Wife vs. Secretary (1936)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Comedy of Errors, Comedy of Manners, Romantic Comedy  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Magazine publisher Clark Gable is happily married to Myrna Loy. Clark's devoted, super-efficient secretary Jean Harlow may have once harbored a secret desire for her boss, but she's perfectly content with boyfriend James Stewart. Accompanying Gable on a crucial business trip, Jean answers the phone in her boss' suite. Myrna, on the other end of the line, misunderstands, thereby setting the stage for a series of subsequent misunderstandings. As one can see, nothing much really happens in Wife vs. Secretary. The film is a vehicle in every sense of the word, totally reliant on the appeal of its stars. But it works beautifully, and remains as entertaining now as it did sixty years ago. One film historian has wondered what Wife vs. Secretary would have looked like had it been made before the imposition of the production code: would Jean have really had an affair with Clark, thereby giving Myrna something to really worry about? No matter; while it may have been racier, it's not likely the film could have been any more entertaining than it already is.

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Keywords

battle-of-the-sexes, business-trip, extramarital-affair, jealousy, love-conquers-all, marital-problems, marriage, misunderstanding, secretary, love-triangle