Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


A pensive Jean Harlow
WIFE VS. SECRETARY (1936). Director: Clarence Brown.

Linda (Myrna Loy) is happily married to publisher Van (Clark Gable), who has a highly efficient and attractive secretary named Whitey (Jean Harlow). Linda doesn't see the pretty Whitey as a threat until her well-meaning mother-in-law, Mimi (May Robson of Bringing Up Baby), puts the thought in her head. As for Whitey, she has an adoring boyfriend in Dave (James Stewart), but she also realizes that she's developed feelings for Van. When Van and Whitey take an unscheduled trip to Havana for business, Linda jumps to conclusions and walks out, making the conflicted Whitey wonder if she has a future with her boss and if she really wants one. Wife vs Secretary is not a bad movie, but its chief appeal lies in the wonderful performances by the entire cast, especially Harlow in a more serious role of a very likable, appealing and decent woman. Myra Marsh of I Love Lucy fame plays a woman who consults with Van, and Gloria Holden of Dracula's Daughter plays Joan, a friend of Van and Linda's.

Verdict: Watch this one for Harlow and other excellent performances. ***.


angelman66 said...

LOVE this one, it still sparkles after almost 80 years. Loy and Gable and Harlow at their best. Just saw this very recently on TCM.

William said...

3 splendid performers at the top of their game makes this a delight!