Of course Linda Stanhope trusts her husband Van. Their marriage is based on love and respect. Who cares if Van's secretary has the face of an angel and the body of a chorus girl? Who says a blonde bombshell can't type and ... more »take dictation? But people are whispering. And when Linda calls Van's hotel room late at night during his solo business trip to Havana, guess who answers. Four Golden Era greats ? Clark Gable, Jean Harlow and Myrna Loy as the romantic triangle and a lanky newcomer named James Stewart as Harlow's beau ? gild this sophisticated comedy-drama that takes a savvy look at men, women and love. Wife vs. Secretary: Guess who wins!« less
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 02/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"WIFE VS. SECRETARY (directed in 1936 by Clarence Brown) is a brisk programmer starring three of MGM's best of the period: Clark Gable, Myrna Loy and Jean Harlow. It was based on a story by Faith Baldwin which originally appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine.
Van Stanhope (Clark Gable) is a successful publishing tycoon whose marriage with lovely wife Linda (Myrna Loy) is put to the test when rumours about an affair with Van's secretary 'Whitey' (Jean Harlow) start to circulate. At first, Linda dismisses it as gossip, but later comes to the conclusion it must be true, following a whirlwind business trip to Havana...
Jean Harlow is the one who'll really surprise you in this movie. In a performance worlds away from the zingy dames she played in "Dinner at Eight" and "Red Dust", Harlow is incredibly naturalistic with her character of 'Whitey', Van's efficient, no-nonsense secretary. Observe closely her scenes with Clark Gable (especially during the Havana sequence) and her final scene with Myrna Loy. Very rarely did Harlow convey so much by doing so little on the screen.
Gable and Loy conjure up a very healthy screen chemistry. WIFE VS. SECRETARY also features an early performance from James Stewart, playing Harlow's lanky boyfriend. The supporting cast includes May Robson, George Barbier and Hobart Cavenaugh.
The DVD also includes the 'Crime Does Not Pay' short "The Public Pays" (which recycled the sets used in WIFE VS. SECRETARY), musical short "New Shoes", and the trailer. (Single-sided, dual-layer disc)."
Comedy with A Serious Grain of Truth
C. Vincent | Florida | 11/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Spoilers here a little -- This film is fun to watch. I love the rapport between characters. Clarke Gable is wonderful as the faithful (but almost not) husband of Myrna Loy. I was quite surprised at the nice acting performance turned out by Jean Harlow. Too bad she did not live to make more films. James Stewart is sparkling, as usual, in his small part in this film. Though labeled a comedy--there are some serious lessons here relating to ill-timed words of suspicion on the part of the mother of the Clarke Gable character. This creates havoc which is not always funny, but definately interesting. The quality of this DVD is excellent. The sound is good and the picture nice and clear. All in all, if you are a fan of older movies--you will enjoy this one."
Wife vs. Secretary rock, it is greeeaaat.
Adrian L. Hall | Florida | 06/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have watch this movie over and over again, and each time I view it, I find it more enjoyable as ever. This movie is about misunderstanding between husband and wife, which is cause by other individual plant seeds of doubt in the ears of a loving wife, about her husband relationship with his secretary. Of course, nothing is going on between the business man and his secretary, but the wife believe something must be going on, base on what she is told, the poor husband can't figure out what is wrong with his marriage, because he has done nothing wrong. In this movie you got three of the greatest actors and actresses of all time, Myrna Loy, Clark Gable and Jean Harlow. Ms. Loy wore some of the greatest gowns ever worn by any actresses in any movie, and she look stunning as always in them, and sexy as ever. Ms. Harlow is equally stunning and sexy, and Gable played one of his best roles ever in a movie, of course "Gone with the Wind" is his best role, but this is close second or third, (in my book). Ms. Myrna Loy performance was so good, I don't know why she was not nominated for an award. Ms Loy stole this movie, get it you will not be disappointed."
Wonderful Film !!
C. R. Schwieger | Lincoln, NE USA | 12/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a really good film. Love the stars in this one. A must see!"
"A husband! How nice." -- Myrna Loy
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 08/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Are you happy?" -- Van teasing Linda
"Happy? I don't know! You've never shown me anything else." -- Linda
A Cosmopolitan Magazine story by Faith Baldwin was purchased by MGM and fashioned for a great trio of big stars by Norman Krasna, John Lee Mahin, and Alice Duer Miller. Director Clarence Brown was given all the gloss and star power that could be finagled. The results were warm and romantic, a film with fun and a message urging viewers to just believe in someone and enjoy love, adding depth to what could have been just enjoyable fluff.
V.S. (Clark Gable) and Linda (Myrna Loy) are a couple happily and playfully in love, enjoying to the full all the wonderful pleasures of being married and truly in love. Loy is magnificent here, and so adorable that you get a real sense of how special she was as a star and actress. This is also one of Gable's most likable characters, and performances. He's fun to watch, and so is she, their playful joy as a couple making the film bright, as if someone threw a big dose of sunshine at the screen. They imbue the film with energy and love so warm and fun it must have nearly spilled into moviegoers' laps with the popcorn when it was released.
Equally warm and fun is Van's relationship with his wonderful secretary, Whitey Wilson (Jean Harlow). She's smart and spectacular, and his right arm. It is this close relationship Linda's mother-in-law (May Robson) worries about, planting seeds of doubt in a garden hitherto barren of weeds, only bearing sweet fruits. When V.S. must keep secret a sweet deal to take over a magazine, and spend even more time with Whitey, finally ending up in exotic Havana with her rather than his wife, those weeds begin to choke out the roots of Linda's love, breaking her heart. Whitey has her own problems, however, her beau Dave (James Stewart) wanting her to quit her job and something important to her self-worth before they marry.
Harlow gets to be Harlow here, a nice girl who just happens to be a knockout; a character much closer to her own personality than others she played onscreen. Humor and warmth blend with romance in this enjoyable film, the absence of a "bad girl" within the triangle refreshing. Whitey is indeed anything but a problem, but might not have the will to resist the boss she adores and take him on the rebound if the hurt Linda doesn't realize she's made a big mistake of trust. It is Whitey who will make the most loving gesture in fact, sacrificing what might be for herself, for a happiness much greater between two people who truly can't be happy without the other. Jean Harlow is a good girl here, and it fits like a glove.
A rare and wonderful tone and a gorgeous cast all make this story a pleasure to watch. A must see classic for fans of any or all of these stars. Great fun."