Design for Living (1933)

Not Rated   |    |  Comedy, Romance


Design for Living (1933) Poster

A woman cannot decide between two men who love her, and the trio agree to try living together in a platonic friendly relationship.


7.5/10
5,152

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  • Fredric March and Wyndham Standing in Design for Living (1933)
  • Miriam Hopkins and Fredric March in Design for Living (1933)
  • Gary Cooper and Fredric March in Design for Living (1933)
  • Gary Cooper and Miriam Hopkins in Design for Living (1933)
  • Gary Cooper and Miriam Hopkins in Design for Living (1933)
  • Gary Cooper and Fredric March in Design for Living (1933)

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28 June 2005 | fsilva
10
| Another Gem from Paramount
Intelligent script, witty dialogue, sexy stars, sophisticated story, deft direction…What more can I say? It's Lubitsch and Paramount at its Pre-Code best! This was another of those "vintage" films of which you had the chance of reading a lot about, but before Universal released "The Gary Cooper Collection", where it's included, you had nowhere to watch it. Of course, I bought promptly the aforementioned set.

The picture tells the story of free-spirited Gilda Farrell, a young lady who works at a Parisian Advertising Agency, managed by that great seasoned pro, Edward Everett Horton, who by chance meets on board a train, struggling, penniless, artists George Curtis, a painter (Gary Cooper) and Thomas Chambers, a playwright (Fredric March), in which may be one of the most "risqué" plots of all the Pre-Code Era, dealing openly with the pros and cons of a mènage-a-trois.

Miriam Hopkins portrays the deliciously mischievous Gilda, giving a top, tongue-in-cheek performance, looking absolutely beautiful and full of glow from within; it's really in her films directed by Lubitsch that her appeal shines at its most and she looks at her attractive-best.

Fredric March is good too as the "more down-to-earth-but-nevertheless-madly-in-love" playwright, who lives with buddy Gary Cooper in a miserable tenement, until Miriam Hopkins comes in scene and to "the rescue".

But the revelation, in my opinion, is Gary Cooper; after seeing him in many of his 1930s films, I feel that I like him best in the variety of roles he got to play in those years: a young idealist in "Peter Ibbetson", a sensitive soldier in "A Farewell to Arms", a sophisticated artist in this one, etc. He really was a good actor from the beginning of his "talkies" career (I haven't seen his Silents, so I cannot give an opinion), showing much skill and depth in his interpretations. In this film he plays excellently opposite such strong talents as Miriam Hopkins and Fredric March, absolutely "a la par".

In all, a highly enjoyable film. Smart Entertainment. A must.

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