The Opposite Sex (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

There'll Be Some Changes Made
(uncredited)
Music by W. Benton Overstreet
Lyrics by Billy Higgins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Bright, Well-Written and Adult Romantic Comedy; Peck and Bacall in Top Form
30 July 2005 | by silverscreen888See all my reviews

"Designing Woman", a title which is a word-play on a female's desire to obtain a worthwhile husband and on the profession followed by the female lead, is what used to be known as an engaging comedy. A 'designing woman' is exactly what she is not; nor is the sportswriter she falls in love with in any way naturally conniving. But circumstances in this undeniably charming, situationally humorous and dialogue-rich film force her to become (naturally) suspicious and him to mislead her. The couple are portrayed by Lauren Bacall and Gregory Peck who have said they had and appear to have had great fun in making this New York-based comedy of manners. There were a number of male-versus-female films made in Hollywood between 1939 and 1973, the Golden Age of physical production there; while most of the writers took a reactionary anti-feminist position, the author of this film, George Wells, instead, here championed a mutually-desired and mutually-agreed equality between the two protagonists. Peck is the central character; but Bacall is the focus of much of the plot. In fact the opening sequences of the film take place on the West coast; Peck awakens to find himself befriended and his story filed by Bacall, after he had had a bit too much to drink. They begin an affair and swiftly decide to wed. But going back home to New York, they discover that "happily ever after" is harder than "I do". Abandoning his smaller bachelor digs for her luxurious apartment, they discover that their lifestyles, acquaintances and pursuits hardly match. One famous scene involves his rough-hewn card buddies trying to hold their regular game in her apartment. Also, Peck had been dating a pretty model , played by Dolores Gray, and has to hide the relationship, explain it away and generally engage in fancy footwork on several occasions; having her creative friends do their work while his card game buddies are present, pretending he does not know Gray, on whose musical designer Bacall is working when they meet at a fashion show; this is only the beginning of the story. Because Peck is also under a death threat from gamblers, he has to pretend to be away covering road baseball games while he's really holed up with a punchy ex-prizefighter bodyguard played by Mickey Shaughnessy. Of course, when Bacall discovers his old girl friend was Gray and that Peck has been lying about where he is, she assumes he has been cheating on her. The gangsters after Peck is played by Ed Platt and Chuck Connors, while Peck's helpful editor is Sam Levene. Under Vincente Minnelli's solid direction, the pace of this fast-moving comedy that only sometimes slows down for smart dialogue never flags. The fine cinematography was done by Gene Alton, set decorations by Edwin B. Willis and Henry Grace. Costumes were the work of veteran Helen Rose, with original music by Andre Previn. The bright art direction was by E. Preston Ames and William A. Horning, In the cast supporting the principals are Tom Helmore, Alvy Moore, Jesse White, Carol Veazie and Jack Cole. Bacall shows intelligence and toughness as the designer while Peck is more nuanced. This is a well-remembered and critically favored comedic effort, with a surprisingly satisfying ending. The screenplay won an award in 1957. Catch it when you can.


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