Jean Harlow is the secretary no wife wants her husband to have in "Wife vs. Secretary" starring Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, and Harlow, with an early appearance by James Stewart. It's hard to believe, looking at this film, that Jean Harlow would be dead a year later. Less blonde than in some earlier films, and far more subdued, she plays the indispensable, smart, and efficient secretary of Clark Gable. Gable is a high-pressured businessman happily married to Myrna Loy. All is well until her mother-in-law advises her to make Gable get rid of that good-looking assistant. Slowly, Loy begins to realize that everyone in their circle is assuming an affair, which up to that point hadn't crossed her mind. It does now.
Harlow is involved with James Stewart, and he doesn't want her to work after they get married. Her job, he feels, is too exciting and important and will threaten their marriage. Harlow is half in love with Gable and refuses to quit. Stewart is adorable and gives a hint of what will be truly be one of the great screen personas.
The cast is splendid. Gable is his usual charming self; Loy and Harlow are perfect casting as unique women who are complete opposites. Their final scene together consists of only a long look. It's very effective, as is the acting of both women throughout. Loy's scene with her mother-in-law is heartbreaking.
This is a dated film but very satisfying. Although it's wonderful to see these stars together, it's sad to realize they're all gone now, and that young Harlow has been gone for 68 years. Quite a loss.
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