Wife Vs. Secretary (1936)

85 or 88-89 mins | Comedy-drama | 28 February 1936

Director:

Clarence Brown

Producer:

Hunt Stromberg

Cinematographer:

Ray June

Editor:

Frank E. Hull

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

Most written contemporary and modern sources list the surname of Clark Gable's character as "Sanford." On screen credits give only the first name of "Van," although he is called "Mr. Stanhope" many times throughout the film. In the breakfast table scene between "Van" and "Linda," early in the film, she calls him "Jake" rather than "Van." There is no further mention of the name "Jake," and no explanation for its use in that one scene. At one point in the plot, a new issue of a magazine is brought to Van's attention and the camera focuses on an article written by Alice Duer Miller (co-screenwriter of Wife vs. Secretary ) entitled "Are We Debutantes or Are We Mice?" At that point Van says to his subordinate "Hey, Alice has written a very nice article here." According to a news item in HR William Powell was announced as the male lead in the picture, opposite Jean Harlow and Myrna Loy several months before Miller's story appeared in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan . Other news items note that Powell was too busy with other projects to appear in the picture when it finally went into production. This was the first film made by Loy after her return to work at M-G-M following a highly publicized salary dispute with ... More Less

Most written contemporary and modern sources list the surname of Clark Gable's character as "Sanford." On screen credits give only the first name of "Van," although he is called "Mr. Stanhope" many times throughout the film. In the breakfast table scene between "Van" and "Linda," early in the film, she calls him "Jake" rather than "Van." There is no further mention of the name "Jake," and no explanation for its use in that one scene. At one point in the plot, a new issue of a magazine is brought to Van's attention and the camera focuses on an article written by Alice Duer Miller (co-screenwriter of Wife vs. Secretary ) entitled "Are We Debutantes or Are We Mice?" At that point Van says to his subordinate "Hey, Alice has written a very nice article here." According to a news item in HR William Powell was announced as the male lead in the picture, opposite Jean Harlow and Myrna Loy several months before Miller's story appeared in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan . Other news items note that Powell was too busy with other projects to appear in the picture when it finally went into production. This was the first film made by Loy after her return to work at M-G-M following a highly publicized salary dispute with M-G-M. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
25 Nov 35
p. 3.
Daily Variety
14 Feb 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
19 Feb 36
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Nov 34
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 35
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Nov 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Dec 35
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jan 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Feb 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
15 Feb 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
18 Jan 36
p. 27.
Motion Picture Herald
22 Feb 36
p. 64.
New York Times
29 Feb 36
p. 11.
Variety
4 Mar 36
p. 26.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Clarence Brown's Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Wife Versus Secretary" by Faith Baldwin in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan (May 1935).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Thank You for a Lovely Evening," music and lyrics by Jimmy McHugh.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
28 February 1936
Production Date:
25 November--14 January 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
26 February 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6177
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85 or 88-89
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1989
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

On their third anniversary, New York magazine publisher Van Stanhope and his wife Linda are still very much in love. Van's mother Mimi, however, feels that his secretary, Helen "Whitey" Wilson, is too attractive not to be a temptation to Van. Linda trusts him and refuses to give in to jealousy, even when some of her friends express the same opinion as Mimi. Van and Whitey's relationship is strictly business, but his dependence on her, and her devotion to him, is a source of displeasure for her fiancé Joe, who wants her to give notice and marry him. She refuses and becomes even more involved with work, helping Van to develop a secret deal to buy a "five cent" weekly from tycoon J. D. Underwood. Because Van is afraid that Hanson House, a rival publishing concern, will ruin his deal, he and Whitey have to be very secretive, even from Linda. At an ice skating party for Stanhope Publications, Linda's jealousy is aroused by a catty remark by one of the executive wives, and she asks Van to transfer Whitey. They quarrel over her jealousy, but make up that night. A short time later, when Van has to go to an advertising convention in Havana, he won't let Linda accompany him because he needs to corner Underwood to close the deal. He later has to summon Whitey to join him, and they work round the clock to finish the needed paperwork for the offer to Underwood. When the deal is closed, they celebrate and for a moment are strongly attracted to each other, but nothing happens. Linda calls a ... +


On their third anniversary, New York magazine publisher Van Stanhope and his wife Linda are still very much in love. Van's mother Mimi, however, feels that his secretary, Helen "Whitey" Wilson, is too attractive not to be a temptation to Van. Linda trusts him and refuses to give in to jealousy, even when some of her friends express the same opinion as Mimi. Van and Whitey's relationship is strictly business, but his dependence on her, and her devotion to him, is a source of displeasure for her fiancé Joe, who wants her to give notice and marry him. She refuses and becomes even more involved with work, helping Van to develop a secret deal to buy a "five cent" weekly from tycoon J. D. Underwood. Because Van is afraid that Hanson House, a rival publishing concern, will ruin his deal, he and Whitey have to be very secretive, even from Linda. At an ice skating party for Stanhope Publications, Linda's jealousy is aroused by a catty remark by one of the executive wives, and she asks Van to transfer Whitey. They quarrel over her jealousy, but make up that night. A short time later, when Van has to go to an advertising convention in Havana, he won't let Linda accompany him because he needs to corner Underwood to close the deal. He later has to summon Whitey to join him, and they work round the clock to finish the needed paperwork for the offer to Underwood. When the deal is closed, they celebrate and for a moment are strongly attracted to each other, but nothing happens. Linda calls a few moments later, however, and when Whitey answers the telephone, she assumes the worst. When Van returns to New York, Linda refuses to listen to him and begins divorce proceedings. Van tries to get her back, but gives up and invites Whitey to sail with him for Bermuda. She has fallen in love with him, but realizing that his happiness is with his wife, she goes to Linda, who is about to sail for Europe, and tells her what a fool she would be to give her husband up. Linda then goes back to Van, and as Whitey leaves the office, she is met by Joe. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.