More than a Secretary (1936)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Workplace Comedy  |   Release Date - Dec 24, 1936 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 77 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

More Than a Secretary is one of those so predictable comedies that one imagines the screenwriters simply opened a "how to" book on creating romantic comedies (workplace division) and copied out all the information therein. In other words, don't look for surprises with Secretary or you're bound to be disappointed. Of course, plot isn't everything. A run-of-the-mill story can be saved by an imaginative approach to characters or by dialogue that pops and sparkles and fizzes. Neither of these could be said to be Secretary's strong point either, I'm afraid. It's not that the screenplay is bad, mind you: just terribly ordinary. Matters are not helped by the presence of George Brent as the object of far too many girls' affections. Brent doesn't come across with the requisite personality that this kind of character requires and he doesn't lend a natural comic flair to the proceedings. Fortunately, he is more than made up for by Jean Arthur and Dorothea Kent. Arthur is always a pleasure, and even in a routine comedy, she manages to trick you into thinking there's something fresh going on. Kent wonderfully plays her rival, a ditzy in most affairs but smart in her career moves dame who is a welcome addition. Alfred E. Green's direction is serviceable.