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Design for Living Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Design for Living was based on the stage comedy by Noel Coward, though little of his dialogue actually made it to the screen. Playwright Fredric March and artist Gary Cooper both fall in love with Miriam Hopkins, an American living in Paris. Both men love the girl, and the girl can't make up her mind between the two men, so the threesome decide to move in together--strictly platonically, of course. As the men gain in success and prominence, the chasteness of the "menage a trois" begins to be threatened, and soon both March and Cooper clash over Hopkins. She reacts by marrying her wealthy but dull boss (Edward Everett Horton). Miriam is bored to tears until March and Cooper invade one of her husband's stuffy parties and chase the tiresome guests away. Miriam's husband huffily agrees to a divorce, and the girl returns to her unorthodox relationship with her two former suitors. The subtle homosexual implications of the Noel Coward stage original were dissipated by the presence of the aggressively masculine Gary Cooper and Fredric March in the film version of Design for Living. Replacing these implications were the equally subtle but more "mainstream" boudoir innuendos of director Ernst Lubitsch. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:December 29, 1933

Cast

Fredric March
as Tom Chambers
Gary Cooper
as George Curtis
Miriam Hopkins
as Gilda Farrell
Edward Everett Horton
as Max Plunkett
Franklin Pangborn
as Mr. Douglas
Isabel Jewell
as Lisping Stenographer
Harry Dunkinson
as Egelbauer
Wyndham Standing
as Max Plunkett's Butler
Lionel Belmore
as Theatre Patron
Nora Cecil
as Tom Chambers' Secretary
Emile Chautard
as Conductor
Mathilde Comont
as Heavy Woman
Adrienne D'Ambricourt
as Cafe Proprietress
Jane Darwell
as Housekeeper
James Donlan
as Fat Man
Charles French
as Theatre Patron
Mary Gordon
as Theatre Chambermaid
Grace Hayle
as Woman on Staircase
Olaf Hytten
as Englishman at Train
Armand Kaliz
as Mr. Burton
Rolfe Sedan
as Bed Salesman
Vernon Steele
as First Manager
Nora Cecil
as Tom Chambers' Secretary
Olaf Hytten
as Englishman at Train
Jane Darwell
as Housekeeper
Emile Chautard
as Conductor
Armand Kaliz
as Mr. Burton
Grace Hayle
as Woman on Staircase
Lionel Belmore
as Theatre Patron
Rolfe Sedan
as Bed Salesman
Charles French
as Theatre Patron
Mary Gordon
as Theatre Chambermaid
James Donlan
as Fat Man
Adrienne D'Ambricourt
as Cafe Proprietress
Mathilde Comont
as Heavy Woman

Crew

Ernst Lubitsch
Director
Ernst Lubitsch
Producer
Noël Coward
Play Author
Ben Hecht
Screenwriter
Victor Milner
Cinematographer
Hans Dreier
Art Director
Travis Banton
Costume Designer
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